Chief Justice Rhys S. Hodge of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands has named Kutak Rock litigation partner Dwyer Arce as an inaugural recipient of the Chief Justice Award for Distinguished Service during the Virgin Islands Judicial Conference conducted June 20, 2023, on St. Croix, Virgin Islands.
Dwyer was honored alongside three other attorneys for their contributions to litigation efforts related to the administration of justice in the Virgin Islands. Specifically, Dwyer was recognized for his role in presenting argument before the full United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit sitting en banc as counsel for the Virgin Islands Bar Association.
In this role, Dwyer successfully argued that the Third Circuit should recognize it no longer had jurisdiction to review decisions of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands following an act of Congress in 2012. As a result of this successful advocacy, all future appeals from the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands must go directly to the United States Supreme Court in the same manner as the highest court in any of the 50 states. Following this victory, Dwyer was also elected to serve as the President of the Virgin Islands Bar Association and as Chancellor of the Virgin Islands Bar Foundation. Dwyer also serves as State Chair for the Virgin Islands in the American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers.
Outside of his contributions to the organized bar, Dwyer focuses his practice on appellate proceedings in state and federal courts nationwide, in addition to commercial trial litigation primarily in state and federal courts in Nebraska, Iowa, and the Virgin Islands. His appellate and commercial litigation practices have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America©, including recognition as a “Lawyer of the Year” for appellate practice in the 2023 edition. Before entering private practice, Dwyer served for several years as the senior law clerk to Justice Maria M. Cabret of the Supreme Court of the Virgin Islands.