A Lifelong Student

Jim Bartimus receives School of Law Alumni Award

When Jim Bartimus is debating whether to take on a medical malpractice case, he has a special advantage: an insider’s perspective.

That’s because when he started as a lawyer in the 1970s, he was assigned to several cases that involved medicine. The problem? Bartimus knew a lot about law, but little about the medical field. Rather than learn just enough to get by, Bartimus did what few people would. He went back to the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he had already earned a juris doctor from the School of Law, and entered medical school.

“My three years in medical school have been invaluable for me, not only in understanding the medicine, but more importantly, the hard work and dedication of health care providers,” Bartimus said.

That extra knowledge has paid off. A partner at Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Goza, most of Bartimus’ work focuses on medical malpractice and pharmaceutical litigation. He is the recipient of many awards, including multiple “Best of the Bar” awards, a Missouri Humanities Council Acorn Award, and now, the UMKC School of Law’s 2014 Alumni Achievement Award.

Each year, the UMKC Alumni Association recognizes outstanding individual alumni and one family with top honors. UMKC will honor its outstanding alumni for 2013-14 at a luncheon event on April 24 at Swinney Recreation Center on the UMKC campus. UMKC’s Alumni Association will highlight the recipients’ stories and accomplishments at the luncheon as well as through other events, presentations and classroom visits, where they will share their experiences with students.

Over the years, Bartimus has continued learning and continued to tweak his approach. He says the most challenging part of being a trial lawyer is to recognize and appreciate that societal changes are never-ending.

“We are now at a time where there are five living generations each processing information very differently, and the challenge is to be able to deliver that information to clients or jurors so that they understand and are receptive,” Bartimus said.

Along with continually learning, Bartimus says he believes in continually giving back to the community. Those are two principles he hopes all lawyers share.

“I think it is a duty of all lawyers to put back into the community what we practice,” Bartimus said. “We must always remember that it is a privilege to practice law.”

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