Ellen H. Flottman and Jennifer M. Joyce honored at Missouri Bar Annual Meeting

The Missouri State Public Defender Commission and the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys each recently honored distinguished members of the profession during The Missouri Bar Foundation and Public Service Awards Luncheon, Sept. 21, at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark.

The Missouri State Public Defender Commission recognized Ellen H. Flottman, district defender in the Central Appellate Office of the Missouri State Public Defender System, with the 2016 Defender of Distinction Award. The Defender of Distinction Award is bestowed annually upon a public defender who exemplifies the ideal of public defense.

Flottman says that she is motivated by the idea of helping her clients.

“So many of these guys don’t have anybody else. They may have been in jail for several years, in prison for a while,” she said in an interview about receiving the recognition. “So to know that I am the one person standing between my client and the power of the state, which sounds corny, but it’s really what makes me go into work every day.”

Flottman joined the Public Defender System in 1989, and she has been the district defender since 2001. She practices in the Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Missouri, and has appeared before the United States Supreme Court. Additionally, Flottman is a co-chair of the Criminal Practice and Procedure Committee of The Missouri Bar. She participated in the state bar’s efforts to rewrite Missouri’s Criminal Code from 2008 until passage of the bill in 2013 and is an editor of The Missouri Bar’s Courts & CLE Bulletin.

The Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys presented its Prosecutor of the Year Award to Jennifer M. Joyce, circuit attorney for the City of St. Louis. Joyce has held the position since 2001 and leads an office of more than 40 professionals who prosecute thousands of criminal cases each year. She announced that she will retire from the post at the end of this year.

“The idea of fighting for justice, of always being able to do what you think is the right thing to do, sparks a real passion in me. And so it’s been a tremendous honor for me not only to work as a prosecutor in St. Louis, but ultimately after six years to lead that office. There’s never been a day when I haven’t been very eager to go to work, and I know I’m going to miss it,” Joyce said.

Joyce serves on the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Best Practices committee, which was the second such committee to be established in the United States. She was also one of the first prosecutors in the country to develop a crime strategies unit, designed to lead the development and implementation of intelligence-driven prosecution. Joyce is a sought-after speaker and regularly presents on best practices, crisis communications, community outreach, system transparency, staff development and social media. Joyce is a board member and past president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, as well as a past member of the state bar’s Board of Governors.

Click here to see a video of both Flottman and Joyce discussing their work and recognition.

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