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Appellate Judicial Commission announces nominees for Hoff vacancy on Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District

30 June 2021

ST. LOUIS – George W. Draper III, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri and chair of the Appellate Judicial Commission, announces the commission today submitted to Governor Michael L. Parson its panel of nominees to fill the vacancy on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. This vacancy exists due to the impending August 2021 retirement of Judge Mary Kathryn Hoff.

The commission unanimously supports the three nominees. After approximately five hours of public interviews, three hours of deliberations and nine rounds of balloting, the nominees are Ellen S. Levy, Jeffery T. McPherson, and John P. Torbitzky

Levy is a circuit judge and probate division administrative judge in the 21st Judicial Circuit (St. Louis County). She was born in 1963 and resides in St. Louis. She earned her bachelor of arts in psychology in 1985 and her law degree in 1988, both from Washington University in St. Louis. She received seven votes.

McPherson is a partner at Armstrong Teasdale LLP in St. Louis. He was born in 1965 and resides in Webster Groves. He earned his bachelor of arts in English in 1990 from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1994 from Saint Louis University School of Law. He received seven votes.

Torbitzky is a member of Reichardt Torbitzky LLC in St. Louis. He was born in 1984 and resides in Webster Groves. He earned his bachelor of arts in English, cum laude with departmental honors, in 2007 from the University of Missouri-Columbia and his law degree, summa cum laude, in 2012 from Saint Louis University School of Law. He received seven votes.

The governor has 60 days to select one member of the panel to fill the vacancy. Should he fail to do so, the Missouri Constitution directs the commission to make the appointment.

In addition to Draper, the commission is composed of Scott S. Bethune of Kansas City, Neil Chanter of Springfield, Timothy M. Drury of St. Louis, Sally Hargis of Springfield, Thomas K. Neill of St. Louis and Kathy Ritter of Columbia.  

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Ellen Levy photo; Jeffery McPherson photo; John Torbitzky photo Note: Links to the nominees' applications and photos are typically disabled after the governor makes his appointment.

Contact: Betsy AuBuchon Clerk of Court Supreme Court of Missouri (573) 751-4144