Twiggs Lecture on Legal Professionalism

Endowed by the Pound Civil Justice Institute, this annual lecture honors the life and work of Howard F. Twiggs.

Howard F. Twiggs

Howard Twiggs was president of the Roscoe Pound Foundation in 1997-1999, and served Pound for more than twenty years as a beloved trustee, adviser, supporter, and defender. He also served the state, regional, national and international trial bars in a multitude of different capacities in a career that spanned more than fifty years, earning every honor accorded to those who champion the causes of injury victims and their families. His bar service culminated in his 1996-97 presidency of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA®, now the American Association for Justice).

Howard also had a public career as a state legislator, in which he was a tireless seeker of justice for all of the citizens of North Carolina, especially injury victims, those who suffered from disabilities, and those who were victims of injustice.

Howard spent untold hours teaching advocacy skills to younger lawyers in the United States and other countries, and he worked tirelessly throughout his career to support and enhance the cause of professionalism of all members of the bar. While not working on behalf of clients or bar organizations, Howard enjoyed sailing and fishing.

Upon his death in 2010, Howard was the senior partner in the Raleigh, North Carolina law firm of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland and Rabenau. His passing was mourned by all segments of the legal profession in North Carolina, including defense lawyers, one of whom called him “a consummate peacemaker.”


2014 Lecture

The 2014 Lecture was delivered by Honorable R. Fred Lewis of the Florida Supreme Court on July 27 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Honorable R. Fred Lewis

Justice Lewis was appointed to the Florida Supreme Court in 1998. He has served as liaison to the Florida Board of Bar Examiners for many years, leading the effort to require higher academic and character standards for applicants to the Florida Bar. He currently chairs the Florida Bar’s Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. Justice Lewis is the founder of Justice Teaching, a program that has placed over 3,900 active volunteers from the legal profession in all of Florida’s public schools and in over 350 private schools. The program has been adopted in many other states. Justice Lewis has been recognized for his dedication to vulnerable, disadvantaged and underserved members of society. For that and many other activities, he was selected as Florida's Citizen of the Year in 2001 by the Florida Council.


2013 Lecture

The 2013 Lecture was delivered by attorney and former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Oliver Diaz on July 21 in San Francisco, California.

Oliver Diaz, Esq.

Oliver Diaz received his B.A. degree from the University of South Alabama, his J.D. degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and an LL.M. degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. He served in the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1988 to 1994, with positions on the Insurance Committee, the Judiciary Committee, and the Ways and Means Committee, and served as Secretary for the Constitution Committee. He also served as City Attorney for the City of D'Iberville for four years. He was elected to the Court of Appeals in November 1994, and was appointed to the Supreme Court of Mississippi in 2000, later winning election to an eight- year term beginning January 2001. He now practices law in Jackson, Mississippi.


2012 Lecture

The 2012 Lecture was delivered by attorney Mark Mandell on July 28 in Chicago, Illinois.

Mark S. Mandell, Esq.

Mark S. Mandell is a partner in the law firm of Mandell, Schwartz & Boisclair, Ltd., in Providence, Rhode Island. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama and of Georgetown University Law Center. He is admitted to practice before the Rhode Island and Alabama Supreme Courts and the United States Supreme Court. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Judicature Society. He has served as president of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA®, now the American Association for Justice), the Pound Civil Justice Institute, the Rhode Island Bar Association, and the Rhode Island Trial Lawyers Association. Mark is a member of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Ethics Advisory Panel, and has also served on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Judicial Appointments and the Rhode Island Supreme Court Commission on the Future of the Rhode Island Judicial System. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Roger Williams University School of Law. Mark Mandell and Howard Twiggs were close friends for many years.


2011 Lecture

The first lecture in the series was delivered by the Honorable James W. Kitchens, Associate Justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court at the Annual Convention of the American Association for Justice, on July 11, 2011.

Honorable James W. Kitchens

Justice James W. Kitchens is a lifelong resident of Crystal Springs, Copiah County, Mississippi, and a graduate of Crystal Springs High School, the University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi School of Law. He is licensed to practice law in the courts of Mississippi and the District of Columbia, and is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court.

He was elected district attorney for the Mississippi counties of Copiah, Lincoln, Pike and Walthall in 1971, 1975 and 1979. He served for nine years before returning to the private practice of law. He did not seek public office again until 2008, when he was elected to an eight-year term on the Mississippi Supreme Court.

Justice Kitchens has been married to Mary Tooke Kitchens, now a retired public school teacher, since 1968. They have five adult children and eight grandchildren.

Justice Kitchens and Howard Twiggs were close friends for nearly 30 years.

To read the paper written by Justice Kitchens to accompany his Twiggs Lecture, click here.

To view the Mississippi Bar’s Lawyer’s Creed referenced by Justice Kitchens, click here.