Richard Pemberton to receive Faithful Servant Award at Red Mass Nov. 17

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October 31, 2012

Richard Pemberton, recipient of Fidelis Apparitor Award

The 11th annual College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University Red Mass will be at 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17 at Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict's Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn.

Richard Pemberton, senior partner of Pemberton, Sorlie, Rufer and Kershner Law Firm in Fergus Falls, Minn., will be honored with the Fidelis Apparitor Award during a reception which follows the Red Mass at the Gorecki Dining and Conference Center at CSB. The presenter of the award is Michael Kirk, a member of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The award, which means "faithful servant" in Latin, is given to individuals who have been good and faithful servants of the law. Past recipients of the award include Jerry Lane, executive director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance; Tom Joyce, an attorney with Dorsey & Whitney LLP; Susan Holden, a trial attorney with the Sieben, Grose, Von Holtum & Carey law firm; and Judge John Simonett, a former associate justice with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Pemberton, whose law firm also has locations in Alexandria, Detroit Lakes and Wadena, has been practicing for more than 30 years in both public and private sector labor relations and employment law.  Pemberton is the recipient of numerous state and national recognitions and awards, including the "Professional Excellence" award from the Minnesota State Bar Association. He is also actively involved in various professional associations and has held numerous positions, including serving as president for the Minnesota State Bar Association.

"Dick Pemberton's high standard of professionalism is recognized by members of both the bench and bar," said Elizabeth Hayden, co-chair of the Red Mass committee and a retired district court judge who received an undergraduate degree from CSB. "This professionalism is consistently seen in his trial and dispute resolution skills as well as his storytelling and sense of humor. He is, and has been, a role model for attorneys throughout the state. His involvement with the Minnesota State Bar Association brought him into contact with many attorneys who are grateful for having had the opportunity to know and work with him."

The CSB/SJU Red Mass is the only event of its kind to encompass all of Minnesota, both in its scope and its goal of celebrating the important work of judges, attorneys, students of law, policy-makers and civic leaders. The Red Mass tradition, which has its roots in the Middle Ages, marks the beginning of the judicial year in many of the world's largest cities including Washington, D.C., Toronto, Paris and Edinburgh. Red Mass participants ask God to grant the virtues and gifts necessary for the proper and just administration of their duties. The Red Mass name comes from the red vestments and garments that early legal participants wore on this occasion.

The liturgy is open to the public, followed by the award reception. Tickets for the reception cost $25 and pre-registration is requested by Nov. 10.  For questions or interest in being a student volunteer, contact Maureen Opitz at 320-363-5020 or [email protected].