Judge Gaertner was appointed to the circuit court bench on July 14, 2000. Previously he was a state prosecutor as an assistant circuit attorney from 1992-95. From 1995 to 2000 he served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, U.S. Department of Justice. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics, magnum cum laude, and a law degree, cum laude, from St. Louis University.
Judge Gaertner is a member of The Missouri Bar, the Illinois Bar Association, the St. Louis County Bar Association and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. He also serves as a member of The Missouri Bar Legislative Committee.
Judge Gaertner is married with four children, and serves on the board of directors for Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, and is also involved in his church and The Backstoppers.
Judge Gaertner received above average scores in all areas by attorneys who responded to survey questions. Attorneys were asked to rank the judges on a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being the highest) and Judge Gaertner scored above a 4.0 is all 16 categories. His areas of strength were in maintaining and requiring proper demeanor on the bench, as well as treating people equally regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, economic status or any other factor.
Juror surveys that were returned mirrored the attorney surveys.
The committee also reviewed a written opinion of Judge Gaertner which was clear, concise, well written, and consistent with the applicable law cited therein.
Judge Gaertner consistently scored high marks and it is difficult to describe any of his scores as weaknesses. His lowest scores in the attorney surveys were in the areas of based decisions on evidence and arguments, and that of weighing all evidence fairly and impartially before rendering a decision. However, both of these categories were still rated above 4 out of a possible 5.