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Missouri Bar honors Werner Moentmann, retired circuit judge

Werner Moentmann, the retired Ray County circuit judge is among more than 100 attorneys honored earlier this month as “Senior Counselors” of The Missouri Bar.
The “Senior Counselor” title is bestowed upon lawyers who have reached the age of 75 years or who have been admitted to The Missouri Bar for 50 years.
The recognition ceremonies took place during the Opening Luncheon of the 133rd Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar held Sept. 11 at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center.
The retired Carroll County native served behind the bench from 1995 until his retirement Dec. 31, 2008. In 2009, Moentmann received Tri-County Mental Health’s Public Service Achievement Award the following year.

Senior Counselor Hon. Werner A. Moentmann of Richmond with Chief Justice Mary Russell of the Supreme Court of Missouri and 2013-14 Missouri Bar President Jack Brady. (Submitted photo)

Senior Counselor Hon. Werner A. Moentmann of Richmond with Chief Justice Mary Russell of the Supreme Court of Missouri and 2013-14 Missouri Bar President Jack Brady. (Submitted photo)

Then-Tri-County President Phil Witt, the television personality, cited the county’s drug court as a Moentmann achievement affecting many lives.
“From Tri-County’s perspective, Judge Moentmann’s most significant contributions in the community was the leadership that he provided in bringing the Ray County Drug Court to the community,” Witt said. He praised the court’s 47 graduations out of more than 100 referrals, including six the week of the Tri-County meeting.
Moentmann deflected personal credit for the program’s success.
“An accomplishment like this is not just one person, it’s the whole Drug Court team,” he said in accepting the award. “It was my honor and privilege to serve as Circuit Judge in Ray County for 15 years. Everyone respects the judge and it’s a high position that’s humbling to hold.
“When you stop and think about it, there’s very few things that bring you pleasure when you make a decision as a judge.”
Moentmann said that decisions made from the bench result in winners and losers, and mixed feelings.
But watching participants reclaim their lives from addiction to become productive, confident citizens was one of the pleasures of his career, he said.
“I’d like to try to thank the Tri-County, because none of that would’ve been possible if Tri-County hadn’t stepped in and helped Ray County develop the Drug Court team and sponsor it all these years,” he said.
Moentmann was the only Ray County attorney bestowed with this year’s Missouri Bar Senior Counselor designation. Also honored were the Hon. Robert A. Bryant of Carrollton and Michael W. Flood of Excelsior Springs.

– David Knopf, News Editor

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