Judges honor legislators, representatives of The Missouri Bar for advancing administration of justice in Missouri

18 October 2012

Judges honor legislators, representatives of The Missouri Bar for advancing administration of justice in Missouri

ST. LOUIS – At an annual ceremony honoring service to Missouri and the state’s judiciary, four senators, two House members and two representatives of The Missouri Bar were honored for their contributions to protecting and improving the administration of justice in Missouri.  

The ceremony was held Oct. 18, 2012, as part of the annual meeting of the Judicial Conference of Missouri, the organization of all the state’s judges, which was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of The Missouri Bar at the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark in downtown St. Louis.

In welcoming the 120 guests to the awards breakfast, Chief Justice Richard B. Teitelman thanked everyone for their commitment to public service and the relationship between the legislative and judicial branches of government.

The Judicial Conference honored the legislators with Special Recognition Awards for outstanding legislative service to the people of Missouri. They were: Sen. Jolie Justus, D-Kansas City; Sen. Joseph P. Keaveny, D-St. Louis; Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia; Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale; Rep. Susan Carlson, D-St. Louis; and Rep. Ryan A. Silvey, R-Kansas City. All but Silvey also are attorneys. The awards were presented by Missouri Court of Appeals Judge Gary D. Witt, who also serves as chairman of the judicial conference’s legislative committee.

Specifically, Justus – who serves as assistant minority leader in the Senate and the ranking minority member of the judiciary and civil and criminal jurisprudence committee – was recognized for her continued zealous advocacy on behalf of a fair and impartial judiciary and access to justice, especially for women, children and the disadvantaged as well as for her leadership in pro bono work. Keaveny was honored for his leadership in passing bills advancing the efficient administration of justice, including extension of the $7 court automation fee and conversion of the St. Louis clerk to an appointed position. Schmitt was recognized for his work on the judiciary committee, his efforts toward civility during legislative discussions and debates and his longstanding record of community service. Carlson was honored for her work as a member of the House judicial reform and rules committees. Schaefer – who serves as chairman of the Senate appropriations committee – and Silvey – chairman of the House budget committee – were unable to attend.

In addition, Teitelman honored St. Louis attorney Lynn Ann Vogel, outgoing president of The Missouri Bar, for her service to the state, the bar and the judiciary during the past year.

Teitelman also honored Missouri Bar Executive Director Keith Birkes for his service and dedication to the legal community. He noted that Birkes, who is retiring at the end of the year after nearly 30 years as executive director, has been a great friend to him and to the entire legal and judicial communities during his entire term of service.

Contact: Beth S.Riggert
Communications Counsel
Supreme Court of Missouri
cell (573) 864-1966