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Jefferson County Judge Larry Gist receives highest honor

Updated: Monday, August 18 2014, 11:45 PM CDT
BEAUMONT - by Jennifer Gordy

A longtime Jefferson County judge has been bestowed the highest honor in the state.Today, a surprise for Judge Larry Gist. He found out  he is the newest recipient of the Texas Lifetime Achievement Award.

Judge Gist is the only non-supreme court judge to ever receive the honor. Judge Larry Gist found himself in familiar surroundings, but he's not usually on the other side of the bench.

Award committee chair, District Judge Kelly Moore, delivered the news to Gist over a speaker phone, "You fit the bill and you have been selected to achieve the lifetime achievement. You will be the fifth person in the history of the state to receive award."

Judge Gist the only trial court judge ever to receive the award.

Judge Lupe Flores was a prosecutor in Gist's court back in the 80's.  Flores says, "He's a model for the rest of us and his tremendous intellect.

Whenever you have a legal question most of us call Judge Gist and it's been a tremendous asset to all of us who are judges and people here in Jefferson County."

Criminal District Court Judge John Stevens had the privilege of nominating Gist for the honor.

Judge Stevens says,  "He is very inspirational, hard working, but is dedicated to the ideals of the judicial ideal, which is to help people and see that justice is done. We aren't here to punish. We are here to see that justice is done and he certainly is an exemplary person who always displays that."

During his half century legal career, Gist presided over the Jefferson County Criminal District Court for twenty years. He's served the last twenty in the Drug Impact Court.

Judge Gist says, "And to get it before I'm at Broussard's (laughter) is a real nice thing. I mean it really is. Most people get it posthumously. They say, 'if he was only around to see this'."

Judge Stevens appreciates Gist's sense of humor and and perspective.

"Any of us who can by our job as a judge display the attributes of Solomon which is exercising your job with a discerning heart and mind to seek justice that is the goal and Larry Gist is constantly working at achieving that and he does often," said Judge Stevens.

Jefferson County Judge Larry Gist receives highest honor

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