Judge Kevin D. Harrell was appointed to the bench in August 2012.He received a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He received his law degree from UMKC as well.
Prior to his service on the bench, Judge Harrell served as the chief deputy prosecuting attorney for the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, where he worked for 15 years and received recognition for his work as a victims’ advocate.
The committee evaluated Judge Harrell based on the results of ratings and comments submitted by attorneys and jurors who have appeared and served in Judge Harrell’s courtroom. The results of those ratings and comments are reviewed and discussed below.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Harrell on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing “Strongly Disagree” and 5 representing “Strongly Agree.” He received his highest scores for: maintaining a professional demeanor (4.52); treating both parties equally (4.47); and conducting the proceedings in a neutral manner (4.48). Judge Harrell’s lowest scores were for:promptness in rendering a decision (3.63); decisions followed logically from the evidence presented (3.90); and citing applicable substantive law (3.96). However, Judge Harrell’s low scores are well above the average for retention.
Jurors who responded to survey questions responded favorably, with 99 percent of the responses marked as “yes” to questions such as, “Did the judge treat people equally regardless of background or economic status?” Jurors cited him for patience, ability to explain legal issues, and promoting public confidence in the courts.
The committee has reviewed three written opinions submitted by Judge Harrell covering child custody, parenting plans, and child support petitions. The committee finds his opinions to be thorough, well-reasoned and clearly written. The committee also observed Judge Harrell performing his functions on the bench and found him to be efficient, thorough, and even tempered. His demeanor towards litigants, attorneys and staff was professional and appropriate.