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.”

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