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Missouri Bar Foundation recognizes three lawyers for appellate work

Each year, The Missouri Bar Foundation presents David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Awards to young lawyer members of The Missouri Bar who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in appellate practice. The award is named after the late Judge Dixon, whose tenacity, professionalism and judicial skills epitomize outstanding appellate practice.

On Sept. 21, 2016, during The Missouri Bar Foundation and Public Service Awards Luncheon at The Missouri Bar’s Annual Meeting at the Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark, the award was presented to Donald M. Brown, Richard E. Finneran, and E. E. Keenan.

Brown is a partner at Douglas, Haun & Heidemann P.C. in Springfield and Bolivar.

“With an appeal, it’s just you and your computer and the research, and that’s just what I like to do,” Brown said in an interview about receiving the award. “I love finding an issue, then researching it to find out what all the cases say about it and then just arguing the best I can for the position that my client has hired us to take.”

Finneran is an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, where he focuses on prosecuting white collar crimes and asset forfeiture. He is also an adjunct professor at Washington University School of Law.

In an interview about the award, Finneran explained his passion for appellate work: “Every case at the trial level is immensely important to the litigants in the case, the judges and the attorneys who work on it, but once you go up to the appellate level, now the case is going to be important not just to those people but to future individuals who will come forward. Having the opportunity to engage in that process and be one of the two adversaries arguing for what you think is the right rule of law is really a thrilling experience and an opportunity to contribute to the broader legal system.”

Keenan practices at the Keenan Law Firm in Kansas City. There, he represents employees in resolving workplace disputes – from discrimination and termination to severance and wage issues.

“Sometimes the most important cases are the cases where there’s a matter of principle at issue, and maybe there’s not a huge amount of money at issue or something like that, but there’s a very important principle to be heard in the appellate court that can send a message statewide and maybe even beyond about how individuals, governments, companies should be acting and conducting their affairs,” Keenan said in an interview about the award.

Click here to see footage of Brown, Finneran and Keenan discussing their work.

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