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WASHINGTON, D.C., April 12, 2013—Kevin L. Shepherd, a partner at Venable LLP, will receive the American Bar Association Grassroots Advocacy Award April 16 for his outstanding efforts to prevent money laundering while protecting the confidential lawyer-client relationship as chair of the ABA Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession.
The ABA created the task force in 2002 to examine global initiatives to combat international money laundering and determine the role of lawyers in that effort. The task force developed the ABA “Voluntary Good Practices Guidance for Lawyers to Detect and Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing” which provides legal professionals with a way to identify and respond to suspected illicit client activity while still complying with their existing court-imposed ethical duties and legal obligations.
For years, Shepherd has educated lawyers about money laundering by promoting the guidance to state bars, courts, law schools and law firms throughout the country. Shepherd also works closely with members of Congress, the Treasury Department, and the international governmental body known as the “Financial Action Task Force” to avoid anti-money laundering measures that would unwittingly encroach upon the attorney-client privilege, the confidential lawyer-client relationship, and traditional state court regulation and oversight of the legal profession.
“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,” said ABA President Laurel G. Bellows.
“It’s a true honor to be recognized by the American Bar Association 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 will receive the ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award 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.
The other recipient of the 2013 ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award is William Weisenberg of the Ohio State Bar Association.
Please click here for a photo of Kevin L. Shepherd.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.