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Judge Thornhill Receives Pittman Award

Wednesday, June 12, 2019  
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At the 54th Annual Conference of the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association held May 22-24, 2019 at the Lake of the Ozarks, Chief Judge Todd Thornhill of the 31st Judicial Circuit’s Springfield Municipal Division was awarded the Association’s George Pittman Award. The distinguished winners of this award are chosen based on their service to the Association through writings, lecturing, and serving as an officer or director of the Association. It recognizes the honoree’s contributions to the Association which substantially exceed those normally expected of officers and board members. He is the 10th recipient of the award, and the first from southwest Missouri.

Thornhill is the first municipal division judge to serve as a Supreme Court of Missouri committee chair, having been appointed on November 12, 2018 by Chief Justice Zel Fisher as chair of the Committee on Practice and Procedure in Municipal Division Cases. Additionally, Thornhill served as the Association’s president in the year 2000, and has served continuously as the editor of Benchmark, the Association’s thrice-yearly publication, since 2002.  

The Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association is composed of both municipal judges and associate circuit judges. The purpose of the Association is to assist and train its members to better perform their duties as judges. These judges preside over the municipal and associate divisions of the circuit courts throughout the state, the courts that hear the great majority of the cases heard in Missouri courtrooms.

Since its founding in 1965, the Association has grown from a small group of twelve to over 350 members. Among the topics included in the 2019 Annual Conference were DWI issues, new developments in search and seizure, domestic violence, and new ankle-bracelet technology. The conference also included case law and legislative update, and a two-part session on Minimum Operating Standards and professionalism at which Thornhill was a presenter. Over 350 judges attended this 54th Annual Courts Conference.