Judge Anthony Rex Gabbert was appointed associate circuit judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit in 1994. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City and his Juris Doctorate degree from the Mississippi College School of Law. Judge Gabbert was in private practice in 1986 and 1991-1994. Judge Gabbert served as an Assistant Clay County Prosecuting Attorney from the years 1987 through 1991, as the prosecuting attorney for the City of Gladstone from 1991 to 1992, and as a municipal judge for the City of North Kansas City from 1993 to 1994. He was appointed a circuit court judge for the 7th Judicial Circuit on June 1, 2004.
Judge Gabbert has served as an adjunct professor at the School of Business and Continuing Education at William Jewell College from 1998 to the present. He has also served as an adjunct professor at the School of Professional Studies at Rockhurst University from 2001 to the present. Judge Gabbert has worked as an adjunct professor for the Schools of Business and Criminal Justice at Park University in the years 1997 to 1998 and 2007 to the present. He also now serves as adjunct professor at the School of Business at Ottawa University from 2011 to the present.
Judge Gabbert was a member of the board of trustees for the Clay-Platte-Ray Mental Health Tax Levy Board from 1986 to 1989. He was a member of the board of trustees for the North Kansas City Hospital from 1989 to 1993. He also was a United States Sixth Congressional District member of the United States Marshal Congressional Selection Committee in 1993.
Judge Gabbert is a member of The Missouri Bar and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Clay County Bar Association and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. He has served as a circuit judge member of the Executive Council, State of Missouri Judiciary, from 2008 until the present.
Judge Gabbert was retained by the voters at the election in November 2006.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions asking if they agreed with 18 statements about Judge Gabbert rated Judge Gabbert on a scale of 1-5, with 1 representing “not at all” and 5 representing “completely.” Judge Gabbert received his high scores for demonstrating appropriate demeanor on the bench (4.76); maintaining and requiring proper order and decorum in the courtroom (4.78); treating people equally regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, or any other factor (4.63); showing competence in the law (4.63); and showing an understanding of the rules of procedure and evidence (4.61).
Judge Gabbert’s lower scores were for efficiently managing his docket (4.50); not being affected by partisan considerations (4.48); clearly explaining all oral decisions (4.44); ruling on dispositive motions which state the reasons and consistently apply the substantive law (4.43); and issuing timely opinions and decisions (4.40).
The committee received survey responses submitted by jurors who had participated in jury trials before Judge Gabbert. In reviewing those survey responses, the responses were overwhelmingly positive. Of the 21 responses received from former jurors, there were no negative responses to any of the questions on the survey. Two jurors left one question unanswered, with one juror noting that he or she could not recall the case involved clearly enough to make a response to a particular question.
The committee received a peer survey submitted by other judges of the 7th Judicial Circuit. In the review provided by three respondents in the 7th Judicial Circuit, Judge Gabbert received a perfect score of 5.00 on all issues presented to the peers. The questions asked of the peer reviewers were the same as those asked of the lawyers practicing before Judge Gabbert.
The committee received and reviewed three written opinions authored by Judge Gabbert. The committee found the opinions to be clear, concise and well-written.
The committee did observe Judge Gabbert as he conducted public hearings. The observations of Judge Gabbert by the committee members were taken into account in the making of the recommendation set out below. The committee also met with Judge Gabbert and had the opportunity to interview him on May 24, 2012. The comments made by the judge and answers made by the judge to questions posed to him by the committee were taken into account in the recommendation set out below.