John Stevens Berry, Sr., Enshrined in NMMI Hall of Fame
Berry Law is excited to announce that founder John Stevens Berry, Sr., was inducted into the New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) Hall of Fame on October 19, 2018. His years of service and accomplishments in the legal field earned him a place in the category of Eminence in a Chosen Field of Endeavor. Berry was recognized alongside five other NMMI graduates in the 2018 Hall of Fame induction ceremony held at The Liberty Social Club in Roswell, NM.
Berry was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Eminence, a category reserved for alumni who are nationally renowned and have distinguished themselves with noteworthy accomplishments in their profession or field. Only those whose accomplishments go far beyond common business success can be considered under this category. Eminence honorees are commonly household names and must meet strong standards of success, ethical requirements, and be widely recognized. Past inductees include:
- Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton empire
- Roger Staubach, Heisman Winning Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP
- Sam Donaldson, ABC National News Anchor
- Paul Horgan, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author
- Frank White, former Governor of Arkansas
- Will Rogers (Honorary), actor, writer, and cowboy
John Stevens Berry, Sr., was nominated for the first time in 2018 and was a unanimous selection by the NMMI Hall of Fame committee for his distinguished law career, professional achievements, and community engagement. Berry founded Berry Law Firm in 1965 and has continued to help it grow into the successful business that it is today. He first gained national prominence for his role as defense counsel in Vietnam where he argued successfully on behalf of US Special Forces in the highly publicized “Green Beret Affair”. Returning to civilian life, he tried several high-profile cases in New York while working for the legendary Henry Rothblatt. Berry has fought for his clients in court in 24 states, in administrative proceedings in all 50 states, and in two foreign countries as well. Berry holds multiple honors for his achievements in the legal field, including the AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell for reaching the highest levels of legal and ethical standards, and was selected for inclusion in SuperLawyers. Berry is a member of the Melvin Belli Society, a fellow on the American Board of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a past president of the Nebraska Criminal Defense Attorney Association. His federal recognition includes the FBI Award for Service in the Public Interest.
Berry’s achievements extend beyond the courtroom, including a distinguished literary career in which he has been an author and co-author of three published works. His first work is a book of poems titled Darkness of Snow released in 1973. His second literary work, Those Gallant Men: On Trial in Vietnam, focuses on his time as a lawyer in the combat zones of Vietnam. Berry co-authored a third work with Linda Battisti, an Ohio lawyer, entitled The Twelfth Victim: The Innocence of Caril Fugate in the Starkweather Murder Rampage, which outlines the life and trial of Caril Ann Fugate, the youngest female in the history of the US to be tried for first-degree murder for her role in the Starkweather murders. He was also a radio host of The John Stevens Berry Show for more than a decade, first airing on KLIN and later KZUM.
Berry attended high school at New Mexico Military Institute, graduating in 1956. Following his graduation, he attended Stanford where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1960. He was commissioned in the Infantry and later earned his J.D. from Northwestern University.
Berry Law also pioneered the use of technology in the Hall of Fame awards ceremony. NMMI has long held a policy that recipients must receive their awards in person or posthumously. When John Stevens Berry, Sr., was unable to attend physically, he proposed giving remarks via video-conference while allowing his son, John S. Berry, Jr., to accept the award on his behalf. NMMI accepted the proposal and John Stevens Berry, Sr., was able to give his speech through a live feed to the audience.
Join us in congratulating John Stevens Berry, Sr., on his achievement! To view the other members of the NMMI Hall of Fame, visit the website here.