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HCBA Honors Two for Professionalism
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NEWS RELEASE: April 24, 2015

Minneapolis: -- The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) recognizes individuals 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.  Two stalwarts of the profession—Thomas Tinkham (Dorsey & Whitney) and Thomas Johnson (Gray Plant Mooty)—will be recognized by the association at its annual meeting, May 27 with the 2015 Professionalism Awards.

Thomas Tinkham
has had a long and distinguished career as a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, where he served as a leader of Dorey's Minneapolis office. Before becoming Of Counsel for Dorsey, he was a member of the Management Committee, and a past chair of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group.

Tinkham is a past president of both the HCBA and the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA), and during those terms led efforts to improve access to the judicial system by low-income people and to increase pro bono service in the profession. He is a recipient of the MSBA’s Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the legal community. Tinkham has taught at both the University of Minnesota School or Law and William Mitchell College of Law, and frequently lectures on litigation both within and outside of the Dorsey firm.

For more than 35 years, Tinkham has been an active volunteer with Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN), which supports the provision of pro bono legal services in the community. He has served in a variety of leadership roles with VLN, and has personally provided advice and representation to hundreds of disadvantaged individuals. In addition, he has served on the board, and as chair, for The Fund for the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis. Besides serving as an adjunct professor at William Mitchell College of Law, Tinkham has served on its board of directors.

Thomas Johnson
is a principal with the Gray Plant Mooty law firm, and has served as Hennepin County Attorney (1979-1991) and served on the Minneapolis City Council (1973-1977). He also served as president of the Minnesota Council on Crime and Justice, and has been an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School. In addition, he served on the board of directors for numerous state and national organizations and has been the recipient of many awards including the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Quality Award, the President’s Award from the National District Attorney’s Association, and the MSBA’s Professional Excellence Award.

Senator Amy Klobuchar writes of Johnson, “You can use a lot of phrases to describe Tom Johnson. Distinguished attorney. Dedicated public servant. Trusted mentor. Advocate for justice. Longsuffering Minnesota sports fan. Helpful neighbor. (I should know – I literally lived across the street from him for almost 20 years.) But if I had to choose just one phrase, it might be this: All-around nice guy. Tom’s the kind of guy you can count on.

“When we first worked together at Gray Plant Mooty, I was impressed by his professionalism. Beyond that, I was struck by his ability to really listen to what people were saying. This meant that even his legal opponents liked him. And when he ran for office – first for the Minneapolis City Council, and later as County Attorney – his political opponents liked him, too. Congratulations, Tom.”


The Hennepin County Bar Association is the largest of Minnesota’s local bar associations, with a membership of nearly 8,000 members, serving the profession and the public


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