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April 17, 2013

ABA Recognizes Two Lawyers with Grassroots Advocacy Award

Kevin L. Shepherd

Kevin L. Shepherd

The _ presented its Grassroots Advocacy Award yesterday to Kevin L. Shepherd, a partner at Venable LLP, and William K. Weisenberg, assistant executive director for public affairs for the Ohio State Bar Association, for their leadership on significant legal issues.

Shepherd was recognized for his efforts to prevent money laundering while also protecting the confidential lawyer-client relationship in his work as chairman of the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession.

“It’s a true honor to be recognized by the _ for the efforts of the task force,” Shepherd said. “From the start, our goal has been to preserve and protect the integrity of the attorney-client relationship while developing practical guidance to detect and combat money laundering and terrorist financing.  We’ll continue to work closely with the U.S. government, international bodies, state, local, and specialty bar associations, and other stakeholders to address the appropriate role of U.S. lawyers in this area.”

Shepherd has educated lawyers about money laundering for years and works closely with Congress, the Treasury Department and the Financial Action Task Force to avoid anti-money laundering measures that would encroach on attorney-client privilege and traditional state court regulation of the legal profession.

Related video: ABA Day 2013: Grassroots Advocacy Award Honors Two Lawyers

“Kevin’s work epitomizes the invaluable role lawyers can play in our nation’s fight against terrorism and money laundering, while at the same time safeguarding the lawyer-client relationship from unnecessary governmental intrusion,” ABA President Laurel G. Bellows said.

William K. Weisenberg

William K. Weisenberg

Weisenberg was honored for his advocacy on behalf of the justice system and the legal profession in Ohio and the nation’s capital.

”It is an honor to have served with lawyers, judges, legislators and members of the public in supporting access to justice and promoting a better understanding of our justice system,” Weisenberg said. “When we unite in order to provide justice for all, we are strong and we are mighty. To be part of such a coalition has truly been a privilege.”

Weisenberg, who serves in the ABA House of Delegates, has promoted the role of lawyers in finding solutions to local and national public policy questions and has advocated on issues ranging from the rule of law to the independence of the judiciary.

“For more than three decades, Bill has brought national attention to issues Ohio cares about, including access to court and legal services,” Bellows said. “His efforts continue to benefit the legal profession and the justice system across the country.”

Shepherd and Weisenberg received the ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award at a Capitol Hill reception yesterday as part of the association’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2013 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to Washington, D.C., to discuss key issues such as funding for the Legal Services Corporation and federal judicial vacancies.