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Missouri lawmakers recognized for justice work 

The Judicial Conference of Missouri honored eight legislators for contributions to the state’s justice system during its annual meeting last week. 

Sens. Steven Roberts, Dan Hegeman, Lincoln Hough, Barbara Washington, and Bill White were recognized with the conference’s legislative award alongside House Majority Floor Leader Dean Plocher and Reps. Bruce DeGroot and Rudy Veit. 

The awards were presented by Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Wilson

“I’m honored and privileged to be acknowledged by Missouri’s judges,” Roberts said. “Being an attorney in the Missouri Legislature carries with it the additional responsibility of protecting the sanctity of the judiciary and justice system. Our justice system is foundational in ensuring Missouri is a place of both liberty and equity, and we have to continue to both protect it and advance it as we go forward.”

Roberts isn’t the only honoree to serve as both a lawmaker and an attorney; White formerly practiced in Joplin while Washington practices in Kansas City

“It’s a great feeling to be recognized as an elected official for the work that you do, but it’s especially important to be recognized by the people you work with every day and present in front of,” Washington said. “As an attorney, there’s no greater honor than to be recognized by my peers and the judges who work so diligently to serve us in the state of Missouri.”

None of the lower chamber’s honorees are strangers to courtrooms either. Veit said it was a “great honor” to receive the award and noted he tried his first case as an attorney before Wilson’s father. 

“Judges are charged with ensuring that all people entering courtrooms throughout Missouri are treated fairly,” DeGroot said. “These people are at the very top of my profession, and I am truly humbled to be honored by them.”

Wilson also presented five chief justice awards “to recognize individuals who serve diligently and with integrity, lead by example, and provide the citizens of Missouri with the quality of justice they demand and deserve.” 

The Judicial Conference of Missouri is an organization of all the state’s judges. This year’s annual meeting was held in St. Louis.