Judge Powell was appointed as associate circuit judge for the 31st Judicial Circuit (Greene County) in March 2000, and was again elected by the voters in 2000, 2002 and 2006. Prior to being appointed associate circuit judge, he was in private practice as a partner with the Lathrop & Gage law firm in Springfield. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Missouri State University in 1982 and his law degree from Drake University in 1985.
He serves on the Circuit Court Budget Committee of the Missouri Supreme Court and has also served on the Judicial Time Standards Committee. While serving as an associate circuit judge, he established the Truancy Court Program for Springfield Public Schools.
Judge Powell is a graduate and former two-time board member of Leadership Springfield, and has also served on the board of directors for the Springfield Boys and Girls Club, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Southwest Missouri, and Community Partnership of the Ozarks.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Powell on a scale of 1-5, with a 1 representing “not at all” and 5 representing “completely.”
He received his highest scores for being competent in the law (4.74); understanding rules of procedure and evidence (4.71); and being prepared for hearings and trials and issuing timely decisions (4.66). Judge Powell’s lower scores were for demonstrating appropriate demeanor on the bench (3.98); displaying fairness and impartiality toward each side of the case (4.34); and weighing all evidence fairly and impartially before rendering a decision (4.45).
The committee also reviewed survey responses submitted by jurors who were seated in jury trials before Judge Powell. Judge Powell received an unanimously favorable response from jurors on questions relating to 10 separate criteria regarding his conduct throughout the jury trials.
The committee has also reviewed written findings of fact and conclusions of law submitted by Judge Powell from a court-tried case and participated in a courtroom observance during procedural matters.