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Jeanne Gray, who oversaw ABA’s Professional Responsibility Center, has died

Posted Apr 24, 2013 5:40 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Jeanne Gray, longtime director of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility, died Friday at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Gray spent all of her 33 years on the ABA staff at the center. In recent years, she also served as associate executive director for the public services group. The cause of death was complications from cancer treatment. She was 65.

In a memo to staff announcing Gray’s death, ABA Executive Director Jack Rives cited Gray’s “remarkable record of achievement” as director of the Center for Professional Responsibility. Those accomplishments included adoption of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct; Model Rules for Lawyer and Judicial Disciplinary Enforcement; Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions; and the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

Gray “was a lawyer with exceptional integrity who was fiercely committed not only to the ABA, but also to professional responsibility for all lawyers,” Rives said. “She forged strong relationships with members and staff and was known throughout the association and the profession for her kindness and generosity.” Legal Ethics Forum posted Rives' memo.

Art Garwin, deputy director of the Center for Professional Responsibility, praised Gray for her contributions. “Everything that the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility is, does and stands for can be traced to her vision, passion and dedication,” he said.

Before joining the ABA, Gray investigated and prosecuted lawyer disciplinary matters as an assistant bar counsel in Massachusetts. She graduated from the New England School of Law in Boston.

Gray received the Charles W. Kettlewell Legal Ethics Advisor Award in 2010. In her acceptance speech, Gray recalled her first job at the ABA as regulation counsel for the newly established Center for Professional Responsibility. “I continue to have the ‘best gig’ in America, if not in the world, in professional responsibility law,” she said. “What inspired me to stay for so long were the people and the causes along the way.”

Gray met her husband of 33 years, Paul Gallagher, when they were waiting for an elevator at the ABA offices in Chicago. Both were ABA employees at the time. Gray is also survived by her daughter, Brett, an attorney with the Cook County public defender's office; and her twin sons, Sean and Brendan.

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