SBJ photo by McKenzie Robinson

2020 Most Influential Women: Catherine Reade

Haden, Cowherd & Bullock LLC

Posted online

Crista Hogan met Catherine Reade 20 years ago and didn’t expect the young attorney to stay in the Ozarks.

“The legal profession is challenging, and being female, young and Latina makes it even more so,” says Hogan, executive director of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association. “She was a bright shining star, and I thought she might decide to take her talent to a more friendly and diverse pool. But that is not how she rolls. Catherine is not deterred by the challenges that sway most of us. She is motivated by it. Time and again I have seen her persevere and prevail.”

Now a partner at Haden, Cowherd & Bullock LLC, Reade has tried more than 75 bench trials and 22 jury trials. She specializes in real estate litigation and medical malpractice defense. Of the 18 medical practice cases Reade has successfully defended, nine were reported as top verdicts in Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

In 2009, Reade was named the Second Winningest Defense Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, and in 2013 she received that publication’s Women’s Justice Rising Star Award.

She says she is especially proud to have received the Lon O. Hocker Award in 2012. Presented annually by the Missouri Bar Foundation to only three attorneys statewide under age 40, the award honors those who exemplify the qualities of a trial lawyer, including professionalism, high ethical conduct and painstaking preparation.

“It was an honor to be included amongst the distinguished list of lawyers who have earned this award since 1954,” Reade says.

She has served in several roles for the Springfield Metropolitan Bar and is a member of a regional ethics committee for The Missouri Bar that investigates complaints of alleged ethical violations.

“I and the other members of the committee are dedicated to requiring all lawyers to commit themselves to strictly following the rules of ethics,” Reade says. “Each day, I comply with these rules of ethical conduct, not only by reviewing and investigating complaints, but also by personally demonstrating ethical conduct while providing zealous legal representation.”

Her civic engagement is extensive. Reade has lent her talents to multiple areas at Missouri State University, including multicultural services, diversity outreach and Latin American, Caribbean and Hispanic studies.

“For me, the involvement with college students has truly been rewarding,” she says. “These volunteer opportunities allow me to interact with students and faculty to discuss challenges that face the university with promoting diversity and inclusion.”

Other organizations for which Reade volunteers include the Ozarks Regional YMCA, Catholic Dioceses, Boy Scouts of America, the American Red Cross and Minorities in Business.

Hogan calls Reade a force of nature.

“She is a formidable opponent in the courtroom, dedicated volunteer to numerous civic and charitable pursuits, an impressive athlete and a devoted wife and mother. She is one of the most disciplined, committed and productive people I know,” Hogan says.