Distinguished Legal Service Award

The Distinguished Legal Service Award, formerly the Distinguished Judicial Service Award, is presented, annually, at Red Mass. The award is given to an individual who exemplifies the mission of Gonzaga University School of Law and is well connected to the Gonzaga Law community. The award honors those who show longevity of service, an active role in the judicial community and/or strong public service commitment.

Meet the 2019 Recipients: J. Donald ('60) and Va Lena ('58) Curran

 J Donald and Va Lena Scarpelli Curran

Don and Va Lena have always believed it is more blessed to give than to receive and they have given generously to Gonzaga University and the Spokane Community for over 50 years. 

The Currans met in a law school class in 1953 and were married at St. Aloysius Church in 1961. They have three sons, one of whom, Kevin, is a 1988 graduate of Gonzaga Law School. 

in 1960, Don co-founded the Spokane law firm now known as Delay, Curran, Thompson, Pontarolo & Walker and limits his practice to platiffs' personal injury and representing lawyers with disciplinary issues. A past president of the Spokane County Bar Association, he is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has received professionalism awards from the Washington State Young Lawyer Section (1992) and the Spokane County Bar Association (1995). In addition, for over 20 years he has been an invited speaker at seminars on ethics, professionalism, and discipline. 

Va Lena graduated from Gonzaga Law in 1958 and has served on the Law School's Board of Advisors for over 30 years, as well as on the Law School Foundation board for six years. She served on the Catholic Charities Board for 10 years and on the Catholic Charities Foundation Board for 6 years. She has also served as a Regent of Gonzaga University for 18 years. 

Former Recipients

1993     

The Hon. William J. Grant, ’54
The Hon. George Shields

1994   

Justice James Andersen
The Hon. Richard F. Wrenn, ’60

1995     

 The Hon. Harold D. Clarke, Jr., ’57
The Hon. Franklin D. Burgess, ’66

1996     

The Hon. John J. Ripple, ’50
The Hon. Marcus M. Kelley, ’57 (posthumously)

1997     

The Hon. J. Benjamin McInturff, ’52
The Hon. Philip J. Thompson, ’62

1998     

The Hon. James M. Dolliver
The Hon. John F. Wilson, ’56

1999     

The Hon. Anita G. Dupris, ’81
The Hon. Joseph A. Thibodeau, ’66

2000     

The Hon. Richard P. Guy, ’59

2001     

The Hon. Richard J. Richard, ’56
Ms. Kathleen M. Taft

2002     

The Hon. Robert J. Doran, ’57

2003     

The Hon. John Schultheis, ’61

2004     

The Hon. Richard J. Schroeder, ’63

2005     

The Hon. Paul A. Bastine, ’64

2006     

The Hon. Cynthia Imbrogno, ’79

2007     

The Hon. Neal Q. Rielly, ’75

2008     

The Hon. Richard B. White, ’80

2009     

The Hon. Kathleen M. O’Connor, ’75

2010     

The Hon. Patricia C. Williams, ’74

2011     

Justice Debra Stephens, ’93
Justice Mary Fairhurst, ’84
Chief Justice Barbara Madsen, ’77

2012     

The Hon. Gregory D. Sypolt, ’76

2013     

The Hon. Ellen K. Clark, ’82

2014     

Thomas W. Hillier, II, ’73

2015 

The Hon. James M. Murphy, ’73

2016 

The Hon. Justin L. Quackenbush, ’57 

2017

Howard Herman, ’62

2018

The Hon. Annette S. Plese, '91

2019

J. Donald Curran, '60

Va Lena Curran, '58

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