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The Missouri Bar's biggest events go virtual to protect your health

Message from Missouri Bar President Tom Bender

What a year this has been. We continue to monitor the community spread and the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had on in-person events. We care about your safety and well-being, and beginning on March 13, we began suspending events that we did not believe could be safely held.

As we approach the season of our biggest conferences of the bar year, we have had to make some hard decisions. We love the fellowship and excitement of lawyers getting together to learn and laugh. But we balance that against the important need to protect the health of conference goers, presenters and staff.

Based on the information we have to date, coupled with CDC guidelines for mass gatherings (which involves events with 250+ people), we are shifting the Annual Meeting and conferences scheduled through early October to virtual events in order to best protect everyone’s health.

Virtual conference information

We look forward to having you join us for one or all of these fully online events and will be reaching out with complete registration details and updated agendas shortly.

In addition to participating in the live virtual conferences, all attendees will have access to on-demand recordings for all the conference programming – expanding its value to you.

Another summer conference staple – the Bernard Edelman DWI Law & Science Seminar – has been postponed. It is now set for Nov. 30 - Dec. 1, 2020, in Lake Ozark.

We look forward to offering you networking, vendor information and the same, substantive programming specific to Missouri law that you have come to expect across all these events.

These lawyers deserve our thanks

Each year, several dozen Missouri lawyers volunteer to plan our various conferences, finding ways to develop relevant, fun and dynamic events benefitting thousands of judges, lawyers and law students. This bar year’s volunteers have not only planned amazing conferences but are now going above and beyond to reinvent those conferences to virtual formats to bring relevant education and meaningful networking to all of us from any device.

I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to these members and hope you will do the same when you next cross paths with them. As most will not be identifiable at these events by their planning committee ribbons, you can see the lists planning committee members below.

Of note, I want to recognize the chairs who are leading these changes during difficult times for us all:

  • Co-Chairs Chad Courtney and Shannon Grisham of the 2020 Family Law Conference
  • Chair Karolin Walker of the 2020 MOSOLO & Small Firm Conference
  • Co-Chairs Todd Graves and Madeleine McDonough of the 2020 Annual Meeting
  • Co-Chairs Christine Alsop and Emily Kembell of the 2020 Annual Estate, Trust & Elder Law Institute
  • Chair Kimberly Benjamin of the 2020 Bernard Edelman DWI Law & Science Seminar

Thank you!

As always, please contact me with your suggestions or ideas when it comes to improving the law and our profession. I look forward to seeing you online at one of these conferences soon!

Stay well,

Tom Bender

Tom Bender, 2019-20 Missouri Bar President

Tom Bender, 2019-2020 President of The Missouri Bar


2020 Family Law Conference Planning Committee

Chad Courtney, Co-Chair; Shannon Grisham, Co-Chair; Alan Freed, Allison Gerli, Simone Haberstock, Doug Harris,Anne Kern, Nicholas Mebruer, Mary Kay O’Malley, Shelly Reece, Craig Ritchie, Pamela Roychaudhury, Shannon Sorensen, Larry Swall II, Lara Underwood and Tamara Veit

2020 MOSOLO & Small Firm Conference Planning Committee Chairs

Karolin Walker, Chair; and Vice Chairs Maureen Brady, Cassie Carpenter Bugalski, Brennan Delalney, Heather Hardinger, Carol Hutcheson, Nadine Nunn, Chris Roberts and Rick Rollings

2020 Annual Meeting Planning Committee

Todd Graves, Co-Chair; Madeleine McDonough, Co-Chair; Betsy AuBuchon, Julie Berkowitz, Hon. Stephen Bough, Hon. David Byrn, Jose Caldera, John Challis, Lauren Collins, Chad Courtney, Christopher Dandurand, Hon. Deborah Daniels, Ebonie Davis, Katharyn Davis, Athena Dickson, Mimi Doherty, Hon. George W. Draper III, Whittney Dunn, Mischa Buford Epps, Nicole Fisher, Dean Barbara Glesner Fines, Vice President John Grimm, President-Elect John Gunn, Brian Hamburg, Blake Heath, Eric Johnson, Andrea Kimball, Maya King, Christina Lewis Abate, Nalini Mahadevan, Karen McCarthy, Hon. Karen Mitchell, Cary Mogerman, Susan Robertson, Timothy West, Daniel Wheeler and Immediate Past President Ray Williams

2020 Estate, Trust & Elder Law Institute Planning Committee

Christine Alsop, Co-Chair; Emily Kembell, Co-Chair; Julie Berkowitz, John Challis, Courtney Fletcher, Keith Grissom, Brian Hamburg, Crystal Hawk and Douglas Stanley