Record columnist elected to American Law Institute

Marilyn Tennissen Apr. 8, 2009, 8:37am


John G. Browning, whose column "Legally Speaking" regularly appears in the Southeast Texas Record, was recently named among the 63 newly-elected members of the prestigious American Law Institute.

Founded in 1923 for the purpose of improving American law, ALI's membership consists primarily of judges, law professors, law school deans and lawyers who are selected on the basis of manifest professional standing, high character and ability, and significant contributions to the legal profession.

"I was truly humbled to even be nominated for ALI membership, and I'm surprised and gratified at having been elected," said Browning. "When I look at the leading scholars and judges who are ALI members, like Chief Justice John Roberts, I know I'm in amazing company."

Browning was one of only seven lawyers in Texas elected to ALI membership; the others receiving this honor include a federal judge, the dean of Baylor Law School, a Texas Tech University law professor and a former president of the Dallas Bar Association.

Southeast Texas Record readers are familiar with Browning's witty and thought-provoking "Legally Speaking" columns, which focuses on the sometimes outrageous antics of the legal community and brings to light some of the more serious issues facing the profession.

"Legally Speaking" garnered a Press Club of Southeast Texas award for the Record in 2008, and Browning brought home an award last year from the Houston Press Club as well. In 2007, he was nominated for a Pulitzer prize in journalism.

In addition to the award-winning column, Browning is the co-author of three law-related books, including the two-volume treatise Texas Employment Law. Browning, a partner with the Dallas office of the national law firm Gordon & Rees, is also a frequent contributor to national and regional legal publications on a wide variety of subjects.

He serves as a contributing editor for Dallas CEO Magazine (writing the "Legalities" column); as senior writer for American Trial Lawyer magazine; and pens the "Courting Success" column for the Houston Business Journal.

The American Law Institute is the leading independent organization in the U.S. producing scholarly work to clarify, modernize, and improve the law. The Institute publishes Restatements of the Law, model statutes and principles of the law that are enormously influential in the U.S. courts and legislatures, as well as internationally.

"The distinguished and forward thinking founders of the American Law Institute knew well that law reform required the best of the Bar, the Bench, and the legal Academy. We are very proud to welcome this distinguished group into membership in the Institute," said ALI President Roberta Cooper Ramo.

"The process of being selected into the ALI is rigorous. Membership is a significant honor, as well as a promise to contribute to the health of the legal system in the U.S. and, increasingly, that of legal systems around the world. With the formidable challenges facing our world, these additions to our ranks will enhance our ability to take on the major legal problems of the times and develop solutions."

Browning received his bachelor of arts degree with general and departmental honors from Rutgers University in 1986, where he was a National Merit Scholar and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He received his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1989.

Browning is "AV" rated by his peers, the highest commendation issued by Martindale-Hubbell for legal ability, ethics, and professionalism.

He was selected as a "Texas Super Lawyer" by Law & Politics and Texas Monthly in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Browning was inducted as a Charter Fellow of Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society.

He has extensive trial, arbitration, and summary judgment experience, and has represented companies in a wide variety of industries throughout Texas and on a pro hac vice basis in other jurisdictions.

Browning and the other newly-elected members will be recognized at a formal ceremony during the Institute's annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in May.

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