09:33 AM

2022 David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award recognizes three young lawyers for outstanding appellate work

2022 Dixon Awards

The David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award was created by The Missouri Bar Foundation to recognize outstanding achievement in appellate practice by young members of The Missouri Bar. The award is named after the late Judge Dixon, whose tenacity, professionalism, and judicial skills epitomize outstanding appellate practice. This recognition goes to three young lawyers who are under the age of 40 who perform outstanding appellate work.

This year’s David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award honorees are Kate Merwald, Kristen S. Johnson, and Derek Ankrom.

Merwald is a senior public defender with the Missouri State Public Defender System in Kansas City.

“I feel passionate about advocating for the humanity of my clients within our imperfect system, while discussing and arguing the law to support the rights and values that protect everyone,” she states.

As an assistant attorney general at the Missouri Attorney General’s Office for the last three years, Johnson is charged with responding to appeals taken from felony convictions across the state.

“Serving the people of Missouri and the interests of justice by briefing and arguing these important issues in the appellate courts of this state is both a privilege and an honor,” Johnson said.

Ankrom is a partner with Spencer Fane LLP, in Springfield.

“Identifying and explaining potential legal errors in an appeal is intellectually challenging, but it is also professionally rewarding when you keep in mind that the ultimate objective is to help ensure that the judicial system worked as it should,” Ankrom said.

Congratulations to this year’s award winners. These three lawyers will receive a $750 stipend from The Missouri Bar Foundation for their outstanding service to the administration of justice.

For more information regarding this award and past winners, please click here.