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MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Aug. 17, 2022


See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

St. Louis | Kansas City | Springfield | Mid-Missouri

St. Louis

United States Arbitration & Mediation (USA&M) announces that Steven H. Schwartz has joined the Mediator and Senior Arbitrator Panels, and Cardina Johnson has joined the Mediator Panel.

Judge Gloria Clark Reno, of University City, has been appointed to the Public Defender Commission. Judge Reno has served as the presiding judge, circuit judge, and associate circuit judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit in St. Louis County. Prior to her judgeships in the 21st Judicial Circuit, she served as a municipal judge in Northwoods. Additionally, Judge Reno was previously an assistant public defender and trial team leader for the MSPD City of St. Louis Office. 

Judge Reno earned her Juris Doctor from the St. Louis University School of Law. 

The Law Firm of Blitz Bardgett & Deutsch announces that Dean Plocher has joined the firm as of counsel in their St. Louis office.

“We are proud to welcome Dean Plocher to our firm,” said Robert D. Blitz, founding member of the firm. “Dean is a respected attorney and will be a valued advisor to clients in litigation and other practice areas in Missouri and around the country.”

Plocher is currently a practicing attorney and has managed his own law firm in Clayton since 2001. Plocher has also served as a municipal judge in the 21st Judicial Circuit, and on the board of directors for the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association.

“Clients trust Blitz Bardgett & Deutsch for their counsel, character, and legal expertise to deliver solid leadership and major wins,” Plocher said. “They are a nationally-recognized firm at the forefront of the legal profession, and I am honored to join their outstanding team.”

Plocher earned his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University School of Law where he was also awarded a certificate in international and comparative law. Plocher received his B.A. in political science from Middlebury College. Following Middlebury, Plocher worked in the financial management industry for Franklin Resources, Inc, and A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc. 

Plocher also serves as a state representative in the Missouri General Assembly and is the current speaker-elect, unanimously designated by his caucus to lead the Missouri House of Representatives starting January 2023. He has represented District 89, a district that includes the municipalities of Chesterfield, Country Life Acres, Crystal Lake Park, Des Peres, Frontenac, Huntleigh, Kirkwood, Ladue, and Town & Country, in the Missouri House of Representatives since 2015.

A lifelong St. Louisan, Plocher lives in Des Peres with his wife Rebecca, and their two children.

Kansas City

Patrick Starke, of Blue Springs, was reappointed to the Trustees of The Missouri Bar following the July 15 meeting of The Missouri Bar Board of Governors. (Blog Post)

Jackson County Circuit Court Administrator Mary A. Marquez has announced she will retire in February 2023 after a 35-year career with the 16th Judicial Circuit Court in Jackson County.

“I have enjoyed my time at the Court and have been humbled by the opportunity to lead such a wonderful group of people,” Marquez said. “I hope that I have made some impact on the lives of others. I look forward to the next part of my life. I will always remain a devoted friend of the Court and its employees and judges.”

Marquez, 63, spent the majority of her career at the Jackson County Family Court as an attorney where she worked in the prosecution of child abuse and neglect cases, and juvenile delinquency. She joined the court as a staff attorney in the Legal Services Unit in 1987 and became its director in 1993. In 2009, she was appointed Juvenile Officer. 

As an attorney at the Family Court, she served on a number of state and regional task forces to improve the juvenile justice and child welfare systems. She co-facilitated the original protocol for the forensic interviewing of children at The Child Protection Center. She also provided training to law enforcement agencies in juvenile law and procedures.

Marquez was promoted to Deputy Court Administrator of the Family Court/ Director of Family Court Services in December 2012 and oversaw all the operations of the Family Court including Residential and Field Services.

In January 2017, she began serving as Court Administrator of the Circuit and Family Court after appointment to the position by the Court en Banc. During this time, she provided leadership during several unexpected events. In January 2019, there was a major flood at the downtown courthouse. Staff were relocated to other locations and temporary sites were set up so hearings could be held. In the aftermath of the flood, she was very involved in the County’s courthouse renovations. In 2020, the pandemic once again changed the way the Court operated, but the courthouse remained open, services continued, and hearings were held.

"Mary has provided exceptional service and leadership to our Court over many years and, especially as Court Administrator, during unprecedented events,” said Presiding Judge J. Dale Youngs. “Her singular concern has always been doing what is best for our Court, its employees, and the citizens we serve. We will miss her and wish her all the best during her well-deserved retirement."

Marquez was honored in April 2022 by Hope House at its Everyday Hero Luncheon with the “Impact in Change Award.” She is a graduate of the Court Management Program at the National Center for State Courts, and a earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law in 1986.

The judges have formed a search committee to be chaired by Judge Jalilah Otto to seek qualified candidates for the position.

Lynne Bratcher, Christa Moss, and Dawn Parsons were recently reappointed to the Joint Commission on Women in the Profession during The Missouri Board of Governors’ July 15 meeting. (Blog Post)


Judge Roy Richter, of Ozark, was appointed to the Public Defender Commission by Gov. Mike Parson.

Judge Richter has served as prosecuting attorney of Montgomery County and as associate circuit judge of Montgomery County from 1979 until his appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, in 2006. His judicial career spans more than 40 years. Judge Richter earned his B.A. in business, economics, and psychology from Drury University and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law. 


Joanna Trachtenberg, of Columbia, was recently reappointed to the Joint Commission on Women in the Profession during The Missouri Board of Governors’ July 15 meeting. (Blog Post)



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