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2013 Men of the Year Honoree: Richard Schnake

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Last edited 10:53 a.m., Sept. 4, 2013

Neale & Newman LLP Partner Richard Schnake has handled more than 180 state and federal appellate court cases in more than 60 substantive areas of law, including arguing 15 cases before the Supreme Court of Missouri and filing three to the Supreme Court of the United States.

“To date, 80 lawyers from outside my firm, from 16 different countries, have referred appellate cases to me,” Schnake says. “The number of lawyers outside my firm who have referred cases demonstrates my leadership in appellate practice and the confidence that those lawyers have in my ability.”

Outside the courtroom, Schnake is a prolific writer. His work includes a chapter on settlement conferences in the Missouri Appellate Court Practice, Fifth Edition, published by the Missouri Bar Association, as well as numerous articles for the Missouri Lawyers Weekly and other periodicals. Additionally, he is the author of “Civil Rules Practice, Rules 85-88, 17A Missouri Practice,” a product of Thomson-Reuters, the nation’s largest legal publisher.

Schnake says the work “has been cited by courts by lawyers in briefs before the appellate and trial courts, and by other legal writers.”

Writing was in Schnake’s blood early in his life, starting at age 16 and during a six-year stint as a sports reporter for the Lawrence County Record. Schnake also was the executive editor of his alma mater’s Washington Law Review Journal and received his school’s Scribes Award for Outstanding Legal Writing.

Schnake, who turned 56 earlier this month, is a member in good standing in the local, state and national bar associations. His professional service extends to a variety of appellate, civil and legislative committees of the state Supreme Court, and he is entering his 12th year of service on the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Practice Committee.

In 2003, Schnake was nominated by a nonpartisan, panel for consideration by Gov. Bob Holden for appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District.

“I am especially proud of the nomination,” he says, “because it demonstrated that others – particularly those trained in the law – had objectively concluded that my knowledge, experience and legal skills, as well as the quality of my work, are worthy of the honor of being a judge.”

Schnake shares this wealth of experience by mentoring younger associates in his firm of 19 attorneys. Despite his broad sphere of influence in the legal world, Schnake appears to lead best when leading from the heart, as demonstrated in his quarter-century of service as a member and three-time past president on the board the Ozarks Counseling Center. As the longtime leader of OCC’s annual game-show themed fundraiser, Schnake recalls the first few years required a lot of hands-on leadership and hard work, but he says the effort was worth it.  

“Through 2012, the benefit has raised $408,833,” he says, “which helps provide low-cost services to those in need who could not afford them otherwise.”[[In-content Ad]]


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