Greene Espel proudly congratulates firm co-founder Cliff Greene, who received the 2021 Douglas K. Amdahl Public Attorney Career Achievement Award during the MSBA Public Law Section's annual award ceremony and elections held virtually on Friday, June 11. The award recognizes retired or retiring public attorneys who have had distinguished careers as public attorneys, have made many significant contributions to public service, and are recognized as models of the dedication and commitment of public attorneys.

Cliff retired from Greene Espel in October 2020 after advocating tirelessly for clients of all types and sizes in the private and public sectors. Large corporations routinely engaged Cliff to try high-profile cases in the areas of employment, securities, and products liability. And local governments reached out to Cliff for help in litigation where significant precedent or public-policy questions were at stake.

As a thought leader, Cliff maintained a special focus on federal practice and procedure. He was been appointed by three different chief judges of the District of Minnesota to chair the Local Rules Advisory Committee. In 2016, the Chief Judge appointed Cliff to co-chair the federal magistrate Merit Selection Panel. Cliff also taught federal jurisdiction to law students as Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

The list of awards Cliff earned over his career is long and varied. Leading legal publications consistently recognized his advocacy—including Best Lawyers in America, Chambers, and Benchmark Litigation. Minnesota Super Lawyers also profiled his achievements in the 2014 cover story, “There’s no I in Greene.” Active in civic affairs as well as the legal community, Cliff received the 2013 Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award from the Minnesota Cardozo Society, given annually to an attorney or judge who exemplifies excellence in his/her practice, community service, and lifelong learning. In 2020, Cliff received the Transformational Leadership Award from the International Leadership Institute for his work on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

We applaud Cliff for his tireless advocacy for clients—particularly in the area of public law—and thank him for his many contributions to public service.

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