Kansas City lawyer P. John Brady was elected president of The Missouri Bar for the 2013-14 bar year.
The election took place Wednesday during the 132nd Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar, held last week in Columbia. Brady succeeds Patrick B. Starke, of Blue Springs, as president of the 30,000-member organization.
Brady said he plans to focus on the bar’s relevance to members and other Missourians during his year as president.
Brady, a shareholder in the Kansas City office of Polsinelli, has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2002. He earned his law degree from Creighton University.
Reuben Shelton, senior litigation counsel for Monsanto Corp. in St. Louis, is the bar’s new president-elect. He received his legal education at Saint Louis University School of Law and has been a member of the Board of Governors since 2008.
In the only contested race among the officers, the Board of Governors elected Camdenton lawyer Erik A. Bergmanis as vice president. Bergmanis is to lead the bar as president in 2015. Leadership of the bar rotates among lawyers from St. Louis, Kansas City and outstate Missouri. Bergmanis ran against St. Joseph lawyer Suzanne Bradley.
Kansas City lawyer Dana Tippin Cutler nominated him. She said he started to run for the same seat three years ago but withdrew after listening to the “quiet, still voice” that told him he had other priorities at the time.
The willingness and ability to listen to that voice will serve the bar well, she said.
“I think as we go forward with some of the challenges that lay ahead … I think that it would be important for all of us to know that our leadership has the ability to stop, to be quiet and to listen to that still voice and make a great decision,” Cutler said.
Bergmanis has a long history of bar work, having been elected to the Young Lawyers Section Council in 1986, just a year after becoming a licensed attorney. He has served on the Board of Governors since 1999. He is the sole governor for the 15-county District 6.
He is the managing member of the Bergmanis Law Firm, which has three lawyers and three support staff employees. He practices in the areas of personal injury, criminal defense, Social Security disability, workers’ compensation and commercial litigation. Bergmanis has served as a municipal judge for the city of Linn Creek for the past 18 years.
Before his election, Bergmanis said he wanted to build upon already existing Missouri Bar programs, including its work with the Legislature, its support of legal aid and its efforts to help lawyers do their job more efficiently.
The newly elected representatives from the three districts of the Missouri Court of Appeals are: J.B. Lasater, Thomas Bender and Wendy Garrison. They, along with the officers and the immediate past president, make up the bar’s Executive Committee for the coming year.