Judge Calvin R. Holden was appointed circuit judge in March 1996. He subsequently was elected circuit judge in November 1996 and was reelected in 2000 and 2006. Prior to being appointed circuit judge, he was an attorney in private practice. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in political science from Missouri State University in 1977 and his law degree from Drake University in 1980.
Judge Holden has been an adjunct professor at Drury University, and has served as a commissioner on the Missouri Drug Court Commission. He has received the David B. Woodruff Memorial Community Justice Service Award, Missouri Association of Drug Court Professionals President’s Award, and the NAMI of Southwest Missouri Governmental Award for Excellence.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions regarding Judge Holden rated Judge Holden on a scale of 1 to 5, with a 1 representing “not at all” and 5 representing “completely.”
He received his highest scores for treating people equally regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, or any other factor (4.14); allowing parties latitude to present their arguments (4.08); and maintaining and requiring proper order and decorum in the courtroom (3.98).
Judge Holden’s lower scores were for weighing all evidence fairly and impartially before rendering a decision (3.67); rulings on dispositive motions stating reasons and consistently applies the substantive law (3.73); and is not affected by partisan considerations (3.74).
The committee also reviewed survey responses of other judges of the 31st Judicial Circuit who voluntarily participated in a peer review involving similar topics as those addressed in the attorney survey. Judge Holden received his highest scores from other judges for treating people equally regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, economic status, or any other factor (5.0) and effectively using pretrial procedure to narrow and define the issues (5.0). His lower scores from the judges were for writing opinions and orders that are clear (4.0) and giving reasons for his rulings (4.33).
The committee also reviewed survey responses submitted by jurors who were seated in jury trials before Judge Holden. Judge Holden received very favorable responses from all of the jurors who answered the questions relating to 10 separate criteria regarding his conduct throughout jury trials.
The committee has also reviewed written rulings and opinions submitted by Judge Holden from court-tried cases and participated in a courtroom observance during procedural matters.