Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s Gene Balloun was honored during the commencement ceremony at the University of Kansas on May 23 when he was awarded a Distinguished Alumnus Citation from the University of Kansas Law School as “one whose life has benefited the community and whose noteworthy contributions through the years have brought honor to the School of Law.”
Also receiving Distinguished Alumnus Citations were the Honorable Deanell Reece Tacha, Chief Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, and the Honorable Fred N. Six, Justice, Kansas Supreme Court.
Balloun’s citation read:
J. Eugene “Gene” Balloun received both his undergraduate degree and his law degree from the University of Kansas. An outstanding student, he served as Associate Editor of the Kansas Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif in 1954. He has remained devoted to his alma mater and is a James Woods Green Medallion honoree.
Gene Balloun has accumulated more than 40 years of experience in business, antitrust and tort litigation, as well as insurance defense. He is a partner with the law firm of Shook, Hardy & Bacon. He serves as Vice Chair of the General Litigation Division and has served on the firm’s Executive Committee.
Highly regarded by his peers, Gene Balloun was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is a past president of the Kansas Association of Defense Counsel and has been selected as one of the outstanding business litigators in Kansas in numerous editions of The Best Lawyers in America. He has served on the Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission. He has also been a mediator for the Federal District Court of Kansas and frequently mediates cases for private parties. He is a Master Emeritus of the Kansas Inn of Court.
Gene Balloun exemplifies outstanding service to the legal and larger community. He has received numerous awards, including: the Justinian Award presented by the Johnson County Bar Association, the Kansas bar Association’s Pro Bono Award, a Pro Bono Award from the American Bar Association, and the Whittaker Award from the Lawyers Association of Kansas City. His primary focus of community service has been foster children. He has donated countless hours to organizations that benefit children and their families. He and his wife, Sheila, have been involved with foster parenting for over 15 years and have taken in 29 children in need of care.
For his exceptional achievements, his dedication to excellence, and his commitment to service, the University of Kansas School of Law proudly bestows its distinguished alumnus award upon J. Eugene Balloun.