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Marylandís Chief Judge, Fellow Appellate Judge, Inducted into National Bar Association Hall of Fame
Chief Judge Bell also receives NBA Judicial Council’s highest honor with Hastie Award

(BALTIMORE – Aug. 17, 2011) Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell and retired Court of Special Appeals Judge Arrie W. Davis have been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the nation’s largest African-American bar association. The National Bar Association held the induction ceremony on Monday, Aug. 1, during the group’s 86th Annual Convention & Exhibits in Baltimore.

The National Bar Association was founded in 1925, when the American Bar Association didn’t allow black judges and attorneys as members. The National Bar Association (NBA) now has approximately 17,000 members, and its mission continues to be the encouragement of racial diversity in the legal profession and on the bench.

“It is truly an honor and I am humbled to be included with my esteemed fellow jurists as the newest members of the Hall of Fame,” Judge Bell said. “The mission of the National Bar Association is as relevant today as it ever was. We must continue to ‘Lift as We Climb’ and ‘Ensure Justice and Equality,’ the themes of this conference, in all aspects of the legal profession.”

The NBA Hall of Fame is reserved for judges and lawyers who have been bar members for at least 40 years and have made significant contributions to the cause of justice. Judge Davis said, “Being honored by the NBA, is a highlight of my career. I am very grateful for this recognition by the nation’s premier organization for black lawyers and judges.”

In addition to Judge Bell and Judge Davis, Maryland inductees included attorney and former Baltimore City Circuit Judge William H. “Billy” Murphy, Jr., and Baltimore-area attorneys David B. Allen and John S. Wood.

During the NBA convention, Judge Bell also received the Hastie Award, named for Judge William H. Hastie, judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit from 1949 to 1971. During his illustrious career, Judge Hastie served as dean of Howard University Law School and was the first African-American federal judge, governor of the United States Virgin Islands, and federal appeals judge. The Hastie Award is the NBA Judicial Council’s highest award, and recognizes excellence in legal and judicial scholarship and demonstrated commitment to justice under law. Judge Bell received the award on Aug. 3 during the NBA Judicial Council’s 11th Annual Thurgood Marshall Judicial Awards Luncheon.

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