SHB Partner Jon R. Gray was recently installed as chair of the National Bar Association (NBA) Judicial Council during the council’s Annual Thurgood Marshall Awards Luncheon held August 1, 2007, in Atlanta, Ga. He is the first Missouri jurist to lead the nation’s oldest and largest organization of black judges and judicial officers. Major areas of focus during his one-year term will include advocating for sitting judges who are the target of unfair political attacks, recruiting black youth into law careers, and increasing Judicial Council membership.
Joining Judge Gray as officers of the NBA Judicial Council are Judge Marcella Holland as treasurer (Baltimore City Circuit Court, Eighth Judicial Circuit); Justice Robert Rucker as secretary (Indiana Supreme Court); and Judge U. Gene Thibodeaux as financial secretary (Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit). Judge Gray succeeds Judge Michael G. Bagneris (Civil District Court, New Orleans), who now assumes the role of immediate past chair. Justice Peggy Quince (Florida Supreme Court) is chair-elect of the council for the 2008-09 bar year.
Judge Gray joined SHB Kansas City in the General Litigation Division in mid-2007 after serving more than 20 years as a circuit judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri. He is a 1973 graduate of Grinnell College and 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. A life member of the NAACP, he currently serves on the executive committees of the Truman Medical Centers and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.