16:46 PM

Tom Bender presents 2020 President’s Awards to Van Amburg, Abrams

Retired judge, law school professor chaired Missouri Bar committees

Tom Bender, 2019-20 president of The Missouri Bar, has selected Hon. Lisa Van Amburg and Professor Doug Abrams to receive 2020 President’s Awards. The recognition is for individuals who have provided meritorious service to The Missouri Bar. Van Amburg and Abrams were recognized Sept. 16, 2020, during The Missouri Bar’s virtual Annual Meeting.  

Earlier this year, when the Coronavirus forced Missouri Courts to quickly adapt to continue citizens’ access to justiceJudge Lisa Van Amburg stepped up to co-chair The Missouri Bar’s COVID-19 Response Task Force. Van Amburg and her team worked with the Missouri Secretary of State to modify the use of remote notarizations as well as addressed what lawyers could do to relax procedural rules, promoting remote proceedings, depositions, subpoenas, and more to keep everyone safe while continuing services. 

“I asked for volunteers at a time when their own lives and, for most, their practices, were also in disarray, but each said yes. All the Task Force members worked hard, but one person stood out in her efforts,” said Bender of Van Amburg.  

Van Amburg retired from the Missouri Court of Appeals in 2018 after serving in the Eastern District of Missouri. Before her appointment to the Court of Appeals for the Eastern District of Missouri, Van Amburg served as a circuit judge in the 22nd Judicial Circuit (City of Louis) from 2003-2012. Prior to her appointment to the bench, she was in private practice at several different law firms.  

Bender also recognized University of Missouri School of Law Professor Doug Abrams, who has assisted The Missouri Bar for 30 years, acting in an advisory role to The Missouri Bar Board of Governors, authoring “Writing It Right” in the Journal of The Missouri Bar, and serving as the publication’s editorial board chair for nearly 25 years. Abrams has been a member of the Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, a fellow of the Bar Foundation, and on many other professional boards. 

Outside of his bar work, Abrams has written numerous books, and with his royalties from those books, created the Happiness for Health program  a permanent endowment that provides toys and parties for sick and injured kids at MU Children’s Hospital.  

“For years, Doug Abrams has served the profession in a variety of ways,” said Bender. “His work as a lawyer and scholar has advanced the quality and development of law.” 

Each year, The Missouri Bar recognizes individuals who have helped improve the profession, the law and the administration of justice for all. For more information on The Missouri Bar’s annual awards click here.