The judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, have elected Gary D. Witt as chief judge. The two year term for Witt, a Platte County native, began July 1.
The chief judge serves as chief administrative officer of the court. The chief judge’s duties include presenting the court’s budget to the legislature and approving all financial transactions involving the court.
The chief judge also assigns the court’s 11 judges to panels to hear appeals and petitions for extraordinary writs and designates the presiding judges of those panels.
The chief judge works closely with the clerk of the court in considering and ruling on motions presented to the court and presides over the monthly conference of the judges.
As part of his duties, Witt will chair the Sixth, Seventh, and Sixteenth circuit judicial commissions. These commissions are responsible for selecting three-person panels for consideration by the governor when judicial vacancies occur in those circuits, as a part of the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.
Witt was appointed to the Western District in February 2010. Prior to his appointment, he served as an associate circuit judge in Platte County (6th Judicial Circuit).
Previously, he practiced law in Platte County and served in the Missouri House of Representatives. Witt earned his undergraduate degree from William Jewell College and is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law.
“It is an honor to serve the citizens, businesses, and litigants in the Western District of Missouri,” Witt said.
“I am humbled by my colleagues’ vote of confidence, but know that my job as chief will be much easier because of the incredible and dedicated staff at our court as well as the other judges of this court who all understand that our obligation and our job is to serve. All of us are committed to providing timely, thoroughly analyzed, and carefully drafted opinions that explain the reasoning of our decision to the parties in each case, as well as providing guidance to future litigants, lawyers and trial courts.”