Laura Denvir Stith, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri and chair of the Appellate Judicial Commission, announced Wednesday that the commission has submitted to Gov. Jay Nixon its panel of nominees to fill the second of three vacancies on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. This vacancy exists due to the Jan. 16 resignation of Judge Paul M. Spinden, who since has joined the faculty of Liberty University School of Law in Lynchburg, Va.
In alphabetical order, the panel consists of the Honorable Jacqueline A.
Cook, Karen King Mitchell and the Honorable Gary D. Witt of Platte County.
Cook is the presiding judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit (Cass and Johnson counties). She was born August 2, 1958. She earned her bachelor of science degree in history in 1980 from Central Missouri State University (now the University of Central Missouri) in Warrensburg, her master’s degree in history in 1989 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and her law degree in 1989 from UMKC. Cook lives in Belton.
Mitchell is director of the Missouri Department of Revenue. She was born November 28, 1958. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in political science, Phi Beta Kappa, in 1981 from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, and her law degree in 1984 from UMKC. Mitchell lives in Columbia.
Witt is an associate circuit judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit (Platte County). He was born February 2, 1965. He earned his bachelor of arts degree in communication in 1987 from William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and his law degree in 1990 from MU. Witt lives in Parkville.
The governor has 60 days to select one member of the panel to fill the vacancy. If he should fail to do so, the Missouri Constitution directs the commission to make the appointment.
Following the governor’s selection of one of the nominees from the second panel, to fill the Spinden vacancy, the commission will meet a third time to select a third panel of three nominees for the vacancy created by Judge Joseph P. Dandurand’s resignation. Because the commission does not know when the governor will select a nominee from the second panel of nominees, it cannot announce the date for the commission’s meetings to select the third panel at this time. It will do so as soon as feasible.