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Bill Bay receives Spurgeon Smithson award

September 22, 2017

Thompson Coburn partner Bill Bay was presented the Spurgeon Smithson award during the Missouri Bar Foundation and Public Service Awards Luncheon last week at the Missouri Bar’s Annual Meeting in Kansas City.

The Spurgeon Smithson award is one of the top awards given by the Bar. Established in 1976, it is presented to lawyers and judges who have rendered outstanding service toward the increase and diffusion of justice.

Bill was recognized for his work in chairing three newly created Commissions/Task Forces of the Supreme Court of Missouri over the last five years. These are the Commission on Women in the Profession, the Joint Task Force on the Future of the Profession and the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, which he currently co-chairs.

In a video with the winners of the Spurgeon Smithson award, Bill talked about leadership and the important work of the state Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness: “You’re trying to do two things. Number one, look at practices, examine what is here. And number two, to make sure that we realign those practices, and change those practices, so that they guarantee equal access and participation for all racial and ethnic minorities.” 

Receiving the award along with Bill were Judge Karl DeMarce, of the Circuit Court of Scotland County, and Judge Robert Larsen, a U.S. magistrate judge for the Western District of Missouri.