Judge Laura Denvir Stith was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2001. Judge Stith served as chief justice of the Supreme Court from July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2009. She previously served as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District from 1994 to 2001. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Appeals, Judge Stith was in private practice from 1984-1994. Judge Stith received a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Tufts University and her Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center.
Judge Stith is a member of the American Bar Association, the National Association of Women Judges, The Missouri Bar, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, the Association of Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, and the St. Louis Women Lawyers Association.
Judge Stith received the Joseph Stevens Aspire to Excellence Award from the Kansas City Metropolitan Association in 2009 and the Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law in 2006. She is the founding director of Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP), an inter-bar lawyers’ public service organization in Kansas City and is also a mentor and tutor to young students at St. Vincent’s Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City.
Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Stith on a scale from 1 to 5, with 1 representing “Strongly Disagree” and 5 representing “Strongly Agree.” Judge Stith received her highest marks for: punctuality (4.44); attentiveness to the arguments of all parties during oral argument (4.43); and attentiveness to the differing opinions of colleagues during oral argument (4.21). Responders described Judge Stith as intelligent, committed and fair.
The committee also reviewed Judge Stith’s written opinions. Those opinions are well-reasoned and follow Missouri law.