Melinda J. Bentley named as new Missouri legal ethics counsel

16 July 2012


Melinda J. Bentley named as new Missouri legal ethics counsel 


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The chief disciplinary counsel and the Advisory Committee of the Supreme Court of Missouri have selected Melinda J. Bentley to serve as the state's legal ethics counsel, a position responsible for providing informal advisory opinions to attorneys on ethical issues, serving as administrator and counsel to the Advisory Committee for its functions, providing administrative and logistical support and training to the disciplinary hearing officers, and educating members of the Bar about legal ethics through continuing legal education presentations and articles. Bentley is expected to begin working in her new position July 23, 2012. Current legal ethics counsel, Sara Rittman, will work with Bentley during a transition period until Aug. 31, 2012.

"Melinda is a Missouri lawyer who has been working for the Illinois State Bar Association for the past several years," Advisory Committee Chair Jennifer Gille Bacon said. "Her duties there included the provision of legal ethics advice as well as serving as staff counsel to a number of Illinois Bar committees, including those on professionalism. We are very happy that Melinda accepted this position."

Bentley earned her bachelor of arts degree in political science and East Asian studies in 1998 from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill., and her law degree in 2001 from Valparaiso University School of Law in Valparaiso, Ind. She is admitted to practice in Illinois and Missouri. She joined the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) in August 2001 as an assistant counsel, became first assistant counsel in May 2003 and also was named as assistant director of legislative affairs in May 2009.

She has provided educational information to ISBA member attorneys on professional conduct matters and has served as a moderator and speaker for ISBA continuing legal education programs on professional conduct topics. She also represented ISBA in the General Assembly by testifying before committees and drafting position papers.

As in-house counsel, she worked with a variety of legal issues and acts as a staff liaison to the standing committees on professional conduct, mentoring, law-related education for the public, delivery of legal services, bar elections supervision, legislation, and ISBA task force on the unauthorized practice of law.

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Contact: Sara Rittman
The Missouri Bar
(573) 638-2263