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Attorneys of the Year: Kevin Riach

circle of excellenceThere is perhaps nothing more dangerous to individual rights than overly broad or vaguely written laws. In a criminal matter advancing to the Minnesota Supreme Court, Kevin Riach challenged one Minnesota law on these very grounds. It was this case, which he took on pro bono, that gained him a 2017 Attorney of the Year accolade.

As a shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron, Riach is experienced in both the civil and criminal arenas. However, Riach’s pro bono achievements equal his commercial experiences. From disorderly conduct charges to death penalty cases, Riach has a long history of protecting individual freedoms and providing assistance to people unfamiliar with the court system.

In one such matter, Riach defended Robin Hensel after she was charged with disturbing a city council meeting in Little Falls, Minnesota. In September 2017, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the law under which Hensel was charged was unconstitutional, presenting a “prohibition of alarming breadth” and potentially criminalizing free speech. Explaining the significance of the case, Riach said, “Dissent is the lifeblood of our democracy, and we must be constantly vigilant against efforts by our government to squelch it.”

Riach’s Fredrikson & Byron colleague, Edward Q. Cassidy, nominated Riach for the award, stating, “Kevin, in the best tradition of our profession, took on this case because it had to be done.”

About Michele C.S. Lange

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