Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, clerk of court to retire, new clerk of court appointed

11 January 2017photo of retiring Western District court of appeals clerk Terry Lord
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, announced today that its clerk of court, Terence G. Lord, plans to retire effective July 1, 2017, after serving the Court of Appeals with honor and distinction for nearly four decades. The Court has appointed Susan Sonnenberg, its staff counsel, to serve as clerk of court upon Lord’s retirement.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, Lord joined the Western District Court of Appeals in 1977 as law clerk for Judge Ronald Somerville. After a brief period in private practice, he rejoined the court in 1979 as a member of the court’s central research staff. In succeeding years, he was named chief staff attorney and then staff counsel. Finally, in July 1995, he began his decades-long service as clerk of court.

“It is not fair to measure Terry’s service to this court only by way of years served; instead, Terry’s mark on our Court is that he has been our gatekeeper for justice for as long as most of us can remember … reviewing appeals when they are filed to note their lawful arrival at our desks … and proofreading every opinion that goes out of this court to ensure judicial integrity in our work product,” Chief Judge Mark D. Pfeiffer said. “Terry has been an invaluable resource to the lawyers practicing before the Court, as well as the judges, law clerks, and clerk’s staff at the court. He is the historical glue of the court, and his caring demeanor makes him feel much more like a cherished family member than work colleague. We will miss him, but we wish Terry and his family the best in his well-deserved retirement.”

In describing Sonnenberg, the incoming clerk of court, Pfeiffer said, “Susan will provide a seamless transition because she has already been a member of our court’s family for many years and she understands the pulse of our home at 13th and Oak. She has served the court with distinction in the past as a law clerk for Judges Albert Riederer, Patricia Breckenridge and Harold L. Lowenstein. And, after later serving as an assistant prosecuting attorney with the Jackson County prosecutor’s office, Susan returned home to the court in 2005 to serve in the capacity of staff counsel, a position she holds to this day. Susan has an infectious enthusiasm, an experienced and capable appellate law intellect, and the right personality to assume the leadership position that we have asked her to hold at the court.”

A native of St. Louis, Sonnenberg earned her bachelor of science degree from Southwest Missouri State University in 1992 and her law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 1997. Sonnenberg and her husband, Gus, reside in Kansas City with their two children, Greta and August.
Contact: Beth S. Riggert
Communications Counsel
Supreme Court of Missouri
(573) 751-3676