A new year always seems to dawn with promise. Time may travel in a linear path, never pausing, but I like the symbolism of a door that opens after last year’s ball drops.
The Romans embedded the concept when they chose a name for this block of time. They honored their god Janus whose main purview was to watch over new beginnings. And doors. Janus often was depicted with two faces — one looking back and one forward.
Forgive my shameless metaphor use, but I use it to describe how Missouri Lawyers Media makes decisions in many of our Missouri Lawyers Awards. We take a long look back at the previous year in not only identifying those gladiators who marked big, exceptional verdict and settlement wins for their clients, but those whose actions in and out of the courtroom have had — or will have — significant impact on the profession.
Whether you agree or disagree that the medical use of marijuana should be legal, you will agree that the passage of Amendment 2 will have a big effect on the state’s legal profession. Three attorneys are credited with the success of that amendment amid a crowded field of proposals with similar purpose. The collective vision of Dan Viets, Mike Hill and Chip Sheppard pushed Amendment 2 over the finish line, ahead of the others. This business of amending state constitutions is never easy. Winning among competing proposals is, to cite the work of yet another Roman god, Herculean.
The list of accomplishments of all of the attorneys we recognize this year is one of tremendous purpose, vision and impact.
Nominations for these awards were submitted from across the state and from a wealth of resources. The nominations alone are a testament to the great work practiced day in and day out by so many dedicated men and women. As we select the honorees, we know their impact has a ripple effect. In addition to the profession, they make a commitment to their communities, however they define that.
They are leaders, not followers. They understand and demonstrate that service to their communities isn’t a byproduct of success; in fact success is a byproduct of service.
On behalf of everyone at Missouri Lawyers Media, I extend our sincerest congratulations to the 2019 Missouri Lawyers Awards honorees. We are proud to be a part of this recognition and grateful to those honored this year.