Benjamin A. Lipman to Receive 2014 Legal Champion Award

Lewis Rice member Benjamin A. Lipman has been honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as a 2014 Legal Champion. Ben is receiving the award for his work to provide public access to previously secret attorney disciplinary hearings.

A recent change in rules by the Missouri Supreme Court said that attorney disciplinary hearings should be presumed open except in limited circumstances. The government in this case sought to conduct the entire proceedings in secret, and the hearing panel overseeing the proceedings refused to allow Ben's client to attend the proceedings. On behalf of his client, Ben filed a petition for writ of mandamus/prohibition in the Missouri Supreme Court, arguing that the public had a right to attend these proceedings. In a rare move, the Supreme Court granted the petition, but the fight continued. The government argued that even if the entirety of the proceedings should not be closed to the public, select portions should be. With the Supreme Court's mandate, Ben was able to convince the hearing panel that there was no legitimate basis to close any portion of the proceedings.

When asked about the award, Ben said, "I believe strongly that government works best when it is open for everyone to see, so I am especially honored as well as humbled to receive this award for this case."

The 2014 Missouri Lawyer Honorees will receive their awards at a ceremony on January 24, and their accomplishments will also be highlighted in the Missouri Lawyers Weekly's January edition.

With a diverse practice encompassing commercial litigation, intellectual property, and real estate, Ben's primary focus is media law. He represents newspapers, television stations, publishers, and members of the press in matters such as libel, privacy defense, and intellectual property litigation. As a commercial litigator, he regularly handles trials and appeals and has extensive experience in municipal law.

Throughout our Firm's history, Lewis Rice attorneys have made excellence the foundation of our practice. Founded in 1909, more than a century of service has given us the experience, resources and tools to serve our clients' dynamic needs. Our diverse team of more than 150 attorneys provides counsel and solutions for the challenges facing local, regional and national businesses, as well as individuals and families. Lewis Rice maintains offices in downtown St. Louis, suburban Town & Country, Washington and Jefferson City, Missouri and Edwardsville, Illinois. We also have offices in downtown Kansas City, Missouri and suburban Overland Park, Kansas.