2020 Honors Banquet

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The College of Law will host the 2020 Honors Banquet on April 3rd, at the UW Conference Center at the Hilton Garden Inn. The evening will commence at 6:00 PM with a reception and cocktail hour, followed by the main program and dinner 7:00 PM. The Banquet allows the College of Law to recognize alumni and students for their exceptional achievements. Some highlights include the acknowledgment of the Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award recipients, as well as the inductees of the Order of the Coif, Honorary Order of the Coif, the announcement of the Salt Creek Energy Excellence Scholarship recipient, and the prestigious Clarence A. Brimmer Scholarship recipient.

Each year, the Dean’s Advisory Board, which also functions as the Law Alumni Board, is tasked with selecting the recipients for our Distinguished Alumni Awards. This year, the Board has selected the Honorable Gregory A. Phillips, and Georgina Guy who will be honored posthumously.

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A native of Evanston, Wyo., Phillips earned his bachelors degree from the University of Wyoming in 1983. He then continued on to earn his law degree from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1987, graduating with honors. He was selected for induction into the Order of the Coif.  For the next two years following his legal education, Phillips served as a law clerk to the Honorable Alan B. Johnson of the United States District Court Judge for the District of Wyoming. In 1989, he began working in private practice with his father and brother in his hometown. From 1993–1999, he simultaneously served as a Wyoming State Senator for Uinta County.

In 1999, Phillips relocated to Cheyenne where he continued to work in private practice before serving as an Assistant United States Attorney in 2003. In late 2010, Governor-elect Matthew H. Mead nominated Phillips to serve as Wyoming Attorney General. The state senate unanimously approved the nomination. In 2013, President Barack Obama nominated Phillips to serve as Wyoming’s sole judge on the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals when Judge Terrence L. O’Brien took senior status in that position. Once again, Phillips received a unanimous confirmation to his new role, this time by The United States Senate.


Georgina “Gina” Guy was born and raised in Cheyenne. Her father, George Guy, was the first graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law to serve as the State’s Attorney General and had a 30-year career in the military. Gina followed closely in the footsteps of her esteemed father. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wyoming in 1964, followed by a master’s degree from the University of Colorado in 1971. She briefly joined the Army in the Women’s Army Corp before electing to attend law school at Wyoming.  She earned her J.D. in 1975 – one of three female graduates in her class.

Guy began her legal career working in private practice with her father. In 1982 she took a position with the United States Department of the Interior where she excelled in the area of environment and natural resource law, playing a key role in developing the 1982 amendment to the Endangered Species Act (ESA).  In 2002, Guy took a position with the Air Force in the Pentagon as Deputy Counsel for Installations and Environment. She served there for three years with the rank of a three-star General, where she assisted the Air Force with ESA and Migratory Bird Treaty Act issues, and NEPA litigation. Gina returned to Denver in 2004 where she continued to practice law before her retirement. Following her retirement, she traveled the world, engaged in philanthropic endeavors, and enjoyed life until her passing in 2018.

Also selected by the Dean’s Advisory Board annually, the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award is awarded to non-alumnus that have gone above and beyond the norm to promote and develop the UW College of Law. This year, the Board elected to honor two recipients.

The first recipient is Stephen D. Easton, the Williams T. Schwartz Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming College of Law.


Following a number of years on the law faculty at the University of Missouri, Professor Easton joined the College of Law in 2009 and served as Dean until 2013. He resumed teaching full time on the faculty, teaching courses in evidence, professional responsibility and trial practice for the law school.

He is the founder of the Summer Trial Institute, first installing the program in 2011 and later expanding it to Anchorage, Alaska in 2016. Under his guidance, he has enhanced the trial advocacy program, further advancing the experiential learning mission of the College of Law. Additionally, he created the Spence Law Firm Historic Trials, which provides students and attorneys a creative way to simulate a fictional mock trial that is created from the facts of a chronicled historic event.

An accomplished scholar, Easton’s research, writing, and speaking focus on expert witnesses, effective trial advocacy, and professional responsibility. He has published several books and articles, and is a popular continuing legal education speaker who has been invited to speak to groups of practicing trial attorneys in dozens of states.

Easton earned his associates degree at Northland Community and Technical College in 1978, received his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Dickinson State University, and earned his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1983. While in law school, Easton was associate managing editor of the Stanford Law Review and president of the Stanford Law Forum.

Before starting his teaching career, he was a law clerk to The Honorable Joseph T. Sneed of the United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Cali.; an associate and partner with the Pearce & Durick in Bismarck, N.D.; and the United States Attorney for the District of North Dakota in Fargo and Bismarck, N.D. He is currently on a brief leave of absence from the College of Law, serving as the Interim President for his Alma Mater, Dickinson State University.

As an additional recipient of the Thurman Arnold Distinguished Supporter of the Law School Award, the law school is please to honor the legacy of famed water law expert and Dean Emeritus, the late Frank J. Trelease.


Frank Trelease grew up in Colorado where he enjoyed most of his education. He earned his Bachelors Degree from the University of Colorado in 1937, followed by his LL.B. in 1938. He later earned a J.S.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1962.

Prior to embarking on his thirty-five year career at the University of Wyoming, Trelease worked in private practice in Denver, Colo., and taught law at the University of Colorado for four years. He joined the faculty of the UW College of Law in 1942. From 1960 to 1971 he served as dean of the college. Under his leadership, clinical programs were added to the curriculum and the Land and Water Law Review was founded.

Trelease was long active in the field of water law and gained international recognition as a leading authority in that area. He was the principle draftsman of the underground water statutes of Wyoming and was retained to draft the first water law code for the state of Alaska enacted in 1966. Under the auspices of the United Nations, he was employed as a consultant on water law matters for the governments of Jamaica, the Philippines, and Swaziland. In further recognition of his stature in the field of water law, he was appointed to the National Water Commission in 1969 as a consultant.

Included in his many honors throughout the years, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Colorado School of Law, and was a member of the Order of the Coif.

Upon his retirement from the University of Wyoming College of Law, Trelease was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree, honoris cause, and the title Dean Emeritus in 1977. He passed away in 1986.

In addition to the Distinguished Alumni and Thurman Arnold Awards, the Honors Banquet recognizes an induction of an honorary member into the Order of the Coif. The Order of the Coif is a national honorary society that recognizes excellence in legal education. Membership is limited to students who graduated in the top 10% of their class, and to honorary members selected by schools with a Coif chapter. The University of Wyoming became a Coif chapter in 1985, however, the faculty selects one honorary member each year to induct into the society that graduated prior to the Wyoming chapter.

This year’s honorary inductee is the Honorable Michael R. Murphy. Judge Murphy is a Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals of the Tenth Circuit.

Born in Denver, Colo. and raised in Rawlins, Wyo., Murphy received his B A. from Creighton University in 1969 and his J.D., with honors, from the University of Wyoming in 1972 where he was editor-in-chief of the law review.

Following law school, he served as a law clerk to the late David T. Lewis, then Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit. Judge Murphy began private practice in 1973 as an associate in the Salt Lake City law firm of Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough. He remained with that law firm until his appointment in 1986 to the Third District Court, a trial court of general jurisdiction over Salt Lake, Summit, and Tooele Counties in Utah. He served as the presiding judge of the Third District Court in Utah from 1990 until his appointment to the Tenth Circuit in 1995 by President Bill Clinton. He took senior status in 2012.

The College of Law is excited to recognize the achievements of these deserving honorees. The Honors Banquet is an open event and we invite anyone wishing to help celebrate the accomplishments of their friends, family, and colleagues to attend. We ask that guests please RSVP to the event by filling out this online RSVP.

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Contact Us

College of Law

1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3035

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: 307-766-6416

Fax: 307-766-6417

Email: lawadmis@uwyo.edu

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