With almost 1,900 members from more than 700 corporations and private-sector organizations, WMACCA is the largest regional bar association for in-house lawyers in the United States and a significant professional resource for in-house counsel in Washington, D.C., Virginia and suburban Maryland. It is the largest chapter of the global Association of Corporate Counsel.
Mr. Dwyer began his one-year term as president at WMACCA's Annual Meeting, held at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner. Previously, he had served as president-elect, vice president of programming, and a committee chair of WMACCA. Mr. Dwyer announced that in 2011 WMACCA will build on its previous successes by endeavoring to "dig deeper and reach farther" by strengthening ties with current members and continuing to reach out to in-house counsel not yet familiar with the association.
The WMACCA Annual Meeting program examined recent government actions and policy statements that focus on holding corporate officers, directors and other executives accountable when their organizations are investigated for possible violations of the law. Lanny A. Breuer, assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, delivered a keynote address at the meeting.
In his remarks, Mr. Breuer cited his previous career in private practice when he represented dozens of companies and executives in criminal and regulatory proceedings, saying it gave him insight into the roles and responsibilities of in-house counsel.
"You are the gatekeepers for your organizations, which means that you are both the first line of defense against potential criminal liability and the ones best positioned to identify problem areas, and fix them," he said. He urged the attendees to "lead your corporations by example."
The full text of Mr. Breuer's speech is available at http://www.justice.gov/ criminal/pr/speeches/2011/crm-speech-110126.html.