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Judge Higginbotham selected for national honor

Madison, Wisconsin - January 5, 2007

Judge Higgenbotham Wisconsin Court of Appeals Judge Paul B. Higginbotham has been selected to receive the 2007 Excellence in Leadership award from the Dominion Strong Men and Women: Excellence in Leadership Program, which recognizes African Americans for outstanding achievement. Past honorees include Hank Aaron, Maya Angelou, Coretta Scott King, Thurgood Marshall, Rosa Parks, Oprah Winfrey, and other individuals who have distinguished themselves as extraordinary.

Higginbotham will accept the award at a ceremony on Thursday, January 18 in Richmond, Virginia.

“I am humbled by this honor,” he said. “I’m just doing a job that needs to be done, and trying to do it thoughtfully, with diligence, and with compassion. I know that my work has an impact on the society we live in, and I am grateful to have had an opportunity to make a difference.”

Higginbotham was appointed to the Court of Appeals in 2003, becoming the first African-American to serve on a Wisconsin appellate court (he remains the only judge of color on the Court of Appeals). He brought to the appeals court a wealth of experience in the law, including nine years on the Dane County Circuit Court as well as service as a municipal court judge and time spent practicing law with the Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Fair Housing Council.

A Philadelphia native who was raised in Ohio and Tennessee, Higginbotham came to Madison for college and then law school. He said his concern for protecting individual liberties grew from personal experiences with racism and bigotry, and from watching his father – a civil rights leader – march with Martin Luther King Jr. in Montgomery, Ala.

In addition to his work as a judge, Higginbotham is being recognized for his commitment to and involvement with the community. He serves on the advisory board of the African-American Ethnic Academy and 100 Black Men of Madison.

Among the eight other 2007 honorees are Billy K. Cannaday Jr., the first African-American state superintendent of public instruction in Virginia; Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League; and actor/producer Blair Underwood.

For more information about “Strong Men & Women” visit Dominion’s Internet Web site at www.dom.com, enter the keyword “strong.”

For more information contact:
Amanda Todd
Court Information Officer
(608) 264-6256

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