Judge Laura Denvir Stith
Judge Laura Denvir Stith
Supreme Court of Missouri

Dates of judicial service:
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in March 2001
  • Retained in office at the November 2002 general election and again at the November 2014 general election
  • Current term expires December 31, 2026
  • Served as chief justice for the term of July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2009
  • Previously served as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, from 1994 to March 2001

Education:
  • Graduated with honors from John Burroughs School, St. Louis, in 1971
  • Studied at the University of Madrid through a program administered by the Institute of European Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, (majors - political science and social psychology, Tufts University, Boston, 1975 (attended Tufts on a national merit scholarship)
  • Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 1978

Prior employment:
  • Attorney, Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm, Kansas City
    • Partner, 1984 to 1994
    • Associate, 1980 to 1984
  • Co-founder and member, Appellate Practice Group
  • Law Clerk to Supreme Court of Missouri Judge Robert E. Seiler, 1978 to 1979
  • Iglauer Fellowship Intern in Washington D.C. for Senator Thomas Eagleton, 1973

Professional memberships and activities:
  • Member, The Missouri Bar, 1978 to present
        - Chair, Civil Practice and Procedure Committee
        - Vice chair, Civil Practice and Procedure Committee
  • Member, American Bar Association (ABA)
  • Member, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA)
       - Vice chair, Tort Law Committee
  • Member, Association for Women Lawyers (AWL) of Greater Kansas City
       - President
       - Member, board of directors
  • Missouri Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2004 to present
  • Chair, Gender and Justice Joint Committee of The Missouri Bar and the Supreme Court of Missouri
  • Speaker, appellate practice programs, annual conventions of the ABA, The Missouri Bar, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys (MATA), and Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers (MODL)
  • Speaker or moderator, continuing legal education programs about civil procedure and evidence, for The Missouri Bar, KCMBA, AWL and University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School
  • Speaker, gender bias programs, Missouri New Judges School

Civic and charitable activities:
  • Founding director, Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP), an inter-bar lawyers’ public service organization in Kansas City
  • Mentor and tutor to young students at St. Vincent’s Operation Breakthrough in Kansas City

Awards and honors:
  • Joseph Stevens Aspire to Excellence Award, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 2009
  • Distinguished Non-Alumnus Award, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, 2006
  • Third-year editor, Law and Policy in International Business Journal, Georgetown University Law Center

Additional information:
  • Born October 30, 1953, in St. Louis
  • Married to fellow lawyer Donald G. Scott, a former law clerk for former Supreme Court of Missouri Judge Warren D. Welliver and now a shareholder in the law firm of McDowell, Rice, Smith and Buchanan, P.C., in Kansas City. They have three daughters.