Full Name: John Irwin
Year of Induction: 2016

John Irwin was appointed in 1991 as one of the original six members of the Nebraska Court of Appeals. He became Chief Judge in 1998 and was elected president of the Council of Chief Judges of the State Courts of Appeal in 2004, after chairing its Education Committee and serving on the Executive Committee. Following his presentation to membership regarding the need to seek affiliation with the National Center for State Courts, he led the group that had an exploratory meeting with the NCSC’s president, then chaired the delegation that obtained the Conference of Chief Justices’ approval for the Council to become affiliated with the NCSC. He played a major role in the negotiation of the memorandum of understanding and service agreement with the NCSC and formulation of the Council’s dues structure. He also was on the team of Council members who made telephone calls and sent fact sheets to the chief judges of states with intermediate appellate courts, resulting in the Council’s successful transition to the NCSC. Until his retirement in 2016, he remained active in the Council and led its strategic planning.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Creighton University School of Law, he was in private practice then was a county prosecutor for 15 years before his appointment to the Court of Appeals, He served as chair of the Nebraska Supreme Court Judicial Ethics Committee and has been an author and presenter at numerous law-related programs.