Legislators, judicial personnel among honorees at statewide judicial conference

30 September 2004

Legislators, judicial personnel among honorees at statewide judicial conference

Contact: Beth Riggert, Communications Counsel
Supreme Court of Missouri
Desk: 573-751-3676
Cell: 573-619-2849

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- At an annual ceremony honoring service to Missouri and the state’s judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronnie L. White recognized the efforts of various legislators, judges, court staff and others. The ceremony was held Thursday morning, September 30, 2004, as part of the annual meeting of the Missouri Judicial Conference, the organization of all state judges, which was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of The Missouri Bar at the Renaissance Grand Hotel in St. Louis, Mo.

The Judicial Conference honored 16 individuals with Special Recognition Awards for outstanding legislative service to the people of Missouri. On behalf of the chief justice, Missouri Court of Appeals Judges Robert G. Dowd, Jr., and Harold Lowenstein presented awards to Senators Harold Caskey, D-Butler; Wayne Goode, D-Normandy; Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles; and Charles Wheeler, D-Kansas City. Caskey, an attorney and the longest-serving member of the senate judiciary committee, was honored for his lifetime of service to the Judiciary.  Goode, one of the two longest-serving members of the general assembly with 42 years of service, was recognized for his support of key judicial bills and his efforts to educate others about important judicial programs. Gross, vice-chair of the senate appropriations committee, was honored for fostering a cooperative effort between the general assembly and the Judiciary. Wheeler, an attorney, was recognized for his cooperative demeanor through the passage of a bill regarding landlord notice requirements. Also receiving awards but unable to attend were Senators Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit; Ed Quick, D-Liberty; and John Russell, R-Lebanon, who also served 42 years in the general assembly. Judge Lowenstein also paid tribute to the late Sen. Harry Wiggins, D-Kansas City, for his lifetime commitment to serving the state of Missouri and its citizens.

Judges Dowd and Lowenstein also presented awards on the chief justice's behalf to Representatives Richard Byrd, R-Kirkwood; Margaret Donnelly, D-University City; Scott Lipke, R-Jackson; Bryan Stevenson, R-Joplin; Mike Vogt, D-St. Louis City; and Phil Willoughby, D-Gladstone. Byrd, an attorney and chairman of the house judiciary committee, was recognized for his hard work and leadership that enabled the passage of this year’s omnibus judicial bill, Senate Bill 1211. Donnelly, an attorney and leader in the area of juvenile law, was recognized for her service on the conference committee for the judicial budget and for her work on the juvenile justice reforms in House Bill 1453. Lipke, an attorney member of the criminal law and judiciary committees, was recognized for his work to correct potential problems in SB 1122 regarding bail bondsmen and sponsoring HB 1188, a bill that clarified a discrepancy in assessment of court costs. Stevenson, an attorney, was recognized for his work in juvenile law, sponsorship of HB 1145 and HB 1148 and leadership for his work as a conferee on the juvenile justice reform bill, HB 1453, and the judicial budget, HB 1012. Vogt, an attorney member of the house judiciary committee, was honored for his constant support of the judiciary and leadership efforts that helped build consensus on the omnibus judicial bill. Willoughby, an attorney, was recognized for his staunch support and preservation efforts of the nonpartisan court plan in addition to his efforts in improving justice for Missouri's children. Also receiving awards but unable to attend were Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway, R-Warson Woods; Rep. Connie Johnson, D-St. Louis City; and Rep. Ray Salva, D-Sugar Creek.

Chief Justice White presented an Exemplary Service Award to retired Boone County Circuit Court Administrator Robert L. Perry. During his 42 years of service to the state, Perry served as a juvenile court commissioner and as chair of the Missouri court automation committee.

In addition, Chief Justice White gave a Special Recognition Award to St. Louis attorney Bill Corrigan, outgoing president of The Missouri Bar, for his exceptional work in promoting the value of the Judiciary and in educating the public about the importance of preserving judicial integrity in difficult budget times. White also noted the numerous initiatives Corrigan championed for the legal community during his term as president, including founding the nation's first Law School for Legislators program.

Approximately 200 judges from throughout the state attended the awards ceremony.