Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the appointment of William W. Francis Jr. to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District. Francis, a private practice attorney in Springfield for more than 32 years, will fill a vacancy on the appellate court created by the retirement of the Honorable John E. Parrish, who stepped down last year after serving as a judge for 36 years, including 19 years on the Court of Appeals.
"Bill Francis has maintained a very successful law practice in southwest Missouri for more than three decades and is well-respected for his legal experience and expertise," Gov. Nixon said. "I am confident that his experience will make him an excellent judge on the Court of Appeals, and I congratulate him on this well-deserved appointment."
Francis is a 1977 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law, and a 1974 graduate of Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) with a degree in political science. After graduating from law school, he went into private practice in Springfield and has been a partner in the firm of Placzek & Francis since 1990.
His practice since that time has focused on civil trial work and workers' compensation. Francis has tried more than 30 jury trials and 15 bench trials, and has been either lead counsel or actively participated in more than 34 appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, the Missouri Supreme Court, the Missouri Court of Appeals, and the Missouri Labor and Industrial Relations Commission.
A past president of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, Francis has served in leadership positions for The Missouri Bar as well. He has served frequently as a lecturer on issues related to trial practice and workers' compensation.
Francis has been active in his church as a trustee and as an ordained elder and deacon. He also is active in charitable organizations and is a member of the Founders Club at Missouri State University.
Francis was one of three nominees for this judgeship submitted to Gov. Nixon by the Appellate Judicial Commission for the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.