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American Bar Association to honor U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer for supporting access to justice, opposing changes to tax laws

American Bar Association to honor U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer for supporting access to justice, opposing changes to tax laws

By John Glynn

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2014 — Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., will receive the American Bar Association’s Congressional Justice Award on April 9 for his continued support of access to justice, including funding for the Legal Services Corporation, and for his opposition to tax proposals that would burden law firms and personal service businesses.

“The ABA Justice Award recognizes Rep. Luetkemeyer’s leadership on issues of great importance to the ABA: the fight against legislation that would tax lawyers on revenue they may never receive and the push to adequately support the Legal Services Corporation, which benefits the 3rd District of Missouri through its work with low-income residents who need legal services,” ABA President James R. Silkenat said.

With 60 million Americans qualifying for assistance, the LSC is the nation’s single largest provider of civil legal aid to citizens who live on incomes below or near the poverty line. The LSC grantees provide direct services to approximately 1 million constituents, including veterans returning from combat, domestic violence victims, those coping with the after-effects of natural disasters, families involved in child custody disputes, people with disabilities and individuals facing foreclosure or other housing issues.

After the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s protection on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts expired, Luetkemeyer led efforts in Congress to continue full coverage for IOLTAs. The interest generated from these accounts provides funding for civil legal services for people near or below the poverty line. IOLTA is one of the largest funding sources for free legal services in the country, supporting legal aid offices and pro bono programs in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

Luetkemeyer also worked to prevent tax reform measures that would burden law firms and other personal service businesses by requiring them to pay tax on income they have not yet received and may never receive.

Luetkemeyer will receive one of the four ABA Congressional Justice Awards that will be given as part of the association’s annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2014 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to D.C. to discuss issues such as funding for the Legal Services Corporation. 

Other recipients of 2014 ABA Congressional Justice Awards include Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

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. View our privacy statement on line. Follow the latest ABA news at www.ambar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

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