Supreme Court hires new Chief Disciplinary Counsel

3 August 2001

Supreme Court hires new Chief Disciplinary Counsel

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Maridee Farnquist Edwards has been selected by the Supreme Court of Missouri to serve as the state's new chief disciplinary counsel. She began her new position July 30.

"We are pleased to welcome Maridee Edwards to this important position," Chief Justice Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., said. "We believe her extensive experience in California will serve the state of Missouri and its legal community well."

Edwards has served 10 years in the Office of Chief Trial Counsel, State Bar of California, which is the disciplinary agency for that state's attorneys. Her responsibilities there included handling admission cases and reinstatements, as well as prosecuting major misappropriations and unauthorized practice of law matters. Most recently, she served as a supervising attorney. Edwards also served one year as an in-house counsel to the Screen Actors Guild, mediated settlements on a pro bono basis to help alleviate docket congestion in the Los Angeles Municipal Court for three years, and litigated cases for three years for the U.S. Department of Labor in Los Angeles.

"I'm hoping to get out and meet many of the lawyers of the state at Bar events and local bar functions over this coming year, and I'm interested to hear their concerns and suggestions for improving the disciplinary system," said Edwards, who has been attending the American Bar Association annual meeting in Chicago this week. "I also believe that public input is very important. I want to assure that the legal consumers of the state are adequately informed of the functions and services of the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel. We will be looking for ways to improve public awareness of the lawyer disciplinary system to protect the legal consumers of the state."

Edwards earned her juris doctor degree from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles in 1987 and was elected to the Order of Barristers. She also holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Media Communications from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Minn., and has a combined eight years' experience working in the media and public relations fields in Minnesota and California.

This is not the first time in Missouri for Edwards, who said she is excited about starting a new life here. She is married to William B. Edwards, who attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, and her mother-in-law is a longtime resident of the Marshall area. She and her husband have two children: a 14-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son.

The previous chief disciplinary counsel, John Howe, served from January 1, 1991, to March 30, 2001.

"John Howe, who has been highly respected over his years of service to the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, has been very influential in steering the office to its present level of success and efficiency,"  Edwards said. "I'm honored to have been given the opportunity to continue his good work and to lead the office into the future."