LSEM to Honor Hatfield and Cossette for Work on Medicaid Expansion
Stinson LLP Partner Chuck Hatfield and associate Alix Cossette have been recognized by Legal Services of Eastern Missouri with the Melton M. Lewis Equal Justice Award for their work on Missouri's Medicaid expansion litigation.
The Melton M. Lewis Equal Justice Award is given in recognition of exceptional contributions and outstanding commitment to help insure equal access to justice for all members of the community.
Hatfield and Cossette were part of the legal team, which includes Michael Martinich-Sauter and Lowell Pearson of Husch Blackwell, that fought to expand Missouri's Medicaid system. The legal effort began when the team represented three Missouri citizens who sued the state after lawmakers refused to appropriate the $1.9 billion in state and federal funds needed to finance the expansion, and it ended at the Missouri Supreme Court.
The attorneys secured a unanimous decision by the Missouri Supreme Court that upheld the voter-approved ballot initiative to expand Medicaid, as the court determined it did not violate the Missouri constitution, thus, funding was available for expansion.
"We are honored to receive this award, as this was an important victory for Missourians," Hatfield and Cossette said. "This award also demonstrates the significance of collaboration within the entire legal profession. Our co-counsel arrangement was collegial and it paved the way for a monumental victory for an additional 275,000 Missouri residents."
Hatfield has 25 years' experience litigating and negotiating high profile cases, primarily involving government action, to help offer clients a broad and insightful perspective on Missouri's government and judiciary. He has represented dozens of clients in Missouri’s initiative petition process, writing proposed changes to Missouri law and litigating initiative petition and signature challenges, and frequently advises on election law.
Cossette counsels clients on the intersection of the law and public policy. She leverages her time as a staff member in the Missouri General Assembly to provide clients with unique insight into the inner workings of Missouri government, and uses this past experience to inform her regulatory practice. Cossette also frequently advises clients on election law and campaign finance matters.