BAMSL Minorities in the Legal Profession (MILP) Section Presents: Induction into the BAMSL Gallery of Legal Pioneers in Honor of Black History Month (Virtual) & CLE
Wed, February 24, 2021
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CT
CO-SPONSORED BY THE BAMSL LGBTQ+ COMMITTEE
4:30 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.
Welcome and Introductions
4:35 p.m. - 5:25 p.m.
CLE: A Cultural Competency Chat with Diverse Judges:
A Sharing on Their Unique Personal Experiences and Legal Perspectives.
|5:25 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.||
Closing Remarks and Q&A
|5:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.||
Induction into the BAMSL Gallery of Legal Pioneers Ceremony
Although when formed in 1874 the Bar of Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL) barred African American Attorneys from obtaining membership, BAMSL acknowledges that once this discriminatory practice was eliminated it has enjoyed the benefit of countless African American and other racially deemed minority members. These diverse members have made tremendous contributions to the legal profession and the global community. To that end BAMSL began officially preserving the history of diverse Attorneys and Judges who were pioneering “famous firsts” and paved the way for countless others to achieve success in the Missouri Legal Community. The contributions of these diverse firsts were recognized by placing their photos on the Legal Pioneer Wall of Fame as an eternal reminder of their contributions. It is our duty and privilege to continue recognizing Minority Legal Pioneers who have been historically discriminated against and whose accomplishments have served as hope and inspiration for future generations.
The BAMSL Minorities in the Legal Profession Section is proud to host a virtual awards ceremony in honor of Hon. Kathy A. Surratt-States, Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Missouri, and Hon. Lawrence E. Mooney, JAMS, retired from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District of Missouri, as we induct them into the Gallery of Pioneers Wall of Fame for their accomplishments.
Hon. Kathy Surratt-States, Chief Judge, U. S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Missouri
Kathy A. Surratt-States was sworn in as United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri on March 17, 2003. She is the first African-American appointed to the bankruptcy bench in the Eighth Circuit. She was appointed Chief Judge on February 1, 2013. Judge Surratt-States was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where her parents instilled in her the importance of education and service to the community. She received her B.A., cum laude, from Oklahoma City University in 1988. She received her J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1991. She was named one of Missouri’s “Up and Coming Lawyers” as a “Rising Star at the Bankruptcy Bar” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly in 1999. Later, she received the 2007 Washington University School of Law Distinguished Young Alumni
Judge Surratt-States’ legal career focused on bankruptcy law from the beginning. After graduating from law school, she served as law clerk to now retired United States Bankruptcy Judge James J. Barta. In 1993, she became an associate at Campbell & Coyne, P.C. where her work focused on bankruptcy, commercial litigation and foreclosures. She moved to Ziercher & Hocker, P.C. in 1998, where she became partner. This firm later merged with Husch Blackwell, where she practiced as a partner in the insolvency practice group until her appointment to the Bankruptcy Court.
In 1997, she was appointed as one of nine members of the Panel of Bankruptcy Trustee for the Eastern District of Missouri. In 1999, she served as the Chapter 7 Trustee for Family Company of America, then the third largest grocery store chain in St. Louis. In 2001, she was appointed by then Governor Bob Holden as one of four Commissioners for the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners. She held both positions until her appointment to the bench. Judge Surratt-States serves on the board of directors for several charitable organizations including Catholic Charities of St. Louis, whose mission is to serve people in need and work to improve social conditions for all people in the community and Gifted Resource Council, whose mission is to provide educational opportunities for gifted and talented young people ages 3 – 14. She is also a member of Altrusa International, Inc. of St. Louis, an international association of professionals dedicated to serving their community, where she previously served as President. She was formerly a member of the board for Good Shepherd Children & Family Services, where she served as President. Judge Surratt-States also participated in Washington University’s Mentoring Program for law students and supervises several interns from various law schools in her chambers.
Judge Surratt-States is a member of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, where she chairs the Blackshear Presidential Fellowship program for minority lawyers who practice bankruptcy law. Additionally, Judge Surratt-States is a member of the Missouri Bar, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Mound City Bar Association, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Bankruptcy Institute and International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation. In 2017, Judge Surratt-States was honored with the President’s Award by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis for her dedication to bankruptcy pro bono service. In 2016, Judge Surratt-States was honored with the Honorable Theodore McMillan Award by the Black Law Students Association at Saint Louis University School of Law.
In 2014, Judge Surratt-States was honored with a Women’s Justice Award as a public official whose service improves the quality of justice by Missouri Lawyers Media. Judge Surratt-States is married to Clifford States who is a Lieutenant with the St. Louis City Metropolitan Police Department and they have one daughter.
Hon. Lawrence A. Mooney (Ret.)
Hon. Lawrence E. Mooney (Ret.) joined JAMS in St. Louis following over 21 years of distinguished service as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, including a term as chief judge.
From 2015 to his retirement, Judge Mooney served as his court’s settlement judge, screening all civil matters filed with the court in an effort to find opportunities for settlement prior to adjudication. Judge Mooney won consistent praise from both the court and litigants for his ability to identify alternatives to litigation and to work with parties to settle dozens of matters set for appeal.
Believing that it is never too late for settlement, Judge Mooney excels at helping even firmly entrenched parties find fresh avenues for agreement.
ADR Experience and Qualifications
- Former settlement judge for the Missouri Court of Appeals, with a recognized track record of working with parties to settle live litigation
- Consistently praised on the bench for his timely, high-quality work product and fair treatment of parties; sat by designation on the Supreme Court of Missouri
- Served as chair of the Judicial Finance Commission, a body established by the Missouri Legislature to resolve budget disputes between judicial circuits and counties
- Community leader with decades of service to economic development and the arts in the St. Louis metropolitan region
- Blanks v. Fluor Corporation, 450 S.W.3d 308 (Mo. App. E.D. 2014): Reviewed a $358-million verdict in a 180-page opinion, affirming in part and reversing and remanding in part
- Mello v. Davis, 182 S.W.3d 622 (Mo. App. E.D. 2005): Reversed an award of attorneys’ fees, employing both legal principles and humor in reaching its conclusion
- Missouri Soybean Association v. The Missouri Clean Water Commission, 102 S.W.3d 10 (Mo. banc 2003)
- While sitting as a special judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri, authored the majority opinion, which affirmed and modified the dismissal of a challenge to the Missouri Clean Water Commission’s decision designating the Mississippi and Missouri rivers as impaired waterways
Hon. Jason Sengheiser, St. Louis City Circuit Court
Jason Sengheiser is a judge of the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court in Missouri. He was appointed by Gov. Eric Greitens (R) on September 7, 2017, to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Julian L. Bush.
At the time of his appointment as a circuit court judge, Sengheiser was an associate judge for the 22nd Circuit. He was appointed to that position by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on January 26, 2016, to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Associate Judge Michael W. Noble to judge.
Sengheiser earned a bachelor's degree and a J.D. from Saint Louis University and an LL.M. in international and comparative law from Columbia University in New York.
Sengheiser's professional experience includes work as an adjunct professor for Fontbonne University and a law clerk for Missouri Court of Appeals Judges Robert Dowd and Gary Gaertner Jr. He has also served as a board member with the Missouri Bar, the Young Friend of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Paraquad, and the Saint Louis University Prison Program.
Missouri Bar, MCLE Department
Credit has been approved with the Missouri Bar, MCLE Department for 1.10 Cultural Competency, Diversity, Inclusion, and Implicit Bias credits.
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Wed, February 24, 2021
4:30 PM - 6:00 PM CT
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