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District attorney earns national award

Published Oct. 28, 2013
Damon Roberts, counsel, is the 2012 Joseph W. Kimbel Award recipient. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers award recognized an attorney that demonstrates the highest professional potential for future legal achievement.

Damon Roberts, counsel, is the 2012 Joseph W. Kimbel Award recipient. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers award recognized an attorney that demonstrates the highest professional potential for future legal achievement.

Bonnie Greenleaf, left, project management, and Damon Roberts, counsel, look over maps of the Devils Lake, N.D., area that identifies constructed embankments and as well as adjacent landowners.

Bonnie Greenleaf, left, project management, and Damon Roberts, counsel, look over maps of the Devils Lake, N.D., area that identifies constructed embankments and as well as adjacent landowners.

St. Paul District lawyer Damon Roberts, counsel, was recently selected as the 2013 Joseph W. Kimbel Award recipient.

The award recognizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attorney who demonstrates the highest professional potential for future legal achievement. Roberts received the award at the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Worldwide Legal Services Conference.

Since joining the district’s legal team in 2008, Roberts has built a diverse portfolio. He’s served as the district’s real estate attorney, where he’s worked closely and negotiated directly with both private companies and government organizations, often working sensitive issues. He’s also worked as the district’s claims attorney. In this capacity, Roberts developed two legal defenses instrumental in successfully refuting a multi-million dollar tort claim against the government.

Joe Willging, the district’s chief counsel, added that Roberts has become an expert in business law, particularly as it applies to enforcing wetland mitigation on companies that destroy wetlands as part of a permitted project but fail to perform required mitigation.
Working with internal audiences, Roberts successfully worked to seek a solution when the district renegotiated its collective bargaining agreement this year. He also runs the district ethics program, conducting training for district employees, tailoring his training to the specific audience.

“Damon is a first-rate attorney with unlimited potential and is well-deserving of the award,” Willging said. “As a matter of fact, his potential is widely recognized… to the point that [U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters] has [requested] him to work for the chief counsel.”

Roberts recently accepted the position and will be leaving the district to support the entire Corps of Engineers organization.