ABA Immediate Past President, Snell & Wilmer Partner, and Arizona Patron Fellow Patricia Lee Refo has been awarded with a Medal of Honor from the World Jurist Association. The WJA provides recognition to “outstanding worldwide personalities of the legal and human rights defense field” who advance their goal of fortifying the Rule of Law through international cooperation and conversation. Refo, who navigated the American Bar Association through the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, received the award at the World Law Congress in Barranquilla, Colombia, in the presence of Spain’s King Felipe VI and the Republic of Colombia President Iván Duque Márquez.
Refo has held multiple national leadership roles in the legal profession throughout the years. Before her 2020-2021 term as the ABA President, she chaired both the ABA House of Delegates and the ABA Section of Litigation, and was the Director of the American Bar Endowment. She has been involved with committees and groups such as the Arizona Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, the United States Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Evidence, the National Association of Women Lawyers, and the American Law Institute. Her non-legal service includes the Smithsonian American Art Museum Council, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, and directorship with the Arizona Foundation for Women.
Refo practices complex commercial litigation at Snell & Wilmer’s Phoenix office, where she also chairs the firm’s Professional Liability Litigation Group. Her other accolades include the State Bar of Arizona President’s Award and the ABA Jury System Impact Award. She received her undergraduate and juris doctor degrees at Michigan State University.
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