Gerald VandeWalle Wins Kutak Award
Gerald VandeWalle Wins ABA Kutak Award
and is Appointed to ABA Commission on Ethics
North Dakota Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald VandeWalle, the 2009 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Robert J. Kutak Award, was honored at a reception at the ABA Annual Meeting in Chicago on July 31.
Dean Rand, along with Assistant Professor Robin Runge, Professor Emeritus Marcia O’Kelly, and ABA Student Representative Adam Landstrom, attended the reception. Other attendees from North Dakota included North Dakota Supreme Court Justices Carol Ronning Kapsner and Dale V. Sandstrom, District Court Judge Joel Medd, SBAND President Jane Dynes, former North Dakota Supreme Court Justice and SBAND Executive Director Bill Neumann, former North Dakota Supreme Court Justice and federal appellate judge H.F. “Sparky” Gierke, Bismarck attorney and North Dakota ABA Delegate Jim Hill, and Bismarck attorney John Kapsner.
The Kutak Award is presented annually by the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar to a person who meets the highest standard of professional responsibility and demonstrates substantial achievement toward increased understanding between legal education and the active practice of law. It honors the late Robert J. Kutak, a distinguished member of the Section’s Council.
Chief Justice VandeWalle served as chair of the Section in 2001-2002 and as co-chair of the ABA Bar Admissions Committee from 1991-1999. Chief Justice VandeWalle, a 1958 graduate of the School of Law, is featured in the current issue of North Dakota Law for his distinguished record of public service. Few individuals in North Dakota’s history have had as profound an impact on the state as Chief Justice VandeWalle. As Judge Gierke has stated in tribute to the Chief, “Given the quantity and quality of [his] fifty years of service to our state, a very strong case could be made that there is no one who has given more service to our state.”
In addition, VandeWalle was recently appointed to serve on the newly formed ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20. The commission is a new project for the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, and will supplement the work of existing committees on client protection, ethics and professional responsibility, professional discipline and professionalism. The ethics commission will review lawyer ethics rules and regulation across the United States in the context of a global legal services marketplace.