College Columns December 2021 - Page 19

Judge Houser ’ s Remarks Hon . Barbara J . Houser

Good evening . Thank you Tom for such a wonderful introduction ; if you ever decide to leave your current Circuit Judge gig , perhaps you should consider fiction writing as you have quite the gift of embellishment .
And , of course , thank you to the College and its leadership . I am truly honored to have been chosen as this year ’ s recipient of the Distinguished Service Award . Being recognized for your contributions by your peers is high praise .
For me , tonight is about three things . First , reflecting on the many years that I have been fortunate enough to to be a member of this community ; second , thanking all that have shown me the way ; and third , expressing the hope I feel for the future of our practice area .
First , reflections — when Lisa , now Judge , Beckerman called me with the news that I had been selected to receive this year ’ s Distinguished Service Award , I was surprised . My immediate reaction was to
think she had dialed the wrong number , as I felt there were a number of other College fellows who could have been chosen in my stead . I then wondered how I had gotten so old , as awards like this do not usually come to a youngster .
But , over the course of the next day or so , it became clear to me that if I am deserving of this award it is because of all of the people in my life who guided me to become the person I am , and who helped shape the lawyer and judge I became . After all , lawyering is an intense people-oriented business , whether those people are clients , colleagues or adversaries .
And , of course , reflections cannot be had tonight without including the impact the coronavirus has had on so many throughout the world over the last eighteen months or so . I ’ m sure those of us here tonight are grateful for our health and the opportunity to be together again . Others have not been so fortunate . I ask that we take a moment of silence as we remember friends , family members and others who have been lost to the virus or continue to struggle to regain good health .
My thank you list tonight is quite lengthy ( although I will move quickly ) and starts with my parents , who died in the mid-1990s , but who would be so proud tonight . To say that my parents shaped my older brother Mark and me is a significant understatement . Neither of my parents completed college , but it was clear to Mark and me that we certainly would , along with professional schools if we so chose , from a relatively early age . continued online