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Roger Sherrard Receives APEX Award of Merit │ Sept. 27, 2019

Updated: March 17, 2021

From Vietnam to Albania, a Lifetime of Bravery and Devotion Earns Kitsap Lawyer Top Honor

SEATTLE [Sept. 27, 2019] — The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) presented Roger Sherrard the 2019 APEX Award of Merit. This award is the bar's highest honor and is given for a recent, singular achievement. The singular achievement may involve a display of exceptional courage in the face of adversity, thus bringing credit to the legal profession. WSBA President William D. Pickett presented the award at the annual WSBA APEX (Acknowledging Professional Excellence) Awards Dinner on Sept. 26 at the Sheraton Seattle.

Drawing upon an already well-respected and decorated career as both a civilian lawyer and military officer, Roger Sherrard holds a distinct role not just in the lives of his clients and colleagues at home, but perhaps most notably for his exceptional work in helping to rebuild the judicial system of a nascent, struggling democracy.

“Roger Sherrard held true to his conviction that individuals helping their fellows is the path to progress,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Albania John L. Withers II. “He is that rare combination of skilled professional and selfless, compassionate person who—I can say without hyperbole—makes the world a better place.”

Though Sherrard has had many notable achievements in his life, his work in Albania stands out. When presented with a chance to help judges in the newly independent, post-Soviet Albania, Sherrard was soon on a plane, beginning what would become a decades-long project of building a young democracy and newly independent legal system. In less than three decades, Sherrard has made more than 50 trips to the country, where he was instrumental in mentoring the fledgling court branch to transition out of an oppressive autocracy, as well as providing other means of support, such as locating nearly 300 robes for Albanian judges.

“Roger not only served as my mentor, but quickly became my close friend,” said former Supreme Court of Albania Chief Justice Zef Brozi. “Roger is strongly respected by those around him, and he has contributed greatly to the Nation of Albania.”

Sherrard’s career in public service began early in life when he was accepted to the United States Military Academy at West Point. He graduated in 1966 and served multiple tours, including a combat tour in Vietnam, as an Army Officer, earning a Bronze Star with “V” device for valor, commemorating his raw heroism and dedication to his troops in Vietnam.

“Some people are content to talk about justice,” said Washington Supreme Court Justice Charles K. Wiggins, “but Roger lived it.”

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About the Washington State Bar Association

The WSBA operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court and exercises a governmental function authorized by the Court to license and regulate the state’s nearly 40,000 legal professionals, including lawyers, limited practice officers, and limited license legal technicians. The WSBA both regulates legal professionals under the authority of the Court and serves its members as a professional association — all without public funding. The WSBA administers the Bar admission process, including the bar exam; provides record-keeping and licensing functions; administers the lawyer discipline system; and provides continuing legal education for legal professionals, in addition to numerous other educational and member-service activities. The Bar’s mission is to serve the public and its members, to ensure the integrity of the legal profession, and to champion justice.