We're ready to build on what we've done during the pandemic
Message from Missouri Bar President Tom Bender
I hope this message finds you and your family well. Some of you may have reopened or are planning to do so, while others are still working remotely. As we continue to move forward, I wanted to touch base, share some of the ways we've been here to help during the pandemic and ask you what more we can do.
What we have done
Here are just a few of the ways we've worked alone or with others to help you and the citizens of Missouri during the pandemic:
- Coronavirus Resource Center for Lawyers
- Free COVID-19 CLE Series
- Extended MCLE Reporting Year and Deadline
- Co-hosted townhall with Kansas Bar Association on PPP benefits
- Executive Order suspending personal appearance requirement for notarizations and free on-demand MoBarCLE program on remote notarizations
- Launched the Lawyers Living Well online community
- Hosted first Virtual Enrollment Ceremony for new lawyers
- Increased volunteers for Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org online clinic
In addition, under the leadership of Judges Lisa Van Amburg and James Welsh, our COVID-19 Response Task Force continues to work, identifying challenges lawyers and courts face in providing the public with access to justice and proposing potential responses, including a request to come up with best practices for in-person proceedings so that all members of the public can be protected. Their input to bar leadership and the Court is important as we strive to balance efforts to keep the courts open with everyone's health and well-being. There were hundreds of volunteer hours donated by the members of the COVID-19 Response Task Force and its subcommittees. The selfless willingness of those committee members to help others is truly appreciated.
Our next steps depend in part on you
Your Board of Governors is still listening. We want to understand your ongoing or new challenges so we can best help to address them. Businesses are reopening and our courts are expanding in-person proceedings. Help us prepare for the future by identifying any statutory or procedural changes needed in the event of future outbreaks or limitations on court activities. Also, we have all learned how to conduct our practices in different ways. What temporary practice or procedure changes prompted by the pandemic should become permanent? Please use this form to share your ideas with us.
Pivot. The first time I heard the word was playing basketball. You had a pivot foot you kept in place and you pivoted toward the basket, moving the other foot in another direction. Back then, I never heard the word used in any other context; now, it is the word du jour. We have pivoted, both as a bar and as a profession, as we try to find the right direction to travel. But as we pivot our strategies, our primary goal remains the same – to help lawyers even better serve their clients and to improve the law and administration of justice for all Missourians.[Read more in the President's Page]
Tom Bender, 2019-20 Missouri Bar President