LSC on the Passing of Judge Richard B. Teitelman

November 29, 2016

Judge Richard Teitelman with Chief Justice Cornelia Clark, Tennessee Supreme Court, at LSC's Forum on Civil Legal Aid in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

The Missouri Supreme Court announced today that Missouri Supreme Court Judge Richard B. Teitelman had passed away. Judge Teitelman was a leader in the legal community, an esteemed jurist, and a champion for equal justice. 

Judge Teitelman spent much of his career serving the Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM), first as a staff attorney, then a managing attorney, and finally as Executive Director and General Counsel from 1980 to 1998. He volunteered his time on numerous bar association committees at the local, state, and national level, including the Missouri Bar's Delivery of Legal Services Committee, which he chaired, and the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service. He served on the Missouri Supreme Court from 2002 onwards and was chief justice from July 2011 through June 2013. He was the first legally blind and the first Jewish judge to serve on the court.

Judge Teitelman was also a longtime supporter of LSC, lending his voice and expertise to advancing access to justice. He was a frequent panelist at LSC events and an advocate for the role of legal aid in safeguarding the fair administration of justice

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon today issued a statement on the passing of Judge Teitelman:

“Missourians have lost a judicial leader who dedicated his life over more than four decades in service to the people of this state and to our legal system, both as a Judge of the Missouri Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals and during a long career with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. Judge Teitelman will be remembered not only for his breaking new ground as the first legally blind judge to sit on Missouri’s highest court, but also for his legal skills and his passion for justice. He truly listened to, and never forgot, those who needed justice the most. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, friends and colleagues.”

LSEM also issued a statement about the loss of Judge Teitelman: 

As news of the passing of Judge Richard B. Teitelman reaches us today, we deeply feel the loss of a much loved member of the LSEM family.

Judge Richard B. Teitelman was a champion for justice, a giant among the legal community and a guiding light for legal aid advocacy both in the St. Louis region and Missouri. He used his passion and great knowledge to grow and help Legal Services of Eastern Missouri flourish, that now serves 21 counties in the state.

‘He gave voice to those without representation and was tireless in his work to protect the vulnerable. We would not be where we are now without the work of Judge Teitelman,' says Thomas G. Glick, President of the Board of Directors of Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.

Judge Teitelman served at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri from 1975 through 1998 serving as the Executive Director from 1980 – 1998. He was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 2002.”