Joseph D. “Chip” Sheppard III, Dan Viets and Michael B. Hill weren’t content to merely push paper when it came to their advocacy in advancing medical-marijuana reform in Missouri.
In addition to drafting the language of Amendment 2, a citizen-led ballot initiative that legalized medical marijuana, the three played key roles in campaign fundraising, volunteer coordination and messaging efforts. They also could be found at polling places on Nov. 6 in a final effort to move the effort past the finish line.
The overwhelming passage of Amendment 2 marked a significant change to the state’s legal and medical landscape. In recognition of their work, Missouri Lawyers Media has selected Sheppard, Viets and Hill as our 2019 Lawyers of the Year.
We will honor Sheppard, Viets and Hill — as well as the accomplishments of 20 other lawyers — at the Missouri Lawyers Awards luncheon on Friday, Jan. 25 at The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis.
The winners will be profiled in a special section of Missouri Lawyers Weekly on Jan. 28. These awardees will be joined by our Verdicts & Settlements winners — lawyers with the largest verdicts, settlements and defense wins of 2018, who will be announced next month.
Lawyers of the Year
Joseph D. (Chip) Sheppard III, of Carnahan, Evans, Cantwell & Brown, Dan Viets, of Dan Viets Attorney, and Michael B. Hill, of Canna Jurist, for advocacy leading to the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri.
Awarded to the newsmakers — the Missouri lawyers who made substantial contributions to the legal community this year.
Dan Boulware, of Polsinelli, for his representation of property owners in their suit stemming from the Army Corps of Engineers’ management of the Missouri River.
Gregory M. Kratofil Jr., of Polsinelli, for his advocacy resulting in the passage of a new state law boosting education requirements in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Edward L. Dowd Jr., of Dowd Bennett, for his high-profile defense of former Gov. Eric Greitens.
Nathan F. Garrett, of Graves Garrett, for his service as president of the Kansas City Police Department’s Board of Police Commissioners.
Jay Barnes, outgoing state representative, for his leadership in the Missouri House investigation of former Gov. Eric Greitens.
Awarded to plaintiffs’ or defense lawyers, not based on the size of verdicts, but the importance of the principle or policy at stake.
Ashley Ricket, of the Ricket Law Firm, for her representation of a child sex-abuse victim in a case that raises the question of whether public schools statewide are protected under sovereign immunity.
Charlie J. Harris Jr., of Seyferth Blumenthal & Harris, for his representation of Jackson County in a sexual-harassment case that resulted in the resignation of former Sheriff Mike Sharp.
Shannon Norman, of Shannon Norman Law, for her representation of Judy Henderson, who was convicted and served 35 years in prison for her role in a robbery-turned-murder before obtaining a pardon.
Lee Camp, of ArchCity Defenders, for his work in a case that created a precedent giving judges more discretion in handling landlord-tenant disputes.
Influential Appellate Advocates
Awarded to the lawyers behind the most significant appellate decisions of the year.
Adina Johnson, of Roberts Perryman, for her work in legal-malpractice defense, which resulted in a significant appellate ruling for criminal-defense attorneys.
David L. McCain Jr., of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, for his representation of the state of Missouri in a challenge of Missouri’s Second Injury Fund law.
Josef S. Glynias, of Husch Blackwell, for his work resulting in a far-reaching federal appeals court ruling for ConAgra in a proposed class-action lawsuit.
Michael Manners, of Langdon & Emison, for a career of significant appellate wins, including a ruling this year affirming a $20 million plaintiff’s verdict.
Law Firm Leaders
Awarded to chairpersons, managing partners or other law firm executives who demonstrated extraordinary vision, innovation and leadership during the year.
Adam P. Seitz, of Erise IP, for his leadership in elevating his firm into a household name in the world of intellectual-property law.
Andy Crouppen, of Brown & Crouppen, for his leadership in the firm’s embrace of family-friendly policies and diversity-and-inclusion initiatives.
Brian D. Malkmus, of the Malkmus Law Firm, for his work as his firm’s trial leader, managing a heavy trial caseload and mentoring others.
Jeffrey A. Cohen, of Capes Sokol, who has successfully navigated the firm through retirements of its named partners, lease negotiations and expanded the firm’s practice areas.
Mark Cantor, of Cantor Injury Law, for his leadership in expanding his firm, its office footprint and its embrace of an eco-friendly case-file system.
Sharon Stolte, of Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard, for her oversight and management of the redesign and renovation of the firm’s Kansas City office, efforts to recruit new attorneys and growth of her own practice while helping others to grow their practices.
Timothy J. Gearin, of Armstrong Teasdale, for his dual roles as leader of the firm’s Mass Tort and Catastrophic Loss practice area and member of the firm’s executive committee.