Missouri Lawyers Weekly on Friday honored Judge Richard B. Teitelman with — what else? — a party.
Teitelman, a judge of the Missouri Supreme Court who died Nov. 29, was named as the publication’s 2017 Lawyer of the Year at a celebratory and tearful luncheon at the Hilton at the Ballpark in St. Louis. A total of 64 attorneys from 34 firms and legal entities were honored at the Missouri Lawyers Awards.
Chief Justice Patricia Breckenridge, accepting the award on behalf of her colleague and friend, recalled him as a “force for good” whose focus always was on others, not himself. Had he been there to accept the award, she said, Teitelman would not have given a speech about himself.
“He would have focused on all of you,” she said.
In a video, friends of Teitelman’s recalled his handwritten notes and thoughtful gifts. Dan Glazier of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri played a voice message from Teitelman that he’d preserved, inquiring about Glazier’s health. Judge Jason Sengheiser recalled how Teitelman would show up at almost every social event.
“You’d kind of be surprised that he was there — he couldn’t possibly go to every event. But he really did,” Sengheiser said, drawing laughs from the crowd.
Mark Levison of Lashly & Baer told how Teitelman loved the greeting on Levison’s phone, which said he was out on a “quest for justice.”
“I had inadvertently captured the essence of Rick Teitelman,” Levison said.
The Influential Lawyers are Michael Barrett, director of the Missouri State Public Defender System; Kim Gardner, St. Louis Circuit Attorney; Jim Onder of the Onder Law Firm;
Lowell Pearson of Husch Blackwell; and Bill Thompson, retired clerk of the Missouri Supreme Court.
The Legal Champions are Todd Lubben of Brown & James; Mae Quinn of the Roderick & Solange MacArthur Justice Center; and Christopher Schmidt of Bryan Cave.
The Influential Appellate Advocates are Tim Belz of Ottsen, Leggat & Belz; Michael Hamlin of Pitzer Snodgrass; Teresa Young of Brown & James; JoAnn Sandifer of Husch Blackwell; and Paul Venker and Lisa Larkin of Williams Venker & Sanders.
The Law Firm Leaders are Ed Hershewe of The Law Store; solo attorney Annette Heller; John Murphy of Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Bhavik Patel of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard; and Tim Thornton of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale.
The Corporate Counsel award-winners are Martin Kerckhoff of Monsanto; Sharhonda Shahid of MilliporeSigma; and Keith Williamson of Centene Corp.
The lawyers with the top plaintiffs’ verdicts were James Onder, Stephanie Rados and Wylie Blair of Onder Law; John Simon and Erica Blume Slater of The Simon Law Firm; Grant L. Davis and Shawn G. Foster of Davis, Bethune & Jones; Tim E. Dollar and Timothy J. Becker of Dollar, Burns & Becker; and Kenneth B. McClain, Andrew K. Smith, Lauren E. McClain, Michael S. Kilgore, Colin W. McClain and Scott A. Britton-Mehlisch of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain.
The lawyers with the top settlements are Lou Accurso, Burton S. Haigh and Clayton E. Gillette of The Accurso Law Firm; Edward D. Robertson Jr., Mary Doerhoff Winter and Anthony L. DeWitt of Bartimus Frickleton Robertson; Herbert W. McIntosh of The McIntosh Law Firm; Charles “Chip” A. Gentry, Jason L. Call and Blake I. Markus of Call & Gentry; John F. Medler Jr., and Tammy Medler of The Medler Law Firm; James Thompson, Melissa Steed and Elizabeth Van Erem of Edelman & Thompson; and Michael S. Kilgore and Colin W. McClain of Humphrey, Farrington & McClain
The lawyers with the top defense verdicts are Booker T. Shaw, Felicia Williams and Virginia Woodfork of Thompson Coburn; Robert Adams, Michael Kleffner and Andrea Steele of Shook, Hardy & Bacon; Peter Spataro and Sarah Cahill of Brown & James; Kenneth Brostron and Wendy Wolf of Lashly & Baer; Robert W. Cockerham and Ryan T. Knopf of Cockerham & Associates; and J. Thaddeus Eckenrode of Eckenrode-Maupin.
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