A 25th Circuit Court judge was appointed Monday by Gov. Jay Nixon to fill a vacancy on the southern district of the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Circuit Judge Mary Sheffield, a Democrat, was appointed to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Robert S. Barney. Sheffield, a Rolla resident, represents Phelps, Texas, Pulaski and Maries counties. The other circuit judge, Tracy Storie of Waynesville, did not see re-election. Bill Hickle, a Rolla Republican who is an associate circuit judge, was elected in November to replace him.

Gov. Jay Nixon will appoint Sheffield’s successor. Among those expected to be in the field is Pulaski County Associate Circuit Judge Colin Long, a Democrat, who lost to Hickle.

Sheffield has served on the bench in the area since January 1983, after being elected as an associate circuit judge and probate judge. She was re-elected to that position for six terms before being elected as circuit judge in 2004. She has received several awards for her work on the bench.

In 2003, at the request of the U.S. State Department and on behalf of the United States, she attended and chaired a subcommittee at the Hague Convention on international child kidnapping, and represented the U.S. again at the second Hague Convention in 2005. Since then, Sheffield has represented the United States at several international conferences on family law and child protection issues.

“Judge Sheffield has a distinguished record on the circuit bench in Missouri and in representing our country at numerous international law conferences in the U.S. and abroad,” Nixon said. “I am very pleased to be able to appoint her to the appellate court.”

Judge Sheffield is a 1976 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 1980 graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.

She was one of three nominees for this judgeship submitted to Nixon by the Appellate Judicial Commission for the Missouri Court of Appeals, southern district, under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.

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