Wayne J. Lee, Esquire

2019 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fifth Circuit

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA—Wayne J. Lee, Esquire, has been selected to receive the prestigious 2019 American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Fifth Circuit. Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Brigadier General Malinda E. Dunn (Retired) of the American Inns of Court will present the award during the Judicial Conference of the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans on May 6.

An attorney at Stone Pigman Walther Wittman LLC in New Orleans since 1974, Lee now chairs the firm’s commercial litigation practice group. He specializes in insurance and class action claims. Named one of the Best Lawyers in America in several categories, Lee has also been inducted into both Tulane Law School’s Hall of Fame and the National Bar Association’s Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Tulane Law School American Inn of Court and the A.P. Tureaud American Inn of Court, where he is a member of the executive committee.

The first African American to join Stone Pigman, Lee initiated and continues to lead the firm’s diversity efforts. He has provided mentorship to dozens of young lawyers, with a particular aim of increasing the legal profession’s diversity. Lee was also the first African American to serve as president of the Louisiana State Bar Association, where he focused his attention on diversity issues. “Although he has accomplished many ‘firsts,’ he has always been determined not to be the only and has worked tirelessly to open the door for others,” says Dana M. Douglas, U.S. magistrate judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana, who supported Lee’s nomination.

On a national level, Lee has served in many capacities with the American Bar Association. In addition to serving as a member of the association’s House of Delegates, he was a member of its Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession.

Born in New Orleans, Lee is dedicated to improving the lives of residents of the city and Louisiana as a whole. He has served on the boards of Louisiana’s Board of Regents for Higher Education, Greater New Orleans Foundation, Kingsley House, and Audubon Nature Institute, for example.

Lee earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane University and his law degree from Tulane Law School, where he was a member of the Tulane Law Review Board of Editors and Order of the Coif.