Judge J. Clifford Wallace
2016 A. Sherman Christensen Award
ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA – Judge J. Clifford Wallace has been selected to receive the prestigious 2016 A. Sherman Christensen Award by the American Inns of Court. The award will be presented at the annual American Inns of Court Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States in November; the event will be hosted by Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
Wallace is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was nominated by President Richard Nixon to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in 1970 and to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1972. He served as chief judge from 1991 to 1996, when he took senior status; he continues to hear cases. He is active in the “rule of law” movement, and has worked directly with judiciaries in more than 60 countries and on every continent. Prior to taking the bench, he was in private practice in San Diego at a prominent law firm.
Wallace was instrumental in developing the idea of the American Inns of Court. He had accompanied Chief Justice Warren Burger on the Anglo-American Legal Exchange of 1977 and advocated enthusiastically for the formation of American Inns. He served as keynote speaker at the organizational dinner of the first Inn of Court in Provo, Utah. A regular adviser to Judge A. Sherman Christensen, for whom this award is named, Wallace urged attendees to form the Inn to attack the problem of trial inadequacy by attorneys. He authored an article on the topic that was published in the ABA Journal in March of 1982.
After serving three years in the U.S. Navy, Wallace attended San Diego State College, where he graduated with honors with a degree in economics and political science. He earned his LL.B. from the University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was an editor of the California Law Review.