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November 20, 2019

Washington trial lawyer and legal strategist to receive ABA Robert F. Drinan Award

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2019 — The American Bar Association Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice will honor Washington, D.C., trial lawyer and legal strategist Robert N. Weiner with its Father Robert F. Drinan Award during a reception at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, 2020, during the ABA Midyear Meeting at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas.  

The Father Robert F. Drinan Award for Distinguished Service honors those who have strengthened the section’s mission to provide leadership to the legal profession.

Weiner, partner and former head of the litigation practice group at Arnold & Porter in Washington, D.C., is known for designing creative legal approaches to dispose of cases expeditiously. He has a long history representing business and sovereign clients in litigation, and is also an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington.

“Rob Weiner always says yes. Yes, to work on projects for the Section of Civil Right and Social Justice,” said Wendy Mariner, chair of the section. “Yes, to a leadership role. Yes, to toil unheralded in the trenches. Yes, to advocate for civil rights and social justice throughout the ABA. Yes, to carry out CRSJ’s mission in his multiple pro bono activities. He manages his prodigious professional and volunteer schedule with remarkable efficiency, energy, modesty and a wry sense of humor.”

Weiner has litigated First Amendment and other constitutional challenges to state and federal laws, served as national coordinating and trial counsel in product liability and toxic tort cases and defended private clients and government officials in media-intensive congressional investigations and regulatory inquiries. He also advised the September 11th Commission regarding executive privilege and represented the State of Israel in litigation involving national security policies.

Weiner served as associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, where he oversaw the defense of the Affordable Care Act; as senior counsel in the White House Counsel’s Office; and as an associate independent counsel.

Weiner graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University and received his J.D. from Yale Law School. At the start of his career, he served as a law clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly and for Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Weiner chaired the ABA Civil Rights and Social Justice Section from 2017-18 and served on the ABA Board of Governors from 2008-11.  He has been the State Delegate from Washington, D.C., to the ABA House of Delegates since 2015. Currently, Weiner chairs the National Health Law Project and the ABA Presidential Working Group on Building Public Trust in the American Justice System, which published the ABA Ten Guidelines on Fines and Fees in August 2018. He also was president of the District of Columbia Bar, chaired the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and served on the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary as well as its Commission on Women in the Profession. He has received numerous awards for public service from organizations such as the National Association of Pro Bono Professionals, NLADA and the Legal Aid Society. 

Mariner added, “Rob represents the best of our profession: keen intelligence, mastery of the law and its nuances and insight into its consequences on the lives of the most vulnerable. He has been CRSJ’s angel, mentoring our members, quietly offering guidance and support and stepping back to allow them to shine. I can think of no one more deserving of the Father Drinan Award.”

Click here for a photo of Weiner.

There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Betsy Adeboyejo at 202-662-1039 or [email protected].

The ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice provides leadership within the legal profession in protecting and advancing human rights, civil liberties and social justice. Representing nearly 10,000 members with a wide range of professional interests, the section keeps its members abreast of complex civil rights and civil liberties issues and ensures that the protection of individual rights remain a focus of legal and policy discussion.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers 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 and on Twitter @ABANews.