DBA Loses Past President Robert A. Gwinn
The Dallas Bar Association lost its 75th president on January 17, 2013. Robert A. Gwinn was born on January 1, 1928, in Dallas and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. He then attended SMU as an undergraduate and continued on to study law. He was in his second year of law school when he left to serve in the Korean War as a Navy pilot. After the war, he returned to SMU and in 1954 completed his law degree. After many years with Seay, Gwinn, Crawford, Mebus and Blakeney, he founded the firm of Gwinn & Roby.
Board Certified in numerous areas of law, including Civil Trial Law and Labor Law, Mr. Gwinn’s extensive legal career focused on insurance defense, particularly in the fields of medicine and aviation.
During his year as the Dallas Bar Association’s President, the association had a membership of 4,800. Under his leadership, 1984 was a year of giving back to the community and the legal profession. Mr. Gwinn’s focus was on the still-new pro bono initiatives of the Dallas Bar Association and the development of “modern court facilities” in the criminal justice courthouse, which he believed were needed to adequately serve the needs of the Dallas community. He also served as chair of the original steering committee of the first Conference of the Professions. Board members in 1984 included Douglas Lang, Harriet Miers and Vincent Perini.
Mr. Gwinn was recognized by the Dallas Bar Association as the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year in 1984 and as Trial Lawyer of the Year in 2008. He was recognized as a Distinguished Alumnus of the SMU Dedman School of Law in 2009.
In addition to his DBA service, Mr. Gwinn served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates for numerous years. He was also active in the community, serving on the vestries of the Church of the Resurrection and Christ Church in Plano. A long-time supporter of SMU, he created and taught a class at the SMU Dedman School of Law on the subject of Aviation Law.
Mr. Gwinn is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Marianne, three sons Robert Gwinn, Jr. and wife Terri; Daniel Lee Gwinn and Stephen Gwinn and wife Tina; and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Museum of Biblical Art in Dallas.