Minneapolis (5-26-09): -- The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) recognizes two individuals each year—a judge and a lawyer—for their commitment to the highest of professional standards in the legal community. These professionalism awards are granted in the belief that professionalism serves the best interests of clients, fosters respect and trust between lawyers and the public, promotes the efficient resolution of disputes, and improves the administration of justice. The 2009 Professionalism Awards, presented at the at the Annual Meeting of the HCBA, Thursday, May 21, recognized the Honorable Lloyd Zimmerman, judge of the 4th Judicial District (Hennepin County) Court, and Leonard Street and Deinard attorney Allen Saeks.
Judge Lloyd Zimmerman receives the 2009 Professionalism Award recognizing his devotion to the profession and to the rule of law as well as the independence of the judiciary.
“He is extraordinarily respectful of everyone who comes into contact with the judicial system, including the litigants, witnesses, court employees and lawyers,” said Hennepin County Bar Association President Mary Vasaly. “Those who come in contact with him come away knowing that he has been heard, and that the judge has done his utmost to be fair.”
A graduate of the University of Illinois-Chicago and New York University Law School, Zimmerman’s first job after law school was on the Mille Lacs Reservation, where he started a legal aid clinic and taught at an alternative school on the reservation. Zimmerman then worked as a trial attorney for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission until he was appointed to the bench by Governor Jesse Ventura in 2001.
Zimmerman has been actively involved in activities that serve the profession and the community. He has served on pro bono committees for both the Minnesota State Bar Association and the Hennepin County Bar Association. He also volunteers at the Simpson Homeless Shelter and the Read to Kids program.
Allen Saeks is the recipient of the 2009 Professionalism Award for a lawyer. The annual award is presented to a member of the Hennepin County Bar who “best exemplifies the pursuit of the practice of law as a profession, including the spirit of public service and promotion of the highest level of competence, integrity, and ethical conduct.”
Saeks attended the University of Minnesota Law for undergraduate studies and law school. As an attorney, he has been a successful commercial and business litigator. Recently, he served as chair for the Supreme Court Advisory Committee to Review the Lawyer Discipline System, a blue ribbon task force created by the Minnesota Supreme Court to perform a searching evaluation of the entire Minnesota attorney disciplinary system. His valuable contributions in improving professionalism are well known.
The Hennepin County Bar Association is the largest of Minnesota’s local bar associations, with a membership of 8,400 members, serving the profession and the public.