Shepherd won’t seek re-election in 2024 as presiding circuit judge of Missouri’s 10th Judicial Circuit

Judge Rachel Shepherd picture copy

Rachel Bringer Shepherd | Submitted photo

MAYWOOD, Mo. — Rachel Bringer Shepherd announced Monday in an email that she will not seek re-election as presiding circuit judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit, which includes Marion, Monroe and Ralls counties in Missouri, in 2024. She has held the position since 2010.

“I have been very grateful for the opportunity to serve as a presiding circuit judge, a state representative, an assistant prosecutor and an attorney,” Shepherd said. “I look forward to serving my family, the community, the judiciary and the legal profession in different ways in the years to come.”

Shepherd has presided over more than 50 jury trials during her 13 years as a circuit judge. She also has served as the judge for the 10th Circuit Treatment Court.

During her tenure as a 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. Because of these accountability reviews, more than $100,000 of restitution was collected for crime victims, and more than 50 probationers attained their GED/HiSet certificate.

Shepherd instituted mandatory pretrial conferences in circuit court to reduce the practice of unnecessarily calling jurors. She has accepted more than 1,000 guilty pleas in criminal cases. None of them was found to be involuntarily made or overturned by a court of appeals. She also accepted assignments to cases in 10 counties outside of the 10th Circuit. 

Shepherd oversaw the implementation of electronic filing and electronic recordkeeping for the 10th Circuit in 2016 and the administration of the municipal court operating standards for the Palmyra, Monroe City and Hannibal municipal divisions.

Shepherd was recognized by the Missouri Supreme Court by receiving the Daniel O’Toole Award for efficient case management for many years. She received a Women’s Justice Award from Missouri Lawyer’s Media in 2022.

Shepherd also has been honored for her judicial 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. She is serving as an elected member of the Executive Council of the Missouri Judicial Conference. She previously served as co-chairperson of the Missouri Children’s Justice Task Force.

Shepherd has sponsored and organized free continuing legal education training for attorneys for the past 13 years, serving as guardian ad litem for the 10th Judicial Circuit as well as neighboring counties. For the past several years, the 10th Judicial Circuit guardian ad litem training has been shared by video with a neighboring circuit and replayed for attorneys serving as guardians ad litem in Central Missouri.

She has organized and sponsored continuing legal education for ethics and trial practice. She was the host in 2022 of “The Millie Project” in Hannibal, an elimination of bias continuing legal education sponsored by the Missouri Bar Association featuring a panel of local speakers. Shepherd also has organized 10 memorial sessions of Circuit Court to honor the careers of recently deceased judges and attorneys. She has applied for and received ethics continuing legal education credit for these events. Shepherd has sponsored more than 100 hours of free continuing legal education accredited programs in the courthouses and towns of the 10th Circuit, as well as continuing education credit for law enforcement.

Before serving as judge, Shepherd was state representative for the Sixth Legislative District from 2003-2010. 

A 1989 graduate of Palmyra High School, Shepherd a bachelor’s degree 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 served as a law clerk for Judge James R. Reinhard with the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, from 1995-97. She then returned to Marion County and had a general civil law practice. She 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. 

Shepherd, her husband Bobby and their sons live on a farm in Maywood.

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