July 31, 2020— Kellogg Hansen is pleased to announce that Geoffrey M. Klineberg was officially sworn in yesterday as the 49th president of the D.C. Bar.  With members in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, the D.C. Bar is the largest unified bar in the United States, supporting attorneys and providing a regulatory structure to maintain the profession’s ethical standards.

Mr. Klineberg has the unique challenge of steering the D.C. Bar through a pandemic that has affected each of its 110,000-plus members and nearly all aspects of the practice of law.  Since its creation by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in 1972, the D.C. Bar has been committed to advancing its core missions of enhancing access to justice, improving the legal system, and empowering lawyers to better serve their clients.  In the cover story of the June 2020 issue of The Washington Lawyer, Mr. Klineberg explained how this commitment is important now more than ever. 

“The Bar has always been committed to serving the needs of our members and their clients,” stated Mr. Klineberg.  “As we all work to rebuild our lives, our clients will turn to us to help them navigate the most challenging and important issues they face.  So while the demands may be extraordinary, we lawyers have the ability and responsibility to practice our profession consistent with our most cherished ideals: to serve those who are most in need, to represent our clients with competence and zeal, and always to comport ourselves consistent with the highest ethical standards.  These times demand nothing less.”

Last night, during the D.C. Bar’s 2020 Celebration of Leadership, Mr. Klineberg formally received the gavel of leadership during the virtual swearing-in ceremony, presided over by D.C. Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby.  Mr. Klineberg has been serving as President since early last month after having served the prior year as President-Elect.  In his remarks to the Bar, Mr. Klineberg discussed the challenges the Bar and its members will face, his optimism for how they will tackle these problems together, and his goals for his term, including an effort to provide pro bono representation before the D.C. Court of Appeals. 

“Given my own practice as an appellate lawyer, I would like to build on the great work of my predecessors Esther Lim and Susie Hoffman who have created and nurtured the Pro Bono Task Force to develop an effective appellate pro bono program,” stated Mr. Klineberg.  “I like this project because it encapsulates for me the three principle purposes of the DC Bar in a single program: it would enhance access to justice by helping litigants of limited means receive valuable assistance; it would improve the legal system by providing the court of appeals a more thorough and helpful presentation of the issues and it would empower lawyers to better serve their clients by providing opportunities for lawyers particularly at the beginning of their careers to brief and argue cases before our highest court.”

Mr. Klineberg practices primarily in the areas of appellate litigation and administrative law.  He also advises clients on the applicability of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct.  He began as an associate at Kellogg Hansen in 1995 and has been a partner of the Firm since 1998 and currently serves on the Firm’s Executive Committee. 

“We are immensely proud of Geoff’s dedication and service to the D.C. Bar, its members, and the public,” commented Michael K. Kellogg, founding and managing partner of Kellogg Hansen.  “Geoff is the leader needed in this moment of crisis and we are confident the Bar is in diligent hands.”

Over the past 18 years, Mr. Klineberg has worked on various committees and task forces of the D.C. Bar and the courts.  He currently serves on the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Task Force, focusing on how best to encourage and facilitate the participation of pro bono lawyers to serve clients of limited means in the courts of the District of Columbia.