Federico Moreno, JD '78, Chief Judge of U.S. District Court for Southern Florida, at Lowe Art Museum in March 2012. (Photo: Jenny Abreu/Miami Law)
Miami Law alumnus Federico Moreno, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, has been awarded the St. Thomas More Award by the Notre Dame Law Association. The award honors graduates of the University of Notre Dame "who have distinguished themselves as jurists or public servants, while exhibiting uncompromising integrity and loyalty to conscience."
Judge Moreno received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame in 1974. After receiving a Juris Doctor degree from Miami Law in 1978, he went into private practice, and served indigent clients while employed by the Federal Public Defender's Office in Miami. In 1986, Judge Moreno was appointed to the Dade County Court bench and a year later then to the Circuit Court. In 1990, President George H. W. Bush appointed Judge Moreno to the U.S. District Court in south Florida, one of the largest federal courts in the country.
While attending Miami Law, Judge Moreno met his future wife, Maria Cristina Moreno, and they graduated in the same year. He had been president of the Student Bar Association, while she was a member of the University of Miami Law Review. Judge Moreno was also a member of The Inter-American Law Review, Moot Court, the Society of Bar & Gavel and the Hispanic Law Student Association.
Judge Moreno has served on the boards of Legal Services of Greater Miami, the Cuban American Bar Association's Pro Bono Program, and the United Way. He received the Pro Bono Service Award of the Cuban American Bar Association and the United Way's "People Helping People" Award, and was a member of the Notre Dame Club of Miami. At UM, he serves on Miami Law's Visiting Committee and was Director of the Law Alumni Association, which in 2006 gave him its Alumni Achievement Award.
Established by the Notre Dame Law Association in 2000, the St. Thomas More Award has been presented twice before, in 2004 to Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., the President Emeritus of the University of Notre Dame; and in 2009 to Patricia A. O'Hara, the former Dean of the Notre Dame School of Law.