Roger Johnson Receives Thomas G. Strong Trial Attorney Award
MATA's (Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys) Award Selection Committee has named Roger Johnson of Johnson, Vorhees & Martucci in Joplin as the 2015 recipient of the Thomas G. Strong Trial Attorney Award.
He will be honored during MATA's Annual Banquet & Awards, Saturday, June 27 at The Lodge of Four Seasons in Lake Ozark. Johnson may be best known among MATA members as the attorney who changed the landscape of medical malpractice law in Missouri with the case of Deborah Watts, et al. v. Lester E. Cox Medical Center, et al. When the 2005 cap on non-economic damages in med-mal cases decreed that a large portion of the Watts verdict was taken away from the family, Johnson appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court, where the cap was held to be unconstitutional. To borrow from one of the letters nominating Johnson, "with the fall of the cap on non-economic damages, victims of medical negligence who have suffered catastrophic injuries now have the opportunity to obtain true justice. "From a frequent co-counsel: "Roger appreciates that each victory attained by a plaintiff's advocate helps all plaintiffs' advocates. For this reason, he rejects the notion of individual lawyer 'trade secrets' or ownership of ideas, espousing the principle that successful litigation techniques must be shared." (Indeed, Johnson partners with Neil Chanter to teach a CLE at this year's 57th Annual Convention.) And this, from a courtroom rival who has also mediated cases for Johnson: "I have seen first-hand his absolute devotion to his clients and his genuine concern for them to the exclusion of everything else...(he's) a worthy opponent who exemplifies the best in our profession - devotion to clients, willingness to try hard cases, ethical performance in and out of the courtroom and outstanding results. In my view, Roger Johnson is truly a trial lawyer's trial lawyer."