WASHINGTON, Sept. 27, 2018 — The American Bar Association Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession will honor Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Peter M. Reyes, Jr., with its 2019 Spirit of Excellence Award for his commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession. The award will be presented at a ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 at Caesars Palace during the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas.
The Spirit of Excellence Award celebrates the efforts and accomplishments of lawyers who work to promote a more racially and ethnically diverse legal profession. Awards are presented to lawyers who excel in their professional settings; who personify excellence on the national, state or local level; and who have demonstrated a commitment to racial and ethnic diversity in the legal profession.
Also being honored along with Reyes during the ABA Spirit of Excellence Award Luncheon on Saturday, Jan. 26, from noon to 2 p.m. PT are Florida attorney Willie E. Gary, a partner with Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson & Gary PLLC; Pamela Jones Harbour, senior vice president and legal officer at Herbalife Nutrition in Los Angeles; and John Lim, managing partner of California-based LimNexus LLP.
“Throughout his illustrious legal career, Judge Peter Reyes has been driven by a strong desire to mentor and help others,” said Helen B. Kim chair of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession. “Overcoming great adversity to achieve success in the legal profession, he has led by example in promoting diversity in the legal profession, giving a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves and being a beacon of reason through difficult times. I consider him to be the epitome of what a mentor should be. Through it all, Judge Reyes has always sought collaboration with others, understanding that only through collaboration can this success be had, and this is evident from his role in creating the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy, among many other accomplishments. Judge Reyes exemplifies the highest qualities of a ‘Spirit of Excellence’ awardee, and the commission is proud to honor him.”
Reyes was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Gov. Mark Dayton in April 2014. He won election to the court in 2016 for a term that ends in 2023. Reyes formerly worked as a senior intellectual property lawyer at Cargill, Incorporated, and as a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Minneapolis.
He is active in the American Bar Association as a member of the House of Delegates, the ABA Judicial Division, Section of IP Law and TIPS. Judge Reyes also served on the ABA Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities and the ABA Council for Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. In addition, he served as national president of the Hispanic National Bar Association from 2012-13, and president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association from 2000-03. In 2012 and 2013, Poder Magazine named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in America. Judge Reyes received the Ohtli Award in 2016, the highest award the Mexican government presents to a non-Mexican citizen.
Reyes earned his B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and his J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law.
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