Liberty lawyer, UMKC Law Dean Emeritus recipients of 2019 Missouri Bar President's Awards
Ray Williams, 2018-19 Missouri Bar president, has selected a lawyer from Liberty and a retired dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law to receive 2019 President’s Awards.
Ray Williams, 2018-19 Missouri Bar president, has selected a lawyer from Liberty and a retired dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law to receive 2019 President’s Awards. This recognition is for individuals who have provided meritorious service to The Missouri Bar. Douglass Noland and Dean Ellen Suni will be honored Sept. 19 at the opening luncheon of the 2019 Annual Meeting in Branson.
Douglass F. Noland has served on the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar since 2005. He is co-chair of the Appointments Committee and has served on the executive and finance committees. Additionally, he has been a Trustee of the Missouri Bar Foundation since 2015.
Noland was elected for two terms to the 7th Circuit Judicial Commission and has served on the Judicial Performance Review Committee since 2008. He was a member of The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section Council, president of the Clay County Bar Association, and president of the Clay County Bar Foundation.
Noland has also served the profession by sharing his knowledge with Missouri lawyers through more than 70 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) presentations on trial practice and procedure as well as consumer remedies. He has written more than 50 articles on civil procedure, trial practice and consumer rights. In addition, he has been an adjunct professor in trial advocacy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law since 2013, and previously was an adjunct professor at William Jewell College.
"Doug’s immense service to our profession and the people of Missouri has helped lawyers even better serve their clients and helped improve the lives of his neighbors,” Williams said. “And he has never sought recognition for all his efforts making him an amazing example of servant leadership.”
Ellen Yankiver Suni is dean and professor emerita of law at the UMKC School of Law. She has been on the faculty at the university for 39 years and served as dean from 2004-2017.
Although Suni has written scholarly articles, she prefers to write and speak on issues that help practicing lawyers understand and use the law more effectively. She has served on the planning committees for both The Missouri Bar Annual Meeting and the state bar’s Solo and Small Firm Conference and is a frequent speaker at national and local CLE programs.
Suni has spent her career primarily helping those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the law to succeed in the profession as well as those impacted by the legal system, but who can’t afford adequate representation. She has been a leader in the creation and development of on-going programs, including the UMKC School of Law Academic Enrichment Program, the Missouri Capital Punishment Resource Center, Kansas City Youth Court, The Midwest Innocence Project, and most recently the ClearMyRecord Expungement Project.
“Not only have thousands of UMKC School of Law graduates benefited from her leadership, but thousands of Missouri lawyers have benefited from her service to the bar including helping plan CLE for many annual meetings, her role as moderator for some of the best plenary sessions we have ever had, and the law student program at the Solo and Small Firm Conference,” Williams said. “Plus, she’s on the leading edge of discussions on lawyer wellness and making entry into the profession easier.”
Despite Suni’s recent official retirement from UMKC Law, she is still teaching criminal law, appellate advocacy, and legal technology and public policy. She plans to continue at the law school, collaborating with Code for KC and the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office to create an expungement clinic serving those unable to afford representation when it comes to the state’s newly enacted and recently expanded expungement process.