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Springfield, MO

New Greene County Judge Harmison to exit firm

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Last edited 9:20 a.m., Sept. 11, 2017

Gov. Eric Greitens on Friday selected Jerry Harmison Jr. as the new associate circuit court judge for the 31st Judicial Circuit covering Greene County. Now, Harmison is preparing to exit Harmison & Pearman PC, the Springfield law firm he co-founded in 2003.

Harmison said he’s scheduled to be sworn in on Sept. 29, which would allow him to start working during the first week of October. He succeeds Judge Dan Imhof, who retired Aug. 31, according to Courts.Mo.Gov.

“Whenever a person is appointed to a judge position, you exit the law firm in which you’re working,” Harmison said, noting judges are no longer allowed to practice law or give legal advice. “Your law partners continue with the business in some fashion.”

The change means Harmison will have to transfer his ownership stake in Harmison & Pearman to partners Greg Pearman and Brooke Smith. Declining to disclose the details of the transition, Harmison said the plan is being finalized this week.

“It will be a seamless transition plan for our clients,” he said.

Harmison also co-owns Float Trip Pickles LLC with Pearman and his daughter, Jessica Harmison-Olson. He is considering transferring his ownership in the company, which produces a line of pickle products, to another family member.

At Springfield-based nonprofit Care to Learn, Harmison was named board president in January. Harmison said this morning he’ll hold that position through the remainder of its one-year term, before handing off the reins to Matt E. Miller of Miller Commerce LLC.

For the judgeship, Greitens picked Harmison over two other finalists: Todd Myers, chief assistant prosecuting attorney for Greene County, and Todd Thornhill, chief judge of the Springfield municipal division. 

“As my history in community service indicates, I have been very fortunate to be involved in a number of volunteer organizations in the Springfield area,” Harmison said. “I see this as an opportunity to merge my interest in the law with my passion in the community.”

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