American Bar Association section honors two attorneys

The American Bar Association Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section will be honoring two attorneys this week.

Dallas lawyer Jennifer Kilpatrick will receive the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Kirsten Christophe Memorial Award for Excellence in Trial and Insurance Law during the TIPS Fall Meeting, October 13-16, in Dallas.
The award is named in honor of Kirsten Christophe, a former TIPS Council member who perished Sept. 11, 2001, in the World Trade Center attack. This award is given to TIPS members with the exemplary attributes of balancing career, profession and family in life and practice.

“Jennifer Kilpatrick is an outstanding attorney,” said John McMeekin, chair of the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section. “Her professional expertise in the field of toxic torts, mass torts and product liability litigation is second to none, but more than that, Jennifer is a thoughtful and considerate person and I’ve been in awe of her ability to juggle a successful career, raise a wonderful family and give back to her community.”

Following a 22-year career as a partner with Swanson, Martin, and Bell, and later as Of Counsel at Riley, Safer, Holmes, Kilpatrick felt called to join the ministry. She graduated with a Master of Divinity from Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in May 2021 and now serves as senior pastor of Northgate United Methodist Church in Irving, Texas. 

Kilpatrick has served TIPS in multiple leadership roles including chair of the Women Trial Lawyer’s Committee, chair of the CLE Board, chair of the Toxic Tort & Environmental Law Committee and as a member of TIPS Council.
She received her law degree from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana, and her bachelor’s degree in history from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee.

Also this week, Nashville lawyer Gail Vaughn Ashworth will receive the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section’s Edmund S. Muskie Pro Bono Service Award during a welcome reception October 14 at TIPS Fall Meeting in Dallas. The award recognizes TIPS members who have demonstrated commitment to justice for all citizens and dedication to pro bono service.

“Gail Vaughn Ashworth is a wonderful attorney who has dedicated much of her career to improving access to justice in her home state of Tennessee,” said McMeekin. “From involvement in the Tennessee Justice Center to the Access to Justice Commission to the Tennessee Bar Association and beyond, Gail proudly advocates for the community she loves.”

Ashworth is a founding member of Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC.  She has experience at the civil and administrative trial and appellate levels as both defense and plaintiff’s counsel. Her diverse trial practice spans nearly 30 years and ranges from personal injury to insurance coverage, employment law and medical ethics.

Ashworth is a member of TIPS’ Council, past chair of the TIPS Medicine and Law Committee, a member of the TortSource Editorial Board and mentor for Leadership Academy and Trial Academy students.

She received her law degree from Vanderbilt University and her bachelor and master’s degrees in music education and special education, respectively, from Tennessee Technological University.

The ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has more than 20,000 members and more than 30 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice.

For additional information about the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section visit the TIPS website,