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Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr., a professor at Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, has been selected to receive the 2008 Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award conferred by the American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility.

“Geoffrey Hazard has rightly been described as the most distinguished ethicist in the country, in recognition of his many and substantial contributions to the development of standards for lawyer and judicial conduct and to fostering awareness and understanding of those standards throughout the American legal profession and the world.  His judgment and scholarship were instrumental in refining the ABA’s model ethics standards for lawyers into a consistent and dynamic compilation, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct.  His leadership has influenced generations of law students, practicing lawyers and judges, and his clarity of thought has brought consensus in the profession to resolving difficult questions of propriety and professionalism,” said Donald B. Hilliker of Chicago, chair of the center’s Coordinating Council. 

Justice Samuel Alito of the Supreme Court of the United States supported Hazard’s nomination for the award, saying “I cannot think of anyone who, during my professional career, has done more to advance the highest professional standards in this country.”

The award, created in 1994, is named for a former executive director of the State Bar of Michigan and long-time champion of improvements in lawyer regulation in the public interest.  It will be presented to Hazard May 29 during the 34th National Conference on Professional Responsibility in Boston.

Hazard has been on the Hastings faculty since 2005, and also has been a professor of law for the University of Pennsylvania since 1994.  He formerly taught law at Yale University; the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Michigan; the University of Chicago; Stanford University; Harvard University; the University of Arizona; and the Universite d’Aix-Marseille, and he is a former acting and deputy dean of the Yale School of Organization and Management.  He has served on boards and committees for a range of organizations from the Friends of the Library for the Supreme Court of Israel to the Legal Advisory Committee of the New York Stock Exchange.  He is a past director of the American Law Institute and executive director of the American Bar Foundation, and has served on numerous committees and projects of those organizations and of the American Bar Association, as well as other legal professional groups.  He has written leading texts on legal ethics, and many articles for professional publications, and has practiced law in Oregon, California, Connecticut and Pennsylvania

The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility is marking its 30th anniversary as a national leader in developing and interpreting standards and scholarly resources in legal and judicial ethics, professional regulation, professionalism and client protection mechanisms.

With more than 413,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization 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.




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