Deans of the Trial Bar
Created in 1985, and formerly called Litigator Emeritus, the Dean of the Trial Bar Award is presented at the Bench-Bar & Boardroom Conference to one or more attorneys who have a substantial and distinguished trial career. The award acknowledges service of current KCMBA members whose litigation skill and professional demeanor have resulted in consistent recognition by their peers as exemplary. Click here to view the past award winners.
Baron of the Boardroom
Established in 2005, the Baron of the Boardroom Award is presented at the Bench-Bar & Boardroom Conference to one or more attorneys who have a substantial and distinguished career representing clients in corporate/business matters. The award recognizes KCMBA members whose business and corporate accomplishments and professional demeanor have resulted in consistent recognition by their peers as exemplary. Click here to view the past award winners.
Distinguished Counselor Award
Created in 1998 and formerly called the Congenial Counselor Award, the Distinguished Counselor award recognizes a KCMBA Member who consistently demonstrates the characteristics of professionalism, collegiality, courtesy, equanimity, character, harmony and friendship. Click here to view the past award winners.
Thomas J. Conway Award
Named for the late Thomas J. Conway, this award was founded in 1997 and recognizes a young trial lawyer with courage and zeal for the client, the constructive use of demonstrative evidence, a collegial attitude toward fellow lawyers and a lifelong spirit of youth and a song in his heart and who demonstrates excellence in advocacy for his or her clients, professional decorum in dealing with opposing counsel, and respect for the courts and the rule of law. This KCMBA member who exemplifies two traits of the late Tom Conway—outstanding trial skills and the ability to be a fierce advocate, while simultaneously a good friend to opposing counsel. Click here to view the past award winners.
Young Lawyer of the Year Award
This award recognizes a lawyer under the age of 36 for significant community, civic, and professional work. This KCMBA member has contributed significant work toward public service programs and developed innovative activities which have enhanced the community, promoted the highest standards of professionalism, competence and ethical conduct, improved the image and promoted positive public awareness of the legal profession in the community, and achieved substantial success and accomplishment in the legal profession. Click here to view the past award winners.
Hon. Matt J. Whitworth Trial Excellence Award
Named for the late Hon. Matt J. Whitworth, this award was founded in 2021 and symbolizes the designation of a preeminent trial lawyer. It is reserved for an outstanding litigator who regularly practices in the United States District Court, of the Western District of Missouri and/or the District of Kansas. Award criteria includes noteworthy professional competence and performance as a trial lawyer, coupled with the qualities of professional competence, industry, integrity, civility, and courtesy. Given annually at the Bench-Bar & Boardroom Conference to a KCMBA member, the Award comes with a $750 stipend, funded by the Whitworth Family.
Sly James Diversity and Inclusion Award
Beginning in 2016, KCMBA's Diversity Section, in conjunction with the Presidents of Kansas City’s diverse bar associations, including the Jackson County Bar Association, the Asian American Bar Association of Kansas City, the Association for Women Lawyers, the Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City, and Kansas City Lesbian, Gay and Allied Lawyers, established an annual award for members of the Kansas City area legal community for their contributions to diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Current or former members of the Kansas City legal community, including attorneys, judges, law school faculty and staff, and other legal professionals are eligible for this award. Additionally, awardees may include legal organizations, law firms, legal corporations, bar associations, or other legal groups that meet the selection criteria. Click here to view the past award winners.