3 December 2009



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – William Ray Price Jr., chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri and chair of the Appellate Judicial Commission, announced today that the commission has submitted to Gov. Jay Nixon its panel of nominees to fill vacancy on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, that exists due to the resignation of Judge Harold “Hal” Lowenstein, who retired Aug. 17, 2009, after nearly 30 years on the appeals court.

In alphabetical order, the panel consists of the Honorable Catharine Ann Mesle, John J. Miller and the Honorable Gary D. Witt.

Mesle is a circuit judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit (Jackson County). She was born May 2, 1946. She earned bachelors of arts degrees in history and political science in 1968 from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her law degree, with distinction, in 1972 from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Mesle lives in Kansas City.

Miller is an attorney at and equity member of the Kansas City law firm of Swanson Midgley LLC. He was born Jan. 4, 1959. He graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of journalism degree and a bachelor of arts, with honors, in economics in 1981 and earned his law degree in 1984, all from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Miller lives in Kansas City.

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.