Richard G. Stewart Jr., Esquire

2022 James E. Coleman Jr. Professionalism Award for the Fifth Circuit

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA–Richard G. Stewart Jr. has been selected to receive the prestigious 2022 James E. Coleman Jr. Professionalism Award for the Fifth Circuit. Stewart will receive the award from Kim J. Askew, Esquire, of DLA Piper LLP and American Inns of Court Executive Director BG Malinda E. Dunn, USA (Ret.) at the Judicial Conference for the Fifth Circuit in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 5.

Stewart retired in 2013 after a long career as a lawyer. After earning bachelor and law degrees from Dillard and Loyola universities, both in New Orleans, LA, Stewart joined the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAGC). He subsequently earned an LL.M through the Navy Post Graduate Program and in 1989, became the first Black officer in naval history to “command” a Naval Legal Service Office. By 1991, he had been promoted to the rank of captain. The NAACP gave him its Roy Wilkins Service Award in honor of his work promoting civil rights and equal opportunity. In 2022, the U.S. Congress recognized Stewart’s service in Vietnam and throughout his life with a Congressional Veteran Commendation. Upon retiring from the Navy in 1994, Stewart the legal department of a company that later became Verizon. He was assistant general counsel when he retired in 2013.  

Stewart served as president of the Patrick E. Higginbotham American Inn of Court in Dallas from 2009 to 2011. The Inn’s subsequent presidents jointly nominated Stewart for the award, noting that “Richard’s leadership set the course for all of us to follow.”

Since Stewart’s retirement, he has remained active in both the legal and wider communities. He continued working with the J.L. Turner Legal Association, the Black bar association in Dallas, for example. The association honored Stewart with its first Judge Sam Lindsday Professionalism and Ethics Award in 2015 and established the Captain Richard Stewart, JAG Corps U.S. Navy (Ret.) Legal Education Scholarship in his honor in 2019. In 2020, the Dallas Bar Association presented Stewart with its prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Justice Award in recognition of his community service.

Stewart is also active in civic organizations. In 2021, the city of Irving, Texas, gave him the Irving High Spirited Citizen Award in recognition of his work with its planning and zoning commission and arts board. Stewart chaired the Dallas County Historical Commission from 2019 to 2021.