The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame is Opened on the Campus of Temple University

By Andrea Schmauss

Howard L Nations with Portrait
Howard Nations and the painting which hangs in The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame

The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame recognizes and honors remarkable trial lawyers who have left an indelible mark on the American legal tradition through a lifetime of service to the American public and the Constitution, and who have distinguished themselves as advocates in the courtroom. The honorees are recognized for defending the right to trial by jury, as well as the integrity of American Jurisprudence by their exceptional actions in the courtroom throughout the United States of America. The Hall of Fame includes attorneys from the past such as John Adams, Clarence Darrow, and Thurgood Marshall as well as Johnnie Cochran, Morris Dees and Gerry Spence.

With the first inductees chosen in 2009, prestigious opening ceremonies for the Hall of Fame’s permanent home on the campus of Temple University was held on September 9, 2014.  Howard Nations, a 2012 Inductee into the Hall of Fame, had the honor of speaking at the opening ceremonies. Said Mr. Nations, “The Hall of Fame is a place where the endless attorney jokes stop and people have an opportunity to study the greatest in the profession.”  For those thinking about joining the profession, Mr. Nations will be donating papers and other items “to try to inspire a whole new generation of new lawyers who are coming up behind us.”

Howard Nations speaking at TLHF
Howard Nations spoke on behalf of all of the Hall of Fame Inductees

The 2014 Recipient of the W. McKinley Smiley, Jr. Lighthouse Award

By Andrea Schmauss –

March 27, 2014 – The Nations Law Firm is pleased to announce that Howard L Nations received the Professor W. McKinley Smiley, Jr. Lighthouse Award at the 2014 Southern Trial Lawyers Association Mardi Gras Conference in New Orleans on February 28, 2014. This prestigious award is presented annually to America’s Most Outstanding Lawyer in the field of academics, legal scholarship and advocacy teaching and training. It recognizes lifelong devotion to the noble profession of trial law. Honorees stand out as mentors to young lawyers and professional peers, thus the award’s name “Lighthouse Award” – the light that shines from the lighthouse provides guidance and direction to those weathering the storm. W. McKinley Smiley, Jr., for whom the award is named, embodies all that the award seeks to uphold. Congratulations Mr. Nations!

2014 Mickey Smiley Award Eric Romano, Howard Nations and Professor Mickey Smiley
2014 Mickey Smiley Award
Eric Romano, Howard Nations and Professor Mickey Smiley

“The Man in the Arena” Award Presented to Howard Nations

Posted by Andrea Schmauss, IT Administrator, The Nations Law Firm

“The Man in the Arena” Award Presented to Howard Nations
“The Man in the Arena” Award Presented to Howard Nations

May 20, 2013 – “The Man in the Arena” is an excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech “Citizenship In A Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.  These powerful words were the inspiration behind the naming of the award, “The Man in the Arena,” which was presented to Howard Nations at the APITLA National Interstate Trucking Conference in St Louis last month.  Mr. Dan Ramsdell, Founder and National Director of the Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America made the presentation.  Congratulations, Howard Nations, for this most deserved award.

“The Man in the Arena” by Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Video of award presentation and Howard Nations’ acceptance speech:

Howard Nations Dean for a Day at South Texas College of Law

Posted by Cindy Nations

Howard Nations as Dean for a Day
Howard Nations as Dean for a Day

December 3, 2012 – We have to hand it to Dean Guter and the staff at South Texas College of Law. They really went all out to make the “Dean for a Day” experience both enjoyable and unforgettable. From the moment Mr. Nations arrived at the school, he was met by one surprise after another . . . all perfectly planned and well-executed by the Dean and many employees.

They re-named the school “The Nations Law School” for the day, complete with custom-made banners with a picture of Howard Nations sporting a tuxedo and flashing that infamous smile! The school photographer followed us around all day like paparazzi, capturing everything on film. The former registrar of the school Lylene Pilkenton, now retired, came out of retirement to work once again with her old friend ” Professor Nations.” He was also given the opportunity to lecture to an Aviation Law class, bringing back fond memories of his 25 years as a Law Professor at South Texas.

Following a very nice reception and mingling with students, professors, South Texas alumni, and former students of Howard Nations (some who graduated over 30 years ago) everyone entered the lecture hall to watch the documentary Hot Coffee, presented by “Dean Nations.” There was a popcorn machine on hand — after all what’s a movie without popcorn!

Hot Coffee began with a discussion led by “Dean Nations”, after which we watched the movie, which was followed up with the audience participating in a lively discussion, asking questions, and sharing ideas. Many people had never seen the Hot Coffee movie and left with a much better understanding of what tort reform is really all about. Several people were inspired to take action! That’s exactly what we wanted. Overall, it was a wonderful day. My sincerest thanks to Dean Guter and everyone at South Texas who worked so hard to make this day such a special honor for my dad.

You can watch the video here…