Judy Perry Martinez of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn in New Orleans is president-elect of the American Bar Association and will become president of the more than 400,000-member organization in August 2019.
Martinez served at the firm from 1982 to 2003 as a partner, member of the governing committee, and commercial litigator. In 2003, she joined Northrop Grumman Corporation, where she served as assistant general counsel-litigation, managing litigation for the western half of the country before becoming vice president and chief compliance officer in 2011.
Martinez retired from Northrop Grumman in 2015 to become a fellow at the Advanced Leadership Initiative at Harvard University, where she spent a year in residence. Following her time at Harvard, she returned to New Orleans.
For more than 30 years, Martinez has held various leadership positions at the ABA, including as chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, which evaluates all prospective nominees to the federal bench. Earlier, she served as the ABA’s lead representative to the United Nations and as a member of the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee. Later, she served as chair of the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services and, most recently, as a member of the ABA Task Force on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System.
Martinez has served 26 years in the ABA House of Delegates and served on the ABA Task Force on Attorney Client Privilege, the Council of the ABA Center on Diversity, and the council of the Section of Litigation. She also was a member of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence and the ABA Young Lawyers Division.
Martinez is a member of the board of directors of the American Bar Foundation, a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Louisiana Bar Foundation, and a member of the American Law Institute.
Martinez has chaired the New Orleans Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, the New Orleans Pro Bono Project, the Louisiana State Bar Association Committee on Minority Involvement in its inaugural year, 1989, the LSBA Professionalism and Quality of Life Committee, and the LSBA Post-Conviction Death Penalty Representation Committee. She currently serves as a Distinguished Access to Justice Pro Bono Fellow for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services. She previously served on the board of the Innocence Project-New Orleans and as an officer of the World Justice Project.
Martinez received the Sam Dalton Capital Defense Advocacy Award from the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Counsel in 1997, the Michelle Pitard Wynne Professionalism Award from the Association of Women Attorneys in 1998, and the Alliance for Justice Award in 1999 from the National Gay and Lesbian Law Association. She was named the Outstanding Young Lawyer in the State of Louisiana in 1990 and the Louisiana Bar Foundation's 2001 Distinguished Attorney.
On two separate occasions, Martinez has received the LSBA President’s Award and is the recipient of the 2012 Camille Gravel Public Service Award, a recognition by the Federal Bar Association’s New Orleans chapter to an attorney who has done substantial pro bono or public legal work. In 2017, she was honored with the David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award by the Louisiana State Bar Association and the New Orleans Bar Association Presidents’ Award.
Martinez earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of New Orleans and her J.D., with honors, from Tulane University Law School, where she earlier served as an instructor in trial advocacy and now serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council.