The Honorable Arthur G. Scotland ‘74 (retired) was selected to receive the prestigious 2018 American Inns of Court A. Sherman Christensen Award. The award was presented to Scotland by Judge Consuelo M. Callahan ‘73 at the organization’s annual Celebration of Excellence at the Supreme Court of the United States on Oct. 20, 2018; the event was hosted by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.
Scotland is a former presiding justice of the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District. He has been Of Counsel to the law firm of Nielsen Merksamer since 2012, where he specializes in government law. Scotland’s judicial career included more than 21 years on the California Court of Appeal in Sacramento and almost two years as a judge of the Superior Court of Sacramento County. Before his appointment to the bench in 1987, he served as cabinet secretary to Governor George Deukmejian, 1983–1987, California Deputy Attorney General, 1976–1983, and Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney, 1974–1976.
After retiring from the court in 2010, Scotland reactivated his license to practice law and represented the president pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the Assembly in a successful lawsuit against the state controller, regarding the constitutional requirements for passage of a balanced budget bill.
Scotland has been a leader in the American Inns of Court for decades. An Emeritus member of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court in Sacramento, he has been on the Inn’s executive committee for more than 20 years, chairs the membership committee, and recently served as a master of ceremonies at the Inn’s 30th anniversary celebration. As a member of the American Inns of Court Judicial Task Force, Scotland helped to identify the benefits and challenges of judicial participation in Inns and proposed a strategy and techniques for recruiting and retaining judges as Inn members.
For several years, Scotland has organized and hosted a visit to Sacramento for British barristers as part of the Pegasus Scholarship Trust exchange program between the United States and the United Kingdom. He speaks frequently to Inn and student groups about civility in public and professional discourse.
Scotland graduated with honors from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, in 1974. In 2016, he was elected to serve on the University’s Board of Regents.
The American Inns of Court, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, inspires the legal community to advance the rule of law by achieving the highest level of professionalism through example, education, and mentoring. The organization’s membership includes more than 31,000 federal, state, and local judges; lawyers; law professors; and law students in nearly 380 chapters nationwide. More information is available at www.innsofcourt.org.