March/April 2012
New District Judge for Western District of Missouri: Beth Phillips

On Tuesday, March 6, 2012, the Senate confirmed Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Phillips as a U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Missouri. She fills the vacancy left by Judge Ortrie D. Smith, who took senior status in April 2011. Judge Phillips was sworn in on March 23.

Judge Phillips was born in Kirksville, Missouri. She received undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago in 1991 and 1992, respectively, and her J.D. in 1996 from the University of Missouri School of Law. She began her legal career as an assistant prosecutor in Jackson County, Missouri. In 2001 she joined the firm of Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny in Leawood, Kansas. Her practice there focused on nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, and product liability cases. During this time she also served as Special Prosecutor for Jackson County. From 2008-2009 she served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, where she focused on child exploitation cases. In 2009 she was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the district. She is the first woman to be appointed to that position.

In addition to her work in the legal community, she has also served on the board of directors for the Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA) and the Child Protection Center of Kansas City, Missouri.

Welcome, Judge Phillips!