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Allen Saeks (’56), James Steiner (’72) Named Distinguished Alumni

APRIL 22, 2011—The Minnesota Law Review honored Allen I. Saeks (’56) and James D. Steiner (’72) with its 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award at its annual banquet on April 14, 2011. The award is given for exceptional contributions to the profession and to the greater good of society.

Saeks, senior counsel at Leonard, Street and Deinard and past chair of its commercial litigation practice group, has been a leader in the Minnesota legal community for more than 50 years. He was instrumental in the Minnesota Supreme Court’s adoption of the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts program, which provides legal aid to the poor, and has served on the board of numerous organizations, including the Fund for the Legal Aid Society and the initial Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Saeks has been recognized for legal excellence and service to the indigent by many organizations and publications.

Steiner is retired from a distinguished practice with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi that began in 1972. Early in his career, he developed a trial advocacy training program for new associates at the firm. He went on to develop a Trial Advocacy program that received national recognition and taught basic trial skills and tactics in hundreds of session, both in-house and across the Twin Cities legal community. Steiner led the firm’s general litigation department in 1984-91, earned multi-million dollar recoveries in several major cases, and developed a reputation as a dedicated teacher and advocate.

Recipients of the Minnesota Law Review Distinguished Alumni Award, given since 2005, are nominated by their fellow alumni and selected by the journal’s Board of Editors. Honorees’ accomplishments are recognized at the annual banquet by Law School alumni, faculty, administration, and members of the legal community.

Editor’s Note: James D. Steiner passed away June 13, 2011, at age 71. He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Gwyn, and by children Brian Steiner, Lisa Starke, John Steiner, and Jon Gulenchyn.


Allen Saeks

Allen Saeks (’56)


James Steiner

James Steiner (’72)