Hogan Lovells Partner Appointed Director of the Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
18 January 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C., 18 January 2011 – Hogan Lovells US LLP partner John "Jack" Keeney, Jr. has accepted a position at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia to serve as the Director of the Barbara McDowell Appellate Advocacy Project. A former President of the D.C. Bar, Keeney has been a partner at Hogan Lovells for more than 30 years. In conjunction with Keeney's resignation to accept this position, Hogan Lovells has agreed to provide significant pro bono administrative support to the project.
Described as a "powerhouse attorney" by The Wall Street Journal and selected as a "Top Lawyer" by the Washingtonian, Keeney has focused his trial practice on complex litigation involving securities, fiduciary duties, legal malpractice, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Voting Rights Act and other election statutes. Keeney will bring these decades of experience as a litigator to his tenure as the Appellate Advocacy Project as well as significant appellate experience. He has presented oral arguments before numerous panels of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and served for five years on its Advisory Committee on Procedures, submitted briefs in eight other federal Circuits, supervised briefings and arguments in the D.C. Court of Appeals, and was counsel of record in important Supreme Court matters and second-chair in numerous Supreme Court arguments. Keeney was co-chair of legacy Hogan & Hartson's Ethics Committee for over two decades and taught legal ethics at American University's Washington College of Law from 2000 to 2002. He is a past Co-Chair of the Adjudication Committee of the Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice Section of the American Bar Association. He recently finished a three-year term as Chair of the Standing Committee on Election Law of the American Bar Association and previously served in its House of Delegates.
"While we will greatly miss Jack's leadership and substantial contributions to our practice and operations, it is hard to imagine a better fit for this vital work at Legal Aid. We all look forward to deepening our important relationship with Legal Aid as Jack becomes a leading voice in our appellate courts for those living in poverty in our city," said Warren Gorrell, Co-CEO of Hogan Lovells.
Keeney's career has been distinguished by a deep commitment to public service. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Law School, Keeney joined Hogan & Hartson following a clerkship with The Honorable Alexander Harvey, II, of the U.S. District Court for Maryland. In his career, first as an associate, then as a partner leading the firm's Community Services Department (during his tenure, Hogan & Hartson received the 1991 American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Award as best law firm pro bono program in the country), Keeney has always been heavily involved in pro bono cases both of national import and on behalf of persons living in poverty in the District of Columbia. Among other accomplishments, Keeney chaired the Legal Needs Subcommittee of the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program that, among other things, recommended a Landlord-Tenant Task Force to address unmet legal needs in that division of the D.C. Superior Court, organized and participated in the first D.C. Bar Law Firm Pro Bono clinic night, and chaired the Pro Bono Committee of the D.C. Bar Task Force on Reproductive Cancers. He was the 2005 Honorary Chair of The Legal Aid Society's Generous Associates Campaign. He has been active with the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs for many years and this June received its highest honor, the Wiley Branton Award, for commitment to civil rights leadership and service.
"We are delighted that Jack will be bringing his considerable talent, experience, and expertise to bear on behalf of D.C.'s most vulnerable residents," said Legal Aid Executive Director, Eric Angel. "This project has already had a significant positive impact on communities living in poverty in the District. Jack is poised to expand this influence and bring the project to even greater heights."
Keeney succeeds Bonnie Robin-Vergeer who served as the Project’s director for a year and a half before leaving to join the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. Named after its founding director, Supreme Court litigator Barbara McDowell, who passed away in 2009, the Project is involved each year in important, often precedent-setting cases before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. The Project pursues an affirmative poverty law reform agenda, bringing appellate litigation that has the potential to influence the development of decisional law in a manner favorable to litigants living in poverty. Since its inception, the Project has litigated cases of importance involving housing, consumer, family, and administrative law, primarily before the D.C. Court of Appeals, but also before the Supreme Court of the United States. Keeney joins David Reiser, of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, who has been involved in the project since its inception.
Keeney will commence work at Legal Aid on 31 January 2011.
Founded in 1932, Legal Aid is a nonprofit law firm that, with the support of the private legal community, represents clients who have no other means of obtaining legal assistance in civil cases. Legal Aid has worked to help thousands of low-income Washington, D.C. residents keep their homes, stabilize their families, access health and government benefits, and feel safe in their communities.