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Judicial Conference issues awards at 2022 meeting

John Grimm (left), Maurice B. Graham (seated) and Paul C. Wilson (right), who is holding a plaque

Outgoing Missouri Bar President John Grimm, left, receives the first Maurice B. Graham Award in recognition of exemplary service to the bar and judiciary from Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson. Graham, a partner with Gray Ritter Graham in St. Louis and the award’s namesake, is seated between them. The Judicial Conference of Missouri presented several awards on Sept. 15 during its annual meeting, held this year in Springfield. (Photo courtesy of Missouri Supreme Court)

The Judicial Conference of Missouri presented a series of awards on Sept. 15 during the organization’s meeting in Springfield. 

Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson presented the newly renamed Maurice B. Graham Award to outgoing president of The Missouri Bar John Grimm for his leadership in renewing the focus on mental health and wellness and in reenergizing the bar’s commitment to civic education.

Grimm, a former circuit judge and a partner with The Limbaugh Firm in Cape Girardeau, became immediate past president of The Missouri Bar during its annual meeting in Springfield, held in conjunction with the Judicial Conference’s meeting of the state’s judges.

Wilson said the court named the award after Maurice Graham of Gray Ritter Graham in St. Louis in recognition of his exemplary service to the bar and judiciary.

Awards also went to:

• Greene County Circuit Judge Jason Brown received the civic education award for his work as the former chair of the Supreme Court of Missouri’s civic education committee.

• Jackson County Circuit Judge Joel Fahnestock was awarded the Honorable Clifford Ahrens Excellence in Technical Advancements Award for her work in chairing the Missouri Court Automation Committee’s implementation task team.

• Judge Leslie Schneider, a longtime associate circuit judge in Boone County, received the award for outstanding service as an associate circuit judge or commissioner. 

• St. Louis County Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer won the award honoring judicial excellence by a circuit judge. Ohmer is the longtime chair of the state’s circuit court budget committee and recently served on the circuit realignment task force.

• Judge Karen King Mitchell of the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District was presented the award for judicial excellence on an appellate court.

Joe Dandurand was presented an award for demonstrated excellence in increasing access to justice. Dandurand, a former circuit and appellate judge, is the former executive director of Legal Services of Western Missouri.

The Judicial Conference also recognized eight legislators for their efforts to protect and promote a fair, efficient and independent judiciary. Awards went to Senators Sandy Crawford, R-Buffalo; Dan Hegeman, R-Cosby; Lincoln Hough, R- Springfield; and Barbara Washington, D-Kansas City; and Representatives Bruce DeGroot, R-Ellisville; Curtis Trent, R-Springfield; and Rudy Veit, R-Wardsville.

In addition, Supreme Court Judge Zel M. Fischer, who serves as president of the National Courts and Sciences Institute, recognized the six Missouri judges who were part of a group of 64 judges nationally who have been certified as science and technology resource judges with a specialization in health care outcomes research evidence related to the case management and evidence adjudication of issues emanating from the COVID pandemic. 

Those certified from Missouri are: Supreme Court Judge Robin Ransom; Jackson County Circuit Judge Cory L. Atkins; Greene County Circuit Judge Michael J. Cordonnier; retired Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Deborah Daniels; Clay County Circuit Judge Timothy J. Flook; and Judge Ryan W. Horsman, presiding judge of the 43rd Judicial Circuit. 

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Attorneys honored at 2022 Missouri Bar annual meeting 

Photos: 2022 Missouri Bar annual meeting