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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Appellate Judicial Commission is accepting applications for judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Laura Denvir Stith after 27 years of judicial service, including two decades on the state’s highest court.

A St. Louis-area native, Stith worked as a law clerk for Supreme Court of Missouri Judge Robert E. Seiler before spending 15 years in the private practice of law in Kansas City. She was appointed in 1994 to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, where she served until March 2001, when she became only the second female judge of the state’s high court. Stith also was only the second woman to be Missouri’s chief justice, serving from July 2007 through June 2009. Stith’s retirement will become effective after the close of business today.

Citizens are encouraged to nominate well-qualified candidates for the commission’s consideration. The Missouri Constitution requires that a judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri be at least 30 years old, licensed to practice law in Missouri, a United States citizen for at least 15 years and a qualified Missouri voter for at least nine years next preceding selection. Nominations should be submitted to the commission by e-mail at JudgeVacancy@courts.mo.gov, or by postal mail at P.O. Box 150, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

The nomination form is available online here.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, April 9, 2021.

Interested persons may download the application and instructions online here.

The commission has reserved Wednesday through Friday, May 19 through 21, 2021, at the Supreme Court of Missouri, at 207 High Street in Jefferson City, to interview applicants and select a panel of three nominees for the governor’s consideration. The commission reserves the right to conduct interviews using remote technology if necessary due to COVID 19 health concerns and recommendations. Regardless of their format, the interviews will be open to the public. The names of those to be interviewed and information relating to the number and characteristics of all applicants will be released publicly prior to the interviews.

For more information please contact Beth S. Riggert, Communications Counsel at the Supreme Court of Missouri at (573) 751-3676.

16th Judicial Circuit responds to Kansas City Star Editorial

The 16th Judicial Circuit issued a statement in response to a Nov. 1, 2020, editorial in the Kansas City Star critical of the performance of three 16th Judicial Circuit judges.

The Missouri Judicial Performance Review Committee, which was noted in both the editorial and the Court’s statement, is charged with sharing its findings as to whether nonpartisan judges seeking retention substantially meet overall judicial performance standards.  This year, the committee reviewed the performance of 53 judges including one Supreme Court of Missouri judge, four Court of Appeals judges, 26 circuit court judges and 22 associate circuit court judges in circuits where the judges are appointed under the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan. The committee found all 53 judges substantially meet overall judicial performance standards. The complete performance review information of each judge is available online at YourMissouriJudges.org.

The 16th Judicial Circuit Court noted the committee’s work as an objective source for information about the performance of its judges.

“Voters wanting information regarding these and other judges on the ballot would be better off going to www.yourmissourijudges.org and reviewing the extensive work of the Missouri Judicial Performance Review Committee which, by Supreme Court rule, is responsible for conducting evaluations of trial and appellate judges who are on the ballot for retention. This committee is made up of lawyers, retired judges, and members of our community from across the state, including physicians, teachers, and religious leaders. At www.yourmissourijudges.org, voters can learn about the exhaustive process of evaluating judges who are on the ballot Tuesday, and can review lawyer and juror surveys regarding them and read decisions they have written…

Voters have many important decisions to make on Tuesday. They deserve the chance to make those decisions based on facts, and on the full record of the public servants on the ballot.“

Read the complete statement from the 16th Judicial Circuit here.

For quick reference, landing pages for voters in nonpartisan circuits are provided:

Clay County (7th Circuit)
Greene County (31st Circuit)
Jackson County (16th Circuit)
Platte County (6th Circuit)
St. Louis City (22nd Circuit)
St. Louis County (21st Circuit)

All Other Counties

 

Judge W. Brent Powell, of Kansas City, will serve as the next judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri. A news release from the office of Gov. Greitens follows.

Governor Eric Greitens has appointed Judge W. Brent Powell, of Kansas City, to serve as the next judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri.

“The Missouri Supreme Court serves an essential role in maintaining our system of justice, upholding the rule of law, and protecting the Missouri Constitution,” said Governor Greitens. “Appointing a Missouri Supreme Court Judge is an important duty, and it is one I take seriously. I am pleased to name Judge Brent Powell to our state’s highest court.”

Judge Powell has been a Circuit Judge in Jackson County since 2008.  Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Powell served seven years as a federal prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Missouri, and before that, as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Platte County Prosecutor’s Office.  As a federal prosecutor, Judge Powell was Chief of the General Crimes Unit and the Executive Assistant United States Attorney.  He tried more than forty jury trials before being named to the Jackson County Circuit Court by Governor Blunt.

Judge Powell’s docket on the trial bench includes hundreds of significant criminal and civil cases. He currently serves on the Missouri Supreme Court Committee on Procedures in Criminal Cases, the Missouri Advisory Sentencing Commission, the Missouri Supreme Court Committee on Access to Family Courts, and the Missouri Supreme Court Trial Judge Education Committee.  In addition to his service within the court system, Judge Powell regularly instructs lawyers as the Lead Master of the Ross T. Roberts Trial Academy of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

Judge Powell received his law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law and his undergraduate degree in political science from William Jewell College.

“In his years on the bench, Judge Brent Powell has established himself as an outstanding jurist,” Governor Greitens said.  “He has received high marks for being humble, fair-minded, and of the highest integrity. I am confident Judge Powell will be committed to strengthening and improving our court system and guarding the rule of law as a judge on our state’s highest court.”

Governor Greitens selected Judge Powell from a panel of three nominees put forward by the Missouri Appellate Judicial Commission. The position became vacant due to the death of the Honorable Richard Teitelman.

The Appellate Judicial Commission announced yesterday that it is accepting applications for judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri to fill the vacancy created by the Nov. 29, 2016, death of Judge Richard B. Teitelman.

Citizens are encouraged to nominate well-qualified candidates for the commission’s consideration. The Missouri Constitution requires that a judge of the Supreme Court of Missouri be at least 30 years old, licensed to practice law in Missouri, a United States citizen for at least 15 years and a qualified Missouri voter for at least nine years next preceding selection. Nominations should be submitted to the commission by e-mail at JudgeVacancy@courts.mo.gov or by postal mail to Supreme Court of Missouri Judge Vacancy, Post Office Box 150, Jefferson City, MO 65102. The nomination form is available online through http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=108321.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.

Interested persons may download the application and instructions online through http://www.courts.mo.gov/page.jsp?id=108321.

The commission expects to meet Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 27 and 28, 2017, at the Supreme Court Building at 207 West High Street in Jefferson City, to interview applicants and select a panel of three nominees for the governor’s consideration. The interviews will be open to the public. The names of those to be interviewed and information relating to the number and characteristics of all applicants will be released publicly prior to the beginning of the interviews.