Judge Patricia Breckenridge

Judge Patricia Breckenridge

link to photo of Judge Patricia Breckenridge

Supreme Court of Missouri

Dates of judicial service:
  • Appointed to Supreme Court in September 2007
  • Retained in the November 2008 general election for a 12-year term expiring December 31, 2020
  • Served as chief justice from July 2015 through June 2017
  • Previously served as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, from 1990 to 2007; retained in the general elections in November 1992 and 2004; served as its chief judge from 1998 to 2000
  • Appointed and later elected as an associate circuit judge in Vernon County, 28th Judicial Circuit, in 1982; reelected in 1986 and 1990
  • Assistant municipal judge, city of Nevada, Missouri, 1979-1982

  • Juris Doctor, University of Missouri-Columbia
  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics, with honors, University of Missouri-Columbia, 1975
  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, 1972
  • Educated in the Nevada, Missouri, public school district


Prior employment:
  • Partner in law firm of Russell, Brown, Bickel and Breckenridge, 1980-1982
  • Associate in law firm of Russell, Brown and Bickel, 1978-1980

Professional memberships and activities:
  • Member, Supreme Court of Missouri Committees
      • Committee on Civic Education, 2011-2015
          • Chair, 2011-2015
      • Coordinating Commission for Judicial Department Education, 2006-2013
          • Chair, 2007-2013
          • Faculty, New Judges’ Orientation, 2002-2014
          • Appellate Court Education Committee
              • Chair, 2005-2008
          • Appellate Court Education Annual Forum Sub-Committee
              • Chair, 2000-2005
          • Faculty Member, Judicial Orientation, 1992-present
          • Faculty Member, Missouri Judicial College, 1990-1993
      • Family Court Committee, 2007-2013
          • Co-Chair, 1993-1997
          • Child Support Guideline Review Sub-Committee, 1997-1999
      • Joint Committee with The Missouri Bar, Committee on Gender and Justice
          • Liaison, 2007-2013
      • Joint Committee with The Missouri Bar, Missouri Gender Fairness Implementation
          • Co-Chair, 1993-1997
          • Represented Missouri at the 2nd National Conference on Gender Bias in the Courts
  • Faculty, Missouri Court Management Institute, Purposes & Responsibilities of Courts, 2013-2015
  • Member, Missouri Crossover Youth Policy Team, 2012-present
  • Master, Elwood L. Thomas American Inn of Court, 2012-present
  • Member, Casey Family Programs’ National Impact Outcomes Committee, 2012-2013
  • Member, Missouri Institute for Justice
      • Board of Directors, 2006-2008
  • Member, Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP)
      • Board of Directors, Emeritus, 2005-present
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 1993-present
  • The Missouri Bar Foresight Committee, 1992-1994
  • Member, American Bar Association, 1990-present
  • Member, National Association of Women Judges, 1990-present
  • Member, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 1990-present
  • Member, Association of Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, 1990-present
  • Member, Missouri Task Force on Gender and Justice, 1987-1993
  • Member, Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges, 1983-present
      • President, 1990-1991
  • Member, The Missouri Bar, 1978-present
      • The Missouri Bar Division of Judicial Administration, 1998-2008


Civic and charitable activities:
  • Member, Mattie Rhodes Center
    • Board of Directors, 1999-2006
    • President, 2004-2005
  • Mentor, St. Vincent's Operation Breakthrough Day Care Center, Kansas City, 1998-present
  • University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine Board of Directors, 1996-1998
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry Strategic Planning Committee, 1995
  • Cabot West Side Clinic Board of Directors, 1991-1997
  • Rotary International of Nevada, Missouri, 1988-1993
  • Co-founder and advisor, Vernon County Community Service Program, 1988-1990
  • Home Health Advisory Board, Nevada, Missouri, Board of Directors, 1987-1991
  • Co-founder and Member, Council on Families in Crisis, Nevada, Missouri
    • Board of Directors, 1984-1990
  • Member, Soroptimists International of Nevada, Missouri, 1983-1991
    • President, 1988-1990
  • Member, Business and Professional Women of Nevada, 1978-1990
    • President, 1983-1984
  • PEO Sisterhood, DW Chapter, 1972-present
  • Member, United Methodist Church of Nevada, Missouri
    • Administrative Board, 1989-1991
    • Chair, Status of Women and the Church and Society Committee, 1989-1990

Awards and Honors:
  • Institute for Court Management, certification as instructor, Purposes & Responsibilities of Courts, 2013
  • Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, certification, 2012
  • Women Lawyers' of Greater St. Louis, honoree, 2008
  • Association of Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City
    • Judicial Recognition Award, 2007
    • Judge of the Year, 1999
    • Special Achievement Award, 1993-1994
  • Daily Record's Legal Leader Award, 2005
  • Woman of Distinction Award, Ozark Area Girl Scout Council 1996
  • Recipient of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law Citation of Merit, 1996
  • The Missouri Bar President's Award, 1994
  • Council of State Governments' Toll Fellow, 1990
  • Soroptimists of Nevada Women Helping Women and Woman of Distinction Awards, 1989
  • Rotary International of Nevada's Citizen of the Year Co-Awardee with husband, Bryan Breckenridge, 1989
  • Nevada Business and Professional Women's Woman of the Year Award, 1985

Additional Information:
  • Speeches, Lectures and Presentations
    • Commencement speaker, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, 2012
    • Commencement speaker, Cottey College, Nevada, Missouri, 2011
    • Commencement speaker, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, 2008
    • Judge, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, Mock Historical Trial, 2008
    • Presenter for University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Truman State University, The Missouri Bar, Missouri Attorney General on Appellate Practice, Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges, Association for Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Southern Missouri Women Lawyers Association, Midwest Regional Conference for Women, Council of Clubs, Sue Shear Leadership Academy, Missouri Girls State, and State Council of Student Government
    • Presented lectures about Civic Education, Professionalism and Ethics, Administrative Law, Leadership, Driving While Intoxicated, Domestic Violence, Contempt, Civil Damages, Effective Motions, Family Law, Gender Bias, Child Support Form 14, and Employment Law
    • Organizer of and presenter at Kansas City Municipal Bar Association's Elwood Thomas and David Prager Appellate Institutes
    • Presented programs to local schools and civic and community organizations about topics such as civic education, alternative courts, drug/alcohol abuse, criminal and juvenile law, juvenile reforms, adult and child abuse, and probate law
  • Personal
    • Born in Nevada, Missouri
    • Married to Bryan C. Breckenridge