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Congratulations to our alumni for being named Missouri Lawyers of the Year for 2020. The awards will be presented Friday, January 24, 2020 in St. Louis, MO.

  • William G. Beck (’78) Influential Appellate Advocate
  • Marie Gockel (’83) Influential Appellate Advocate
  • Kirk Presley (’83) Influential Lawyer

Congratulations to our alumni and adjunct faculty member who will be presented awards at the KCMBA Annual Meeting on December 13, 2019

  • James W. Tippin (’73) Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Robert L. Kinsman (’14) YLS President’s Award
  • Perry Brandt, Outstanding CLE Contributor

John R. Shank (’78)

John R. Shank (’78) passed away on October 7, 2019. John initially worked in private practice and served as an assistant public defender in Clay Co. He then practiced law with Michael Gunn and many other esteemed colleagues for 38 years.

Congratulations to all of our alumni named Best of the Bar for 2019 by Kansas City Business Journal.

Scott Bethune (’88)
Michelle Burge (’03)
Nikki Cannezzaro (’00)
Mara Cohara (’01)
Athena Dickson (’03)
Tim Dollar (’84)
Derek Feagans (’98)
Charlie Harris (’95)
James Hobbs (’81)
Mira Mdivani (’99)
Martin Meyers (’79)
Phyllis Norman (’03)
John O’Connor (’82)
Dawn Parsons (’93)
Kirk Presley (’83)
Charles Renner (’00)
Anne Schiavone (’99)
David Skeens (’88)
Michael White (’65)
James Wyrsch (’72)

Congratulations to all of our alumni and member of our faculty that received awards at the Mo Bar Annual Meeting.

Danielle Atchison (’14) for the Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm, Pro Bono Publico Award
Patrick Berrigan (’84), Defender of Distinction Award
Suzanne Bosell Bradley (’75), Spurgeon Smithson Award
Mason Ellis (’17) for the Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm, Pro Bono Publico Award
Honorable Zel Fischer (’88), Theodore McMillian Judical Excellence Award
Charles W. Gotschall (’79), Purcell Professionalism Award
J.R. Hobbs (’81), Spurgeon Smithson Award
Mira Mdivani (’99) for the Mdivani Corporate Immigration Law Firm, Pro Bono Publico Award
Douglass F. Noland (’80), Presidents Award
Eric S. Playter (’06), Lon O. Hocker Award
John M. Spencer (’98), Pro Bono Publico Award
Dean Emerita Ellen Suni, Presidents Award

Stephen Carl Caruso (’72)

Stephen Carl Caruso (’72) passed away on August 16, 2019. He practiced law in the Kansas City area for over 30 years. Steve served in the Marine Corps during the Vietman War and was awarded the Bronze Starr.

Commissioner John F. Payne (’76)

Commissioner John F. Payne (’76) passed away on Nov. 4, 2018. He served as Commissioner in Division 41 for the 16th Judicial Circuit Court for 18 years. He was a member of the Board of Niles Home for Children. Among other honors, he was named among “Outstanding Young Men of America” in 1980 and the “Outstanding Family Advocate-2009” by the  Cornerstones of Care, a conglomerate of Children and Family Services  He became an ordained a minister in 1992 and served as Pastor of the Temple of Faith Missionary Baptist Church.

William G Lueckenhoff (’79)

William G Lueckenhoff (’79) passed away on July 27, 2018. After graduation from UMKC, Will joined the FBI as a Special Agent. During his 25 year career, he served in a number of FBI field offices across the country and at FBI Headquarters in Washington. After retiring from the FBI, Will worked in a number of private sector security positions including more than two years in Iraq as a law enforcement advisor to the military. When he returned to Kansas City, he worked for Catholic Charities and as a private investigator.

Darwin Emil Johnson (LLM ’78)

Darwin Emil Johnson (LLM ’78) passed away on August 21, 2018. He practiced law for 50 years in Kansas and Missouri. Darwin also was in the U.S. Army and Reserves for 30 years when he retired as a colonel in the Judge Advocate General Corp.

Ronald Wiesenthal (’72)

Ronald Wiesenthal (’72), of the St. Louis Mediation and Arbitration Center, was named Missouri’s Best Independent Mediator in a poll of lawyers conducted by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.