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Mary Russell named 2014 Woman of the Year

Missouri Supreme Court Justice Mary Russell addresses the media upon her elevation to be the next Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court Wednesday in Jefferson City, Mo.  Photo By: KAREN ELSHOUT

Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary Russell. By: KAREN ELSHOUT

The 2014 Women’s Justice Awards selection committee has named Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Mary R. Russell its Woman of the Year, the highest honor of the Missouri Lawyers Weekly event, now in its 16th year.

The committee, which includes prominent judges and lawyers from around the state, many of them past Women’s Justice Award recipients, singled out Russell as one of the Missouri legal community’s best, and best-known, ambassadors and for the personal touch she has always brought to public life.

Russell is the third state Supreme Court judge selected as Woman of the Year, following last year’s honoree, Laura Denvir Stith, and, in 2010, Ann K. Covington, the first woman to join the court and later serve as its chief.

Russell headlines the 2014 list of 43 WJA honorees. It includes four trial judges, seven in-house counsel, four legal scholars and three non-lawyers recognized for their citizenship.

The Women’s Justice Awards event takes place at 6 p.m., April 24, at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown St. Louis. For registration and other information, go to molawyersmedia.com.

Woman of the Year

  • Mary R. Russell, chief justice, Supreme Court of Missouri

Business Practitioner

  • Jane Arnold, Polsinelli
  • Julie Brown, Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown
  • Barbara Miltenberger, Husch Blackwell
  • Sheila Seck, Seck & Associates


  • Kimberly Bramlett, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • Amy Beechner McCarthy, Your Community Health Center
  • Beth Dessem, Missouri CASA Association


  • Jennie Clark, American Century Investments
  • Alice Conway, Monsanto Co.
  • Susan Denigan, Nestle Purina PetCare Co.
  • Penni Groves, Missouri State University
  • Mary Caola Kullman, The Laclede Group Inc.
  • Cindy Dillard Parres, Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc.
  • Elaine Spearman, St. Louis Comptroller’s Office

Leader of Tomorrow

  • Paige Elbe, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Nicole Pleasant, Saint Louis  University School of Law
  • Shelly Rosenfelder, University of Missouri School of Law
  • Chloe Woods, Washington University School of Law

Legal Scholar

  • Angela Drake, University of Missouri School of Law
  • Rebecca Dresser, Washington University School of Law
  • Janis Prewitt Auner, Drury University
  • Kerry Ryan, Saint Louis University School of Law

Litigation Practitioner

  • Jennifer Gille Bacon, Polsinelli
  • Ketrina Bakewell, Bryan Cave
  • Lynne Bratcher, Bratcher Gockel & Kingston
  • Sarah Brown, Randles, Mata & Brown
  • Dana Tippin Cutler, James W. Tippin & Associates
  • Deborah Dodge, Hall, Ansley, Rodgers & Sweeney
  • Loretta Haggard, Schuchat, Cook & Werner
  • Pamela Meanes, Thompson Coburn
  • Mary Doerhoff Winter, Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Goza

Public Official

  • Gayle Crane, Jasper County Circuit Court
  • Sherrill Rosen, Jackson County Circuit Court
  • Kathy Surratt-States, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • Barbara Wallace, St. Louis County Circuit Court

Public Service Practitioner

  • Theresa Kenney, Jasper County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
  • Dawn Parsons, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Jeanne Philips-Roth, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri
  • Sarah Pleban, solo practitioner, Sarah S. Pleban Attorney at Law

Rising Star

  • Jovita Foster, Armstrong Teasdale
  • Ashleigh MacPherson, MacPherson Law Center
  • Beverly Weber, Martin, Leigh, Laws & Fritzlen
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