November/December 2005 issue

Judge Sachs Receives Award

The Hon. Howard F. Sachs, Senior Judge for the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri, has been awarded the 2005 Judge Joseph E. Stevens Aspire to Excellence Award. The award was presented by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) at its annual meeting on December 8, 2005.

That KCMBA meeting remembered the 50th anniversary of the vote that brought integration to the then Kansas City Bar Association (KCBA), and Judge Sachs had a role in that vote. He was among a handful of courageous men, led by Irving Achtenberg, who fought to diversify the KCBA during a time when others strongly opposed it. They signed a letter encouraging members to vote to direct membership applications to members of the Bar rather than to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee had previously ignored applications by three African Americans, one of whom had recently been elected Kansas City’s first black municipal court judge. The same historic vote also deleted the word “male” from the definition of “member,” thereby also opening KCBA membership to females.

Judge Sachs is the first federal judge to receive the Judge Joseph E. Stevens Aspire to Excellence Award, which was created in 1999 as a memorial to the late Judge of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, to honor his dedication to the bench and the bar in the metropolitan area.