Board Minutes


July 18, 2018
Big Cedar Lodge, Branson  

Members present:

Morry S. Cole, President

Raymond E. Williams, President-Elect

Thomas V. Bender, Vice-President

Dana Tippin Cutler, Immediate Past President

Betsy AuBuchon, Treasurer

Sebrina A. Barrett, Secretary


Alexandra Alpough

Amy Bender-Levy

Michael J. Colona

Mark W. Comley

Hon. Charles Curless

Hon. Joseph Dandurand

Athena M. Dickson

Michael Downey

Deborah K. Dodge

Joel R. Elmer

John W. Grimm

John R. Gunn

Patricia Hageman

Robert E. Jones

Amanda Ketchum

Hon. J. B. Lasater

Andrew Lyskowski

James McConnell

Lauren Tucker McCubbin

Mira Mdivani

Max E. Mitchell

Joseph A. Morrey

Douglass F. Noland

Jason Paulsmeyer

Megan Phillips

John E. Price

Scott Robbins

Tricia M. Scaglia

Deanna K. Scott

Hon. Jason M. Sengheiser

Joan M. Swartz

Hon. W. Douglas Thomson

Eric J. Wulff

Commissioner Jerri J. Zhang

Maria Zschoche


Members present by telephone:

W. Perry Brandt

Karen McCarthy


Members absent:
Robert J. Buckley

Shelly Dreyer

J. Brent Dulle

Jason Rew


Also present:
Lucas Boling

Jason Cecil

Anne Chambers

Danelle Cord

Farrah Fite

Kent Hopper

Eric Jennings

Jacob Lewis

Garnett Matthews-Campbell

Cindy Neagle

Christina Peters

Dr. Tony Simones

Robert Stoeckl

Gary Toohey

1.            Minutes:

Mr. Cole asked if there were any changes to the minutes included in the meeting materials. It was moved and seconded to receive and approve the minutes of the Board of Governors meetings of May 10, 2018 and June 18, 2018, and the minutes of the Executive Committee meetings of May 9, 2018 and June 18, 2018. The motion was approved.   


2.            Finances:

A.            Financial Report

Judge Thomson reported that the financial statements included in the meeting materials are as of May 31, 2018, which represents approximately 42 percent of the year. He reported that as of the reporting date approximately 70.2 percent of budgeted receipts have been received and approximately 31.4 percent of budgeted disbursements have been expended, noting that overall receipts and disbursements are where expected for this point in the year.


He provided a report about the status of Missouri Bar investments and assets.  He noted  the investments are earning approximately 2 percent, compared with 0.4 percent five years ago. 

Judge Thomson provided a financial analysis and overview focusing on trends over time in regard to asset growth; actual budget vs. disbursements; projected revenue and disbursements; and equity projections. He commented on the careful and responsible use of budgeted funds year after year, illustrating this point by showing below budget spending from 2012 to present and commending staff leadership, staff directors and the Board of Governors for stewardship.  He concluded his report by noting that Missouri Bar investments are in federally backed securities or very highly rated corporate bonds and that investments this year are expected to earn $200,000 or more.


3.            Legislation:

A.          2018 Bar-Sponsored Legislation

Mr. Eric Jennings reported that four of the six bar-drafted legislative measures were passed during the session and enacted into law: Gifts in Fraud in Marital Rights (2018-01); Uniform Powers of Appointment – Technical Amendments (2018-02); Trust Protector-Directed Trusts (2018-05); and Missouri Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (2018-06). Committee-drafted legislative proposals had been introduced in eleven different bills in the House and Senate, but all four of these proposals had passed in a single bill (Senate Committee Substitute for House Bill 1250).

B.          2018 Legislative Session – Other Bills and Items of Interest

Mr. Jennings provided a list of other legislation of interest for review, noting that these bills affect a wide range of subject matter and practice areas.  Some of these bills will be highlighted in future Board Legislative Updates and the Legislative Digest.  He also provided session statistics, noting that 2265 bills were filed and 152 passed. Governor Parson made one line item veto of note, eliminating an appropriation of $487,000 and 9 FTE to the Public Defender for Juvenile Advocacy Units.

In addition to providing specific background information on the new governor (Mike Parson) and lieutenant governor (Mike Kehoe), he also provided a detailed analysis about potential turnover in the Missouri General Assembly, including House and Senate leadership and committee chairs.

Finally, he provided an overview of 2018 ballot measures for both the August 7, 2018, Primary Election and the November 7, 2018, General Election. Proposition A (“Right to Work”) will appear on the August ballot. Amendment 4 (relating to bingo) and Proposition D (motor fuel tax increase/state tax exemption for Olympic prizes) will appear on the November ballot.  Five initiative petitions are awaiting certification:  three related to medical marijuana (two constitutional and one statutory); one on minimum wage (statutory); and “CLEAN Missouri,” which combines ethics, campaign finance, legislative redistricting, and Sunshine Law related provisions (constitutional).

C.          2019 Regular Session – Committee Drafted Legislative Proposals

Three committee-drafted legislative proposals have been provided to Board members for review, pending responses from the review-and-comment period and review by the Legislative Committee:

·         Assignments for Benefit of Creditors (ABC) (LP 2019-01) – Bankruptcy Creditor – Debtors Right Committee;

·         Qualified Spousal Trusts (LP 2019-02) – Probate and Trust Division; and

·         Revised Missouri Decanting Statute (LP 2019-03) – Probate and Trust Division.

D.          2018 Federal Legislation

The Bankruptcy Creditor-Debtor Rights Committee has submitted a report from its Subcommittee on Bankruptcy Venue Reform, which the committee approved, and requests that the Board of Governors endorse a resolution endorsing federal legislation – the Bankruptcy Venue Reform Act of 2018 (S. 2282).


4.            Appointments:

A.            July Appointments

(1)          Legal Services of Southern Missouri (LSSM) Board of Directors

Ms. Athena Dickson reported a vacancy was created by the resignation of William “Bill” Morgan from the Legal Services of Southern Missouri Board of Directors. She reported that the Missouri Bar Appointments Committee recommends the appointment of Mr. David R. Rosener to fill the vacancy. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendation. The motion was approved.

B.            September Appointments

(1)          Trustees of The Missouri Bar

Ms. Dickson reported the Appointments Committee will provide a recommendation to fill the vacancy created by the expiration of Steve Newman’s second term on the Trustees of The Missouri Bar at the meeting of the Board of Governors in September.


5.            Leadership Academy:

Mr. Morry Cole asked members of the current Board of Governors who were once members of

the Leadership Academy to share why they have continued to stay involved in bar leadership. The following Board members – Ms. Megan Phillips, Ms. Lauren Tucker McCubbin, Ms. Dana Tippin Cutler, Ms. Jerri Zhang and Mr. Scott Robbins – briefly discussed concepts and values which included service to the profession; opportunities to make a difference; and relationship-building as reasons for continued involvement.  Mr. Cole further commented that one of the goals of the Leadership Academy was to increase diversity within leadership and noted the diversity represented among these individuals and the value they bring as members of the Board of Governors.

Each individual member of the 2017-18 Leadership Academy present at this meeting reported their two-year commitment to the Bar, which commences at the end of their term as a member of this year’s Leadership Academy.

As the representatives for this year’s class, Mr. Jacob Lewis and Ms. Christina Peters provided a report regarding the group’s annual project. They reported the 2017-18 Leadership Academy developed, a website based on a previous Missouri Bar printed pamphlet that specifically provided information on the rights young people should know about when turning 18 years old. They indicated this project updated and expanded the topic areas covered with the current version addressing 19 topic areas relevant to and written in a style appropriate for high school students and young adults. They noted this website was mobile friendly. They described plans to promote and distribute the website resource, which included teaming with Missouri Bar education partners as well as developing a GoogleAdWords campaign and also related plans to maintain and update the site on an ongoing basis. They acknowledged and thanked Missouri Bar staff for assistance in developing the project.  

6.            Ambassadors of the Bar: Social Media 101:

Ms. Farrah Fite provided an educational program focusing on how members of the Board of Governors can help support and expand the reach of Missouri Bar activities, resources, and accomplishments through social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, illustrating through demonstrations and hands-on exercises how and when to use such platforms to amplify Missouri Bar communication in the social media environment for the benefit of members and citizens of Missouri.


7.            Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award:

Mr. Morry Cole reviewed the criteria and selection process for the Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award as established in 2004. He reported that a solicitation for award nominees was communicated to the Board of Governors with a nomination period designated to begin on June 4 and the deadline for nominations as June 29. He reported that one nomination was submitted during the nomination time period, that being the nomination of former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice and current U.S. Appellate Court Judge Duane Benton. He further reported that the Executive Committee, which according to the above cited approved process votes to select the awardee from nominations submitted, took up this nomination at its July 12 meeting and unanimously approved Judge Benton for this year’s award.

Mr. Cole reported that Mr. Eric Wulff today submitted the nomination of Judge Richard Zerr. Mr. Cole reported that due to the untimely nomination, this year’s selection would go forward as approved by the Executive Committee on July 12.  Mr. Cole commended the excellent credentials and service of Judge Zerr and encouraged his timely nomination and proper consideration next year.  It was moved that the Board of Governors consider approving the selection of two awardees for this year’s award. It was reported this motion was not in accordance with the procedure approved by the Board of Governors for the selection of the recipient of this award as established and recorded in 2004, so its progression would require a majority vote of the Board of Governors to suspend the rules, prior to a vote on the substantive motion. It was moved and seconded to suspend the rules and take up the motion to select two awardees for this year. The motion failed.



8.            Client Security Fund:

Ms. Cindy Neagle reported that the Client Security Fund Committee met on June 15, 2018 and reviewed 46 claims. She reported that the committee recommends the payment of 40 claims for a total of $48,948.16, the denial of 4 claims, and the deferral of two claims. Ms. Neagle reported that 37 of the 40 claims proposed for payment are for $2,500 or less, allowing for a recommendation of payment at any time during the fiscal year as provided in Article 2.10. She reported three claims are for more than $2,500 and that the committee requests authorization to pay the claims prior to the November meeting of the Board of Governors, citing special circumstances to justify the expedited payment timing. She reported that the balance of the Fund as of May 31, 2018 is $749,729.17. It was moved and seconded to approve the recommendations of the committee as stated. The motion was approved. 


9.            Security Committee Report:

Mr. Cole reported on a range of security related measures that have been initiated. He reported that Associate Executive Director Kent Hopper attended active shooter response training – Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate (ALICE) – and a security audit has been completed for the physical space at the Missouri Bar Headquarters. He further reported that members of the Security Committee have met with U.S. Marshalls, Supreme Court of Missouri Marshalls and local law enforcement. He noted that some security measures have been incorporated into speaking engagements that are held around the state, noting that plain clothes police officers were part of the audience when he and the Chief Justice participated in a meeting and delivered remarks in Hannibal. He noted that efforts will continue to develop and comply with best practices.


10.          Military Spouse Admission Rule:

Ms. Sebrina Barrett presented a proposal seeking the Board of Governors endorsement of the draft military spouse admission rule proposed by the Missouri Board of Law Examiners (MBLE) to the Supreme Court of Missouri. She reviewed action taken by the Board of Governors at the May board meeting to approve a recommendation that The Missouri Bar work with the Missouri Board of Law Examiners on an admission rule for the lawyer spouses of full-time active duty military to propose to the Supreme Court of Missouri. She reported that this recommendation was subsequently reported to the MBLE and the MBLE has drafted and approved a proposed revision to Rule 8, which has been provided to the Supreme Court of Missouri. Ms. Barrett further reported that the draft language of the rule proposed by the MBLE incorporates the general concepts The Missouri Bar submitted to the MBLE on May 10, 2018, is drafted in a format consistent with Rule 8, embodies the public protection mission of the MBLE, and the underlying policy goals for admitting military spouses. It was moved and seconded to endorse the rule drafted by the MBLE and proposed to the Supreme Court of Missouri. The motion was approved.  Mr. Andrew Lyskowski voted no.


11.          Parental Leave Policy:

Ms. Megan Phillips reported on a proposed policy to provide for paid parental leave for Missouri Bar employees, noting the policy would allow eligible parents to receive up to six weeks (240 hours) of paid parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Ms. Phillips called attention to the draft policy included in the meeting materials. She reported that a vast majority of departments and agencies of state government have recently adopted a paid parental leave policy and most recently such a policy was approved for employees of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She noted studies have proven that parental leave policies positively impact productivity, employment longevity, employment satisfaction and also positively affect families. She reported the policy drafted as a human resources document within The Missouri Bar was provided to the Commission on Women in the Profession for comment and the final document is presented for approval. It was moved and seconded to adopt the proposed parental leave policy for employees of The Missouri Bar.  The motion was approved.


12.         Strategic Planning:

Mr. Ray Williams and Ms. Amanda Ketcham provided an overview of the strategic planning initiative. Mr. Williams reported the Board of Governors approved the Strategic Planning Committee’s recommended actions related to 30 newly proposed and existing programs, specifically approving actions to begin, expand, alter, end or continue such programs and activities. He reported the actions approved at the May meeting are currently being implemented, noting that those which require budgetary considerations are being incorporated into the budget development process for next year, while implementation of those programs which do not have new budgetary considerations are underway. He noted the strategic planning procedure is intended to be ongoing – reviewing approximately one-third of the programs each year – and encouraged members of the Board of Governors to share opinions as to any programs that should be included in the next round of review.


13.          Officers’ Reports:

A.                  President's Report

Mr. Morry Cole provided a review and description of a recent public outreach effort in Hannibal, Missouri. He reported he and Missouri Chief Justice Zel Fischer spent a day in the Hannibal area and engaged in a range of outreach opportunities which included taking questions on a local radio talk show; meeting with local business leaders and bankers during breakfast at a local diner; touring Hannibal by bus to observe the economic development in that community; hosting a one-hour CLE for area lawyers; and meeting a larger group of lawyers, members of the area’s Chamber of Commerce, and business leaders for a luncheon where he and Chief Justice Fischer offered remarks and Judge Fischer took questions. Mr. Cole noted this approach can serve as a blueprint on how to visit communities and in a one-day period reach and interact with a large number of people and foster a better understanding of the judicial branch of government within the state. He noted the visit was intended to enhance and strengthen the understanding of the state’s judiciary; explain and strengthen the understanding and value of the Non-Partisan Court Plan; offer an opportunity to meet the leadership of the judicial branch; and build confidence in the judiciary and judicial system. He further noted the visit was an opportunity to offer legal education programming to local lawyers as well as remind members of that legal community about valuable member benefits and resources available through The Missouri Bar, including the resources available through MOLAP. He thanked Judge Rachel Bringer for assistance with the coordination of the lawyer-related activities and Mr. Lucas Boling for presenting on member benefits and CLE.

Mr. Cole reported that in the next few weeks he will be sending a survey to members of Board of Governors as part of the annual review of Executive Director Sebrina Barrett. He encouraged members to complete and return the survey, so board member feedback can be incorporated into this annual review.

Mr. Cole provided a meeting related recap including a reminder to pick up the Board of Governors shirts; afternoon activities at Big Cedar Lodge and Resort; and reception and dinner timing and entertainment planned for the evening.

B.            President-Elect’s Report

Mr. Ray Williams reported on the plenary sessions developed for the upcoming Annual Meeting, noting that this year’s sessions will address two important issues – gun violence and election processes. He reported that the gun violence program will feature expert perspectives that focus on policy and actions that impact this issue, including the perspective as a public health challenge, noting that the program is not intended to focus on the issues related to the Second Amendment or whether citizens should be allowed to own guns. Likewise, he noted that the election process program will feature an historic overview of the constitutional issues related to partisan gerrymandering and perspectives that address how voting districts are created, how science offers resources and how redistricting in Missouri may be impacted by the Clean Missouri initiative on the ballot.

Mr. Williams also encouraged members of the Board of Governors to review the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision – Janus v. AFSCME – as well as associated cases. He also asked each member of the Board of Governors to (1) think about what the unified bar does or has done for them, and (2) what the unified bar does and has done for the lawyers who the board members serve and send these thoughts to him, Ms. Barrett or Ms. Fite. He also noted there may be a valuable service or role that the substantive committees could do on behalf of the Board of Governors and that would be to develop revisions to old and outdated rules and statutes. Mr. Williams asked members of the Board of Governors to think about the rules and statutes that they know are outdated and/or need to be revised, fixed or done away with and send a list of these to him. 

Mr. Williams also reported that a survey has been sent out related to his focus on public service. He noted that lawyers are naturally altruistic and volunteer their time and leadership to the betterment of all areas of the community.

C.            Vice-President's Report

There was no Vice-President’s report at this meeting.

D.            Treasurer’s Report

Ms. Betsy AuBuchon reported that the Supreme Court of Missouri recently ended its session and will not be in session for the month of July and part of August. She reported that during this recess, much work is going into updating the Court’s more than 100 committees. In addition, work continues looking at suggested rules and rule changes, some offered by this Board of Governors, and responses are anticipated in September or October. She further reported that the Missouri Legislature has tasked the Missouri Judicial Conference with redrawing circuit parameters, noting that this work will be underway with a date for a redrawn circuit map due Jan. 1, 2020. She noted that any changes must be approved by the Judicial Conference at its meeting in 2019. She reported that much attention is focused on issues surrounding automation, explaining that the current CaseNet and JIS versions must be updated to be compatible with Windows 10 and other platforms. She reported that Show-Me Courts initiatives continue with the roll out of municipal and traffic programs with additional programs coming. She also reported that work has been underway to bring the courthouse back to its original 1907 splendor and is about 90% complete.

E.            Executive Director's Report

Ms. Sebrina Barrett introduced and asked the Board of Governors to formally welcome Garnett Matthews-Campbell, the new CLE Attorney for The Missouri Bar. She briefly described Ms. Matthews-Campbell’s previous experience which included judicial education responsibilities at OSCA. 

(1)          Media Relations Report

Ms. Barrett called attention to the social media engagement statistics included in the media report and thanked the Board of Governors for their efforts as ambassadors for The Missouri Bar, noting that with the Social Media 101 training provided earlier today, the next round of statistics should show significant improvement.

(2)          Board Election Update

Ms. Barrett reported that the ballots for this year’s Board of Governors’ elections will go out on July 20; she noted that Districts 3, 9 and 11 have contested elections.

(3)          2017 – 2018 Update

She called attention to the 2017-2018 Update provided in the meeting materials. She reported that implementation of Phase I of the technology audit has been competed – the IMIS database upgrade and new “practice portal” for members. She also noted that this initial IMIS implementation will serve as a foundation for Phase II – attorney enrollment fee system – and Phase III – MCLE reporting. Ms. Barrett reported that security measures are underway, noting the ALICE training completed by Associate Executive Director Kent Hopper and the installation of security cameras at The Missouri Bar to enhance security for staff and for members who use the headquarters for meetings and business. She reported that the Strategic Plan is being actively utilized as planned with the direction outlined serving as a working document for moving forward. Ms. Barrett updated the Board of Governors on a new training initiative available to members of the staff, allowing access to a full library of training materials and offering an incentive to avail themselves of training by which eight hours of training qualifies staff for four hours of leave time.

(4)          Director Spotlight

Mr. Robert Stoeckl provided an overview focused on three of his areas of responsibility as Director of Projects (1) Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar; (2) Open Enrollment Committees and Spring and Fall Committee Meetings; and (3) editor of ESQ, the Bar’s weekly e-news publication. He described the annual process for developing the Annual Meeting, including work with an Annual Meeting Planning Committee appointed each year by the President of The Missouri Bar, logistical and structural requirements to conduct the meeting as well as facilitation of meetings held by a wide range of affiliate organizations within the legal profession, including the Missouri Judicial Conference, IOLTA, Public Defenders, MATA, MODL, Missouri Board of Law Examiners, The Missouri Bar Foundation, the ABA Foundation, YLS, Leadership Academy and other organizations and law firms. He reported that The Missouri Bar currently has 48 open enrollment committees, six divisions and a Family Law Section, with 10 new committees added in the last four years. He reported that the open enrollment committees engage in activities which may include Spring and Fall Committee meetings; educational offerings through MoBarCLE; assistance with CLE publications; the evaluation and, in some cases, drafting of legislation; and forums for networking and relationship-building among members. Mr. Stoeckl also described the purpose and development of ESQ, a weekly e-news publication, noting that it was one of the first electronic news vehicles established by a bar association when it was started in 2002 and that it has evolved to be a very respected weekly voice of The Missouri Bar over the past 16 years. Mr. Stoeckl noted that there are many other duties associated with his role on staff not covered in the interest of time. Mr. Stoeckl noted that a dedicated and talented staff is responsible for the successful performance of all responsibilities including those outlined above, noting that Krista Lepper, Committees/Sections Liaison and Michele Fritchey, Committees Coordinator are essential staff who handle the open enrollment committee work; Mary Douglas, Electronic Communications Coordinator and member Dan Jordan are essential to the weekly development and delivery of ESQ; and Lesa Litty is a key staff member handling the meeting planning activities related to the Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar.


13.          Vice-President Candidate Forum:

Mr. John Gunn asked members of the Board of Governors to support his candidacy for the office of Vice-President of The Missouri Bar when this action comes before the Board of Governors in September. He briefly described his path to becoming a lawyer. He described his path to bar involvement beginning with the BAMSL Young Lawyers group, an experience that ignited a desire to help make a difference. He explained that he has a keen interest in expanding the level of diversity in bar leadership and involvement. He commended the Leadership Academy in this regard and expressed a belief that additional efforts are needed to seek participation and achieve active involvement from the wide diversity of lawyers within The Missouri Bar and to better reflect this diversity and reap the benefits in terms of leadership. He noted his commitment to and his belief that The Missouri Bar must continue to support the Public Defender System in its work to fulfill the constitutional mandate of representation and access to justice. He also expressed his interest in working with the Board of Governors, staff and members to address the mental health needs of members of the bar. He related incidents involving personal knowledge of the toll that mental illness had on two colleagues, whose suffering resulted in suicide attempts. He noted that lawyers are naturally inclined to not seek personal assistance. He pointed out that fear and the potential stigma of mental illness is a familiar obstacle to lawyers getting help and needs to be overcome. He shared his own struggles with depression and offered a commitment to use his personal experience in whatever way it may be helpful to enhance the current efforts and services of MOLAP to remove the stigma and expand assistance to members.


14.          Spotlight District #2:

Mr. Morry Cole noted that each meeting during the year features a spotlight on the practice of law in one area of the state. Mr. Cole introduced Messrs. Scott Robbins and John Grimm who provided a description of the practice of law in Southeastern Missouri and who shared products distinctive to that geographic region with fellow members of the Board of Governors.


There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.


Respectfully submitted,


Sebrina A. Barrett, Secretary