January 02, 2024

Judge Rachel Bringer Shepherd has announced that she will not seek

re-election as Presiding Circuit Judge of the Tenth Judicial Circuit in

Missouri in 2024. She has served as the Presiding Circuit Judge of the

Tenth Judicial Circuit, which includes Marion, Monroe, and Ralls

Counties, since 2010. Judge Shepherd said, "I have been very grateful

for the opportunity to serve as a Presiding Circuit Judge, a State

Representative, an assistant prosecutor, and an attorney, and I look

forward to serving my family, the community, the judiciary, and the

legal profession in different ways in the years to come."

During her thirteen years as Circuit Judge, Judge Shepherd has presided

over more than fifty jury trials, including a nine day silicosis trial

to which she was assigned in Pike County, Missouri. She has also served

as the judge for the Tenth Circuit Treatment Court. During her tenure

as judge, she has conducted thousands of review hearings with all

probationers in her court to assist them in meeting their probation

conditions of treatment, employment, GED/HiSet attainment, and payment

of restitution. Due to these accountability reviews, more than $100,000

of restitution was collected for crime victims, and more than 50

probationers attained their GED/HiSet certifcate. She also instituted

mandatory pretrial conferences in Circuit Court to reduce the practice

of unnecessarily calling jurors. She has accepted more than one

thousand guilty pleas in criminal cases, and none of them has been found

to be involuntarily made or overturned by a Court of Appeals. She has

also accepted assignments to cases in ten counties outside of the Tenth

Circuit. During jury trials, Judge Shepherd provides homemade cookies

each day for the jurors as an expression of appreciation for their

service. Judge Shepherd oversaw the implementation of electronic

filing and electronic recordkeeping for the Tenth Circuit in 2016 and

the administration of the Municipal Court Operating Standards for the

Palmyra, Monroe City, and Hannibal Municipal Divisions

Judge Shepherd has been honored for her work as a judge and community

leader by the Missouri Supreme Court by receiving the Daniel O'Toole

Award for efficient case management for many years. In 2022, Judge

Shepherd received a Women's Justice Award from Missouri Lawyer's

Media. Judge Shepherd has also been honored for her work by the

Hannibal American Legion Post 55, Hannibal Arts Council, Hannibal

Parents as Teachers, the Palmyra Chamber of Commerce, the Great River

Tigers Alumni Association, and the Marion County Extension Council.

Judge Shepherd currently serves as an elected member of the Executive

Council of the Missouri Judicial Conference, and she has previously

served as co-chairperson of the Missouri Children's Justice Task


For the past thirteen years, Judge Shepherd has sponsored and organized

free continuing legal education (CLE) training for attorneys serving as

Guardians Ad Litem (GAL) for the Tenth Judicial Circuit as well as

neighboring counties. For the past several years, the Tenth Circuit GAL

training has been shared by video with a neighboring circuit and

replayed for attorneys serving as GALs in Central Missouri. She has

also organized and sponsored CLE's for ethics and trial practice, and

in the Fall of 2022, she hosted "The Millie Project" in Hannibal,

which was an elimination of bias CLE sponsored by the Missouri Bar

Association featuring a panel of local speakers organized by Judge

Shepherd. In addition, Judge Shepherd has organized ten memorial

sessions of Circuit Court to honor the careers of recently deceased

judges and attorneys, and she has applied for and received ethics CLE

credit for these events, which celebrate the legal profession. Since

becoming judge, Judge Shepherd has hosted and sponsored more than 100

hours of free CLE accredited programs in the courthouses and towns of

the Tenth Circuit, as well as continuing education (POST) credit for law



Prior to serving as judge, Judge Shepherd was State Representative for

the Sixth Legislative District for eight years, from 2003-2010. While

in the House, she served on the following committees: Judiciary; Budget;

Appropriations for Elementary, Secondary, and Higher Education;

Appropriations for Agriculture, Conservation, and Natural Resources;

Agriculture Policy; Fiscal Review; Rural Community Development; Job

Creation and Economic Development; Crime Prevention and Public Safety;

Joint Committee for Education; Joint Committee for Court Automation;

Joint Committee for Legislative Research; Joint Committee for Hazardous

Waste; Special Standing Committee for Emerging Issues in Animal

Agriculture; Special Committee for Parliamentary Procedure and Rules;

Interim Committee on Electric Service Territories and Economic

Development; and Interim Committee on Missouri State High School

Activities Association Reform.

While serving in the House, Rep. Bringer Shepherd actively introduced

and passed legislation through the amendment process, including

legislation that provided tuition waivers for foster children to attend

college, and she successfully introduced an amendment to add funding for

the program to the budget as a member of the budget committee. In

addition, she introduced and successfully passed the following

legislative proposals: a law expanding the time limits for law

enforcement to investigate crimes, a law closing a sentencing loophole

for persistent drug offenders; a law restructuring the hazardous waste

fee to benefit Missouri businesses, including Continental Cement; a law

removing the birth certificate requirement for senior citizens renewing

a Missouri driver's license; a law simplifying the procedure for rural

water districts to obtain easements; a law adding certain drug-related

activity to the crime of endangering the welfare of a child; a law

amending the school funding formula to benefit school districts located

in more than one county, such as Monroe City School District; a law

eliminating redundant background checks for school teachers; a law

enabling records of pseudoephedrine purchases to be used as evidence in

cases involving the manufacture of controlled substances; and a law

allowing local public nursing home districts to build senior apartments.

As State Representative, Judge Shepherd actively responded to more than

10,000 constituent inquiries and hosted local meetings (with free pizza)

in several communities to assist senior citizens in enrolling in

Medicare Part D programs. She also hosted meetings in several

communities affected by flooding to address assistance available through

FEMA and local organizations.

Judge Shepherd was honored for her work in the legislature by the

Missouri Judicial Conference, the NAACP---Hannibal branch, the Missouri

Bar, the Missouri Farm Bureau, the Missouri NEA, the Missouri

Association of School Administrators, Missouri Girl Scouts Woman of

Distinction, American Legion Post 55 Hannibal---United States Army

Department of Defense Freedom Salute Award, Cardinal Glennon

Children's Hospital Legislative Award, and the Missouri Multiple

Sclerosis Society Legislative Award.


Following her graduation from law school, Judge Shepherd served as a law

clerk for Judge James R. Reinhard with the Missouri Court of Appeals,

Eastern District from 1995-97. She also served as a summer intern for

Judge Reinhard during the summer of 1994. During her internship and

clerkship with Judge Reinhard, Judge Shepherd served as the law clerk on

more than 180 cases in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District.

Following her clerkship with Judge Reinhard, Judge Shepherd returned to

Marion County and practiced law. She had a general civil law practice

and handled contested cases in the areas of real estate, probate,

guardianship/conservatorship, landlord/tenant, torts, family law,

juvenile law, social security disability, business litigation, and

bankruptcy. She also served as a part-time assistant prosecuting

attorney for Marion County from 2000-2002, and a special assistant

prosecuting attorney for Lewis County during 2002. As an assistant

prosecuting attorney, Judge Shepherd tried criminal jury trials and also

briefed and argued in front of the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern

District on behalf of the Tenth Circuit Juvenile Office.


A 1989 graduate of Palmyra High School, Judge Shepherd graduated summa

cum laude with a 4.0 grade point average with a bachelor of arts with

honors in English from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1992. She

received her juris doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia Law

School in 1995, where she served as a member of the Missouri Law Review.

She also received the Walton-Lowe Law School Academic Scholarship;

Weinstein Foundation Law School Academic Scholarship; and the Am-Jur

Award for Excellence in Secured Transactions.

Judge Shepherd lived in the University of Missouri Honors-International

residence for three years, and she received several honors and awards

during her undergraduate years, including selection as a 1992 University

of Missouri-Columbia Graduation Student Marshal, the English

Departmental and William Kemp Literature Scholarships, the University of

Missouri Curators and "Bright Flight" Scholarships, private

undergraduate scholarships from the American Legion Oratorical Awards,

ITT, Missouri Waste Coalition, and American and Missouri Paint Horse

Associations. She also received the Everett Stevens Youth Award for 4-H

Service, and was selected for membership to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor

Society; Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society; Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society; and

the Golden Key Honor Society.


Born and raised on a farm in Marion County, Judge Shepherd, her husband

Bobby, and their sons live on a farm in Maywood, where they have a small

herd of beef cattle, as well as ducks, donkeys, beagles, and a barn cat.

The children are active in their local 4-H club and show cattle and

other projects at the local fair. Judge Shepherd is a member of the

Missouri Cattlemen's Association, and the Shepherds donate beef to a

local school through the local cattlemen's association school donation


An active member of the South Union Baptist Church in Maywood, Judge

Shepherd is the weekly pianist and a choir member and has previously

served as a Sunday School Teacher. The Shepherds previously served as

licensed foster parents. Judge Shepherd is also a former member of the

Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of Hannibal LaGrange College

and a former member of the Boards of Directors of the American Red

Cross, Palmyra Kiwanis, Palmyra Chamber of Commerce, Northeast Missouri

Humane Society, the Mark Twain Home Foundation, and Hannibal Arts

Council. She frequently serves as a judge for the Missouri American

Legion Oratorical state contest as well as local 4-H public speaking

events, and she often provides patriotic music for local veterans'

events and community functions.

Locations of Racks
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