Lucian T. Pera (Vanderbilt University School of Law, J.D. ’85) is the recipient of the 2022 Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award. Mr. Pera, a Partner at Adams and Reese LLP in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the nation’s leading legal ethics and professional responsibility practitioners.
“I’m truly humbled,” Pera said. “It’s simply the highest honor in our field, and I have always looked up to the people who have received the Franck Award.”
For more than 25 years, Pera has represented lawyers, law firms, clients, and those who do business with lawyers and law firms on the widest possible array of issues relating to legal ethics and the regulation of lawyers. He has advanced the profession through his work at the ABA, the national voice of the legal profession and the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. For more than a century, the ABA has led the nation on issues related to legal ethics and the regulation of the legal profession.
“Lucian not only has long demonstrated his dedication to the legal profession, the organized bar and the law regulating lawyers, he has lived his life as a lawyer of the highest caliber,” says Judy Perry Martinez, who served as ABA’s President from 2019-2020. “He has contributed significantly to innovations pursued by the ABA.”
From 1997 to 2002, Pera served as the youngest member of the ABA Ethics 2000 Commission, which rewrote the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Since then, he has played a central role in national debates over changes to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct as a member of the organization’s policy-making House of Delegates, including Ethics 2000 Commission amendments, amendments to permit screening to avoid disqualification of laterally-moving lawyers
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“Most importantly, Lucian has helped lawyers across our nation understand what more or differently we must do for those whom we serve, if we are to in any way approach the level of professionalism and ethics that he has embodied throughout his years of practice,” Martinez continues. “Having had the privilege of knowing Michael Franck, it is no surprise that Lucian Pera would be the lawyer leader selected to receive the prestigious.”
Pera has also chaired the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility governing Coordinating Council and served as the ABA Treasurer.
In addition to his work in the ABA, Pera served as the Tennessee Bar Association’s President and led their Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility from 1995 to 2009. He is a former president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL), the national organization of ethics lawyers. He also chaired and served as a member of the editorial board of the ABA/Bloomberg Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct. He frequently writes and speaks across Tennessee and nationally on legal ethics and professional responsibility.