News Release ~ 08/11/2011

Ohio Attorney William R. Gallagher Receives Criminal Defense Bar’s Top Honor

Washington, DC (Aug. 11, 2011) – Cincinnati, Ohio, attorney William R. Gallagher was awarded the 31st annual Robert C. Heeney Memorial Award, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ most prestigious honor, on Aug. 6 at its 53rd Annual Meeting in Denver, Colo. The award is given annually to the one criminal defense lawyer who best exemplifies the goals and values of the Association and the legal profession.

Formerly a public defender with the Cook County Public Defender’s office, William Gallagher is currently a partner at the criminal defense firm Arenstein & Gallagher. He previously served as the president of the Greater Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and on the Board of Directors of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, as well as on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He currently heads CLE programming for NACDL, which includes more than ten national seminars each year. 

NACDL Immediate Past President Jim E. Lavine presented Gallagher with the Heeney Award. “Under Bill’s leadership as Chair of NACDL’s CLE Institute, the quality and quantity of NACDL’s educational programs increased tremendously,” Lavine said. 

An active proponent of sentencing reform, Gallagher serves on the Hamilton County Policy and Structure Committee, which addresses issues involved in the criminal justice system of Hamilton County, and on the Board of Directors of Ohioans to Stop Executions. A founding member of the Ohio Innocence Project, he is also the federal Criminal Justice Act Panel Representative for the Southern District of Ohio and a commissioner on the Hamilton County Public Defender Commission. In 2002, he was appointed by the Governor to the Ohio Sentencing Commission, where he served for seven years. Gallagher teaches as an adjunct professor at University of Cincinnati Law School, and has done so for the past ten years. He has also taught at DePaul Law School as an adjunct professor.

Gallagher graduated with honors from Chicago-Kent College of Law in 1987 and a degree in Business Administration from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1984. He graduated from Brother Rice High School in 1980.

The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is the preeminent organization advancing the mission of the criminal defense bar to ensure justice and due process for persons accused of crime or wrongdoing. A professional bar association founded in 1958, NACDL's approximately 10,000 direct members in 28 countries – and 90 state, provincial and local affiliate organizations totaling up to 40,000 attorneys – include private criminal defense lawyers, public defenders, military defense counsel, law professors and judges committed to preserving fairness and promoting a rational and humane criminal justice system.

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