Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the appointment of Deputy Probate Commissioner S. Margene Burnett as a circuit judge for Division 7 of the 16th Judicial Circuit, which covers Jackson County. The position became available upon the retirement of the Honorable Ann Mesle.
Commissioner Burnett has been on the probate bench in Jackson County for 10 years, having been first appointed in 2003 and subsequently re-appointed twice by the Probate Judge. In this position, she has presided over cases involving estate administration, mental health commitments, guardianships and conservatorships. Commissioner Burnett was president of the Missouri Association of Probate & Associate Circuit Judges for 2011-2012.
Prior to taking the bench, Commissioner Burnett was in private practice in Kansas City from 1987 to 2003, first as an associate with two law firms and then as a solo practitioner. She obtained her law degree from the University of Missouri - Kansas City and her undergraduate degrees from the University of Missouri in Columbia. Commissioner Burnett has served in several leadership positions with Sheffield Place, a transitional living facility for homeless women and their children, and also has been active with the UMKC School of Law Alumni Association and the Law Foundation of UMKC.
"The judicial experience and skill that Commissioner Burnett has acquired over the past 10 years in Jackson County will serve her well in becoming a Circuit Judge, and I am pleased to appoint her to this position," Gov. Nixon said.
She was one of three applicants submitted to the Governor for consideration by the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.