American Bar Association Awards California Chief Administrative Law Judge Karen Clopton the Prestigious Robert B. Yegge Award

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Annual Award Given for Outstanding Contributions in the Field of Judicial Administration

Chief Judge Karen V. Clopton

The American Bar Association has awarded Chief Administrative Law Judge Karen V. Clopton the Robert B. Yegge Award for 2017. The award is given by the Judicial Division Lawyers Conference of the American Bar Association (ABA) and is presented each year to a current or former ABA member for exceptional and noteworthy work through legal, scholarly or civic avenues. The award is named in honor of Robert B. Yegge, former Dean Emeritus of the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and former Chair of the Lawyers Conference (1987-88).

Chief Judge Clopton currently serves as the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the California Utilities Commission, where she manages the submission and adoption of decisions by the Commission. She was charged with conducting a “soup to nuts” review of the CPUC’s decision-making processes in January 2009 and she exceeded every expectation with her thorough research, stakeholder outreach, focus and working groups, public input, review, and innovative recommendations. The CPUC has embraced her many initiatives to make its crucial regulatory work more accessible to the public, more transparent, and more efficient.

“Chief Judge Clopton is an inspiration, not only in her pursuit of excellence in her work for the commission, but in her commitment to volunteering and serving the community,” said Judge Seaneen M. Wilson, Retired Annuitant, California Utilities Commission. “Judge Clopton hired people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to strengthen the work we produced for the commission. As a leader, Chief Judge Clopton motivated us to go the extra mile to not only produce superior products for the commission, but to ensure that what we delivered was pursuant to the law and the code of conduct. I am thrilled to see her tireless work recognized by this award.”

In addition to the Robert B. Yegge award, Chief Judge Clopton was also the 2010 winner of the American Bar Association’s Mary C. Lawton Award for Outstanding Government Service from the Section on
Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Chief Judge Clopton is an accomplished author and lecturer on professional responsibility and corporate governance, regulatory practices and procedures, workplace diversity and discrimination issues, sexual harassment prevention and investigation policies, and alcohol and substance abuse policies. For her, judicial administrative excellence means collaborating across agencies and roles to ensure California laws are ethnically, demographically and technologically in line with the people of California.

“Chief Judge Clopton strives to make the law responsive and accessible to the people it is meant to serve,” said John Trasvina, Dean of the University of San Francisco School of Law. “For her, the law shouldn’t be mysterious, but open and understandable to all people. Karen’s dedication to the legal needs of the people of the State of California demonstrates an understanding of the diversity of our state today and a vision for using all available resources to ensure her agency is prepared to do justice now and into the future. I salute the ABA for recognizing her with this award, as it is well deserved and earned.”

The Robert B. Yegge Award will be presented to Chief Judge Clopton at the ABA Annual Meeting in New York, NY on August 12, 2017. For more information about Chief Judge Clopton, see attached biography.

About the American Bar Association
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. Follow the latest ABA news at http://www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.

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Jane Gideon
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