Chief Justice Zel M. Fischer

Judge Zel M. Fischer

Chief Justice Zel M. Fischer

Supreme Court of Missouri

Dates of judicial service:

  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2008 and retained at the 2010 general election for a 12-year term expiring December 31, 2022
  • Serving a two-year term as chief justice from July 2017 through June 2019
  • Elected to Associate Circuit Judge in 4th Judicial Circuit (Atchison County) in November 2006

  • Educated in Rock Port, Missouri, public schools

  • Bachelor of Arts (double majors in Philosophy and Political Science), William Jewell College, 1985
      • Harry S. Truman Most Outstanding Political Science Major - Class of 1985
      • Kappa Alpha Order
  • Juris Doctor, with distinction, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, 1988
      • Order of the Bench and Robe
      • Law Review Staff
      • American Jurisprudence Award

Professional employment prior to judicial service:
  • Law Clerk for the Honorable Andrew Jackson Higgins, Supreme Court of Missouri, 1988 to 1989
  • Attorney, Law Offices of James D. Boggs, 1989 to 1992
  • Attorney, Law Offices of Zel M. Fischer, 1992 to 2006
      • Offices in Atchison, Nodaway and Holt counties

Professional memberships and activities:
  • ASTAR Fellow, Advanced education and training to preside over trials involving complex science or technology issues
  • Participant, Center for Advanced Leadership Skills, West Virginia University
  • Instructor, Missouri Bar Professional Ethics Seminar
  • Member, The Missouri Bar, 1988 to present
      • Past Committee membership:
          • Civil Practice and Procedure Committee
          • Appellate Practice Sub-Committee
          • Young Lawyers Section Council (representing Clay and Platte counties and rural Northwest Missouri)
  • Former Member:
      • 4th Judicial Circuit Bar Association
      • Platte County Bar Association
      • Clay County Bar Association
      • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
      • Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys

Community, civic and charitable activities:
  • Rock Port Rotary Club
  • Community Awareness Team
  • Atchison County DARE
  • Leadership Board, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Northwest Missouri
  • Tarkio First Baptist Church
  • Atchison County Economic Development Corporation
  • Tarkio Rodeo Board of Directors

Additional information:

  • Original author of Chapter 40, Strict Liability of Product Manufacturers and Sellers - Manufacturing Defect of the Products Liability Handbook, published by the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Continuing Legal Education.
  • Born in Hamburg, Iowa, raised in Watson, Missouri.
  • Married to Julie Ann Fischer. They have four children.