Newly Elected Missouri Bar President Assumes Role

Blue Springs Attorney Pat Starke Says Priorities are About “Building Relationships”

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Blue Springs attorney Patrick B. Starke assumed his role as 2012-2013 president of The Missouri Bar at the close of the bar’s Annual Meeting on Friday, October 19. Starke, of Starke Law Offices, succeeds Lynn Whaley Vogel of St. Louis as president of the 30,000-member organization. He is a private practice, general practitioner with emphasis on trial work.

“Building Relationships” is the theme of his presidency, with programs designed to educate the public on the administration of justice; assist service men and women, military families and veterans; and establish key contacts for elected officials when they have questions on legislation affecting the judiciary and legal matters that impact the daily lives of all Missourians.

Protecting Fair and Impartial Courts: The Missouri Bar Board of Governors has unanimously endorsed Missouri’s Non-Partisan Court Plan and unanimously supported the bar’s efforts to educate the public on the dangers of Amendment 3. Starke said The Missouri Bar will continue to work to prevent the politicization of Missouri’s merit-based selection process that has worked for the people of Missouri for more than 70 years by providing fair and impartial judges.

“The Missouri Bar is dedicated to ensuring justice for all. To that end, we stand for a judicial system that is free of partisan politics and does not serve as a political weapon for moneyed interests. We will continue to educate the public on why judges should be referees, not combatants for any cause except the rule of law.”

Key Contacts Program: Starke also will implement a program to connect attorneys who are leaders in the their communities with their legislators in order to provide legislators with a trusted, local voice when it comes to the Bar’s position on key issues, such as adequate judicial resources and equal access to justice.

“The Missouri Bar will continue to have a strong presence in our state capitol, but it is important we engage our members on the local level to provide their expertise when called upon to help their elected officials understand the impact their decisions have on their communities when it comes to our judiciary and Missouri citizens’ access to the courts.”

Veterans Initiative: To address the need of military men and women, their families and veterans for legal assistance with returning to civilian life and applying for veteran’s benefits, The Missouri Bar will launch “Missouri’s Lawyers for America’s Heroes,” a program that will identify and connect volunteer attorneys to assist those who have served our country in legal matters.

“As a former captain in the U.S. Army, I believe no one who has honorably served our country should be left behind in the legal system or denied access to justice. The launch of Missouri’s Lawyers for America’s Heroes will connect Missouri service men and women, military families and veterans with attorneys willing to provide free legal services to our nation’s heroes.”

Additional Priorities: Starke will continue to promote The Missouri Bar’s Pro Bono opportunities, whether it is to assist disaster survivors, or to provide access for low-income people in civil matters, or in criminal cases.

Starke also has implemented a Blue Ribbon Panel comprised of lawyers and lawmakers to examine best practices in other states and recommend changes to Missouri’s process for redistricting.

Starke noted he will continue work on several key initiatives already under way, including efforts of members of the Bar from the past four years in the massive reorganization of Missouri’s criminal code, supporting the creation and work of a Senior Lawyers Committee, maintaining the Past Presidents’ Roundtable and consideration of a law student “membership.”

Personal and Professional Background

A member of the Board of Governors since 2006, Starke served as president-elect for the past year working diligently to protect Missouri’s Non-Partisan Court Plan.

In addition to his duties with the bar, Starke is a member of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Eastern Jackson County Bar Association, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and Missouri Criminal Defense Attorney’s Association. He also is a member of The Law Society at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. Starke began his private practice as a general practitioner with emphasis on trial work in Blue Springs in 1979. He also served as a Captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps for six years.

Starke has served his community of Blue Springs in various leadership roles over the past 25 years. They include having served as president of the Blue Springs RIV Board of Education (1997-98); president of the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce (1989); president of the Blue Springs Jaycees (1984); president of the Blue Springs Rotary Club (1984); and president of the Blue Springs Lions Club (1983-84). He also has recently served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Woods Chapel United Methodist Church.

Starke earned his undergraduate degree from The University of Missouri-Columbia and his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He and his wife Debbie live in Lee’s Summit and have four adult children: Kristen and husband, Trevor; Nick; Eric; and Vanessa. They have one grandchild.

To learn more about Starke, visit The President’s Page on The Missouri Bar’s website at http://www.mobar.org/presidentspage/; or connect through social media at www.Facebook.com/MoBarPresident and www.Twitter.com/MoBarPresident.

Starke will serve a one-year term as president. The election for his successor will be held at The Missouri Bar’s Annual Meeting in September 2013 in Columbia.

The Missouri Bar is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession, the law and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,000 of Missouri’s practicing attorneys. To achieve its mission, The Missouri Bar provides a wide range of services and resources to its members, as well as the media, educators and the citizens of Missouri. To learn more about The Missouri Bar, visit www.mobar.org.

MoBar Quick Info

Organization and Purpose: The Missouri Bar is the statewide organization that all Missouri lawyers must belong to if they practice law. The Missouri Bar was created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri. It is considered an instrumentality of the state, not a private association nor a state agency. Its mission is to improve the legal profession, the administration of justice, and law on behalf of the public.

Member Size: Currently, the bar is comprised of about 32,000 members.

Staff Size: The executive director, Sebrina Barrett, supervises a staff of 50 employees. Click here to see a Staff Directory

Budget: Approximately $10 million. No tax dollars are used to support Missouri Bar activities. Most money is derived from dues that lawyers pay; some is derived from CLE programs and publications, grants and The Bar Foundation.

Governance: The Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar determines policies and sets the course of action for the state bar to follow. The 45 members of the Board are elected by bar members. The Board elects a president, president-elect and vice president to serve as officers of the bar.

Sections and Committees: The Missouri Bar offers more than 50 substantive law committees for its members to join. It also has two sections: a Family Law Section, and the Young Lawyers' Section.

Location: The Missouri Bar Center is located in Jefferson City, at 326 Monroe St.

Missouri Bar Resources and Activities: The Missouri Bar provides a wide variety of services and resources, not only to its members, but also to the news media, school teachers and the citizens of Missouri. These include: CLE programs and publications, an Annual Meeting, a Solo and Small Firm Conference, teachers’ programs, committee meetings and extensive services for attorneys. The bar also administers a minimum continuing legal education requirement for attorneys.