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Content date: 05/18/2009

21st Circuit Commission announces nominees for Reno vacancy in St. Louis County

ST. LOUIS − The 21st Judicial Circuit Commission announced the panel of three nominees it has submitted to Gov. Jay Nixon to fill the associate circuit judge vacancy on the St. Louis County circuit court created by the elevation of Judge Gloria Clark Reno.

Those nominated by the commission are:

Commissioner Kristine Kerr − Kristine Allen Kerr was born in Philadelphia. She graduated in 1978 from Swarthmore High School, in 1982 from Brown University, and in 1985 from Boston University School of Law. From 1985 to 1986, Kerr was a law clerk for the Hon. Kent Karohl on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. After a time in private practice in the areas of domestic relations, worker’s compensation, personal injury and bankruptcy, she joined the Missouri State Public Defender System in 1988. She served as an assistant public defender and team leader in the St. Louis city public defender trial office until 1991 and then joined the capital litigation division of the trial office as first assistant, where she served for 10 years. In October 2003, Kerr joined the St. Louis County public defender’s office. In September 2004, she was appointed family court commissioner in the St. Louis County family court. Kerr unanimously was reappointed by the 21st Judicial Circuit in June 2008. She is a member of The Missouri Bar, the St. Louis County Bar Association, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Lawyer’s Association, the Women Lawyer’s Association, the National Association of Women Judges, Trinity Presbyterian Church and the Greater St. Louis Knitters’ Guild. Kerr is married with two children.

Ellen Ribaudo − Nellie Ribaudo is an associate with Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers & Glass, P.C. Nellie received a bachelor of arts degree in history with a minor in criminal justice in 1993 from the University of Dayton and received her law degree in 1996 from St. Louis University School of Law. Ribaudo was admitted to The Missouri Bar in 1996; to the United States District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, in 2003; and to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2007. Ribaudo has been practicing for more than 12 years and has tried more than 40 felony jury trials. She is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, BAMSL, Women Lawyer’s Association and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is an adjunct professor at St. Louis University teaching trial advocacy.

Bruce F. Hilton − Bruce F. Hilton was born Nov. 12, 1957, in Detroit. He received his bachelor of arts degree in history in 1980 and his law degree in 1986, both from St. Louis University. He is the managing partner of a family law litigation practice with extensive jury and non-jury trials in St. Louis city and county and also has tried cases in Franklin, Jefferson and St. Charles counties. In addition, he provides recurring services as a guardian ad litem in family law cases and has briefed and argued dozens of appeals in the Missouri Court of Appeals. He is a member of The Missouri Bar and served on its board of governors from 1996 to 2007 and its executive committee from 2004 to 2005. He also is a member of BAMSL, the St. Louis County Bar Association, and the Lawyers Association and is the chairman of the 21st Judicial Circuit judicial evaluation committee. Hilton is a past board member of Giant Steps, a school and resource for children with autism; Kirkwood Library and Heritage House; has coached CYC soccer, baseball, basketball and volleyball; has spoken at various continuing legal education programs; and has taught a first-grade religion class for eight years. In 1992, he received the Good Citizen Award from the Grand Jurors Association and a proclamation from County Executive Buzz Westfall. Hilton has been married for 26 years and has four children.

The commission believes that these candidates chosen from a field of extremely qualified individuals possess those qualities of compassion, intellect and high moral purpose essential to the fair and efficient administration of justice. Each of these people have that trial experience and sense of fairness that the commission knows is required to administer justice to the people of the St. Louis County and the state of Missouri and proudly presents these names to Gov. Nixon for his ultimate decision. The commission is confident that all of these individuals are capable of serving well and honorably if selected by the governor.

The members of the 21st Judicial Circuit Commission are: Nannette A. Baker, chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District; Debbie Champion, Patrick Dudley, Gerard Noce and Laurie Westfall.

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Contact: Laura Roy, (314) 539-4300

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