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#MoBarNews: June 2022 recap

As the Independence Day holiday rapidly approaches, it’s time to look back on The Missouri Bar’s top articles from June. Here are a few stories this month that you will not want to miss.

Freedom Suits Memorial unveiled in downtown St. Louis

Several hundred judges, lawyers, politicians, and Missouri residents gathered on the east plaza of the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis on June 20 to view the unveiling of the new Freedom Suits Memorial. The 14-foot bronze statue honors more than 300 Black Missourians who, over nearly six decades, fought for their freedom in the St. Louis circuit court with the assistance of lawyers, judges, and jurors. Created by sculptor Preston Jackson, the statue sits on an 8,000-pound black granite base, engraved with the names of the enslaved plaintiffs in what is believed to be the largest known single collection of their identities.

The Hon. David C. Mason, circuit judge with the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court, spoke emotionally at the event, stating that he had hoped to one day display a monument honoring the brave Black plaintiffs who fought for their freedom in the 1800s with the help of dedicated judges, lawyers, and jurors. His dream came true, and the Freedom Suits Monument was unveiled in conjunction with the federal Juneteenth holiday.

Five people appointed, reappointed to Judicial Performance Review Committee

The Missouri Bar Board of Governors appointed Phyllis Battle, Dr. Marie Peoples, and Sarah Devlin and reappointed Katharyn Davis and Katherine Thompson to the Judicial Performance Review Committee during its May 13 meeting.

As judicial retention elections approach this November, the work of the independent, 21-member Judicial Performance Review Committee is critical in evaluating the performances of appellate and trial judges appointed under the constitutional nonpartisan selection process, also known as The Missouri Plan.

The committee was established pursuant to Supreme Court of Missouri Rules 10.50-10.55. It contains nine members of The Missouri Bar, nine Missouri residents who are not bar members, and one retired judge from each district of the Missouri Court of Appeals. The Missouri Bar Board of Governors appoints both the lawyer and non-lawyer members. The Supreme Court of Missouri appoints the three seats held by retired judges. 

 YLS hosts ‘The Milly Project’ film premiere

The Young Lawyers’ Section of The Missouri Bar presented two new continuing legal education programs based on ‘The Milly Project’ on June 21 in St. Louis and June 23 in Kansas City. The play, “The Milly Project,” presents the true story of an enslaved woman named Milly Sawyers who fought for and legally won her freedom in Springfield prior to the Civil War.  

The showings kicked off with a reception including food and beverages, followed by a screening of a new film adaptation of the play, and concluded with a panel discussion, which qualified for elimination of bias and ethics credit.

“‘The Milly Project’ is an exploration into the early success and failure of the Missouri legal system and our collective memory,” says Kamillia Scott, YLS council member for District 3, Kansas City. “It’s time to have the tough conversations about the legacy of these events in an effort to improve our craft as attorneys.”   

 Read a recap of the St. Louis event here.

Most popular stories

 The most popular type of stories in June included the following:

·        Weekly case summaries, where the bar provides links to and summaries of all hand downs published online by the Supreme Court of Missouri. Click here to read the June case summaries.

·        In Memoriam, where the bar remembers Missouri lawyers who have passed.

·        Follow the career moves and recognitions achieved by Missouri lawyers in weekly MoveMakers & NewsMakers posts.

·        As news happens in the state legislature, stay tuned in with regular legislative updates.

The Missouri Bar makes every effort to provide valuable information and resources through MoBar.org and MissouriLawyersHelp.org. To stay up to date with everything going on, follow The Missouri Bar on FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter.