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2023 David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award recognizes three young lawyers for outstanding appellate work

Dixon Award

Katharine P. Curry, Michael T. Raupp, and Alexandria Shah have been named the 2023 recipients of the David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award. The 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 under 40 who perform outstanding appellate work. 

This year’s David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award honorees will be presented the award Sept. 13, 2023, during The Missouri Bar Foundation & Public Service Awards Luncheon at the Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar in Kansas City. 

Katharine P. Curry received her J.D. from the University of Missouri School of Law in 2012. After graduating, she returned to her hometown of St. Charles to work at Eisenstein Law LLC where she focused on family law and contracts. In 2017, she began her current position as senior public defender in the Central Appellate Office of the Missouri State Public Defender.  

Curry’s practice primarily involves appeals related to post-conviction relief in criminal cases for low-income clients across Missouri, which she believes is important for both her clients and society. Curry said she is driven by the feeling that her work is an important part of a functioning criminal justice system. 

“My work feels worthwhile and challenging, and I sincerely feel like I am providing an actual service by ensuring my clients' fundamental rights are meaningfully honored,” Curry said. She added she enjoys the intellectual rigor of appellate work, engaging with complex legal issues, and thinking creatively about the law. 

Michael T. Raupp earned his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 2012. After graduation, he served as a clerk to the Hon. Duane Benton of the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He joined Husch Blackwell in 2013 and has successfully represented several clients before the U.S. Court of Appeals. He has also represented clients in petitions and briefings at the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Raupp enjoys the opportunity to learn about new areas of law through his appellate litigation. 

“With each new case, you have the chance to do a deep dive into specific legal topics, some of which you have likely never encountered before,” Raupp said. “I love the opportunity to continue to learn in that way.” 

Alexandria Shah received her J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. She spent several years after graduation at the Missouri State Public Defender System as a trial lawyer and senior public defender. Shah now serves as staff attorney for the 22nd Judicial Circuit in the City of St. Louis where she focuses on juvenile delinquency trials and appeals.  

Having worked on both trial court and appellate cases, Shah recognizes the importance of the bigger picture and how one case can affect the client and society as a whole. 

“Appellate practice is different in that the results of your case can also set precedent for future cases. Using that framework and knowing the bigger picture of your case helps in deciding which claims to raise on appeal,” Shah said. “Getting a great result at the trial court level can mean nothing if it will not stand on appeal.” 

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