For Ron Carrier, one of his greatest honors is how he arrived at his current post.
His appointment to fill a vacancy as associate circuit judge in Division 26 of the Greene County Circuit Court also is a lesson in the state’s judicial system. After a vetting process by the circuit court’s judicial commission – comprised of private citizens, attorneys and the Chief Judge of the Southern District Court of Appeals – Carrier was selected to the position from three possible candidates by Gov. Jay Nixon.
“My selection as associate circuit judge in 2013 was the first instance in which the nonpartisan plan had been utilized to fill a judicial vacancy in Greene County,” says Carrier, who served eight years in the county prosecuting attorney’s office and 14 years in the southwest regional office of the Missouri attorney general’s office. “I was pleased the openness of the process provided citizens the opportunity to examine my legal career in detail.”
Carrier’s career has received recognition from the federal level, including from the U.S. Department of Justice for his instruction given in a joint antipublic corruption court in the Republic of Kosovo. He’s also received awards from sources such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Drury University, the Child Advocacy Center Inc. and the state attorney general’s office, as well as the Roosevelt Award for creating Greene County’s drug court program.
Former University of Missouri School of Law classmate Shawn Askinosie, often an opponent of Carrier’s across the courtroom aisle, fondly recalls Carrier the student as equally committed to fostering teamwork as he was challenging his colleagues.
“I have opposed many prosecutors all over Missouri, and none were more capable, fiercer and dedicated than Ron Carrier,” Askinosie says. “As Greene County prosecuting attorney and then as Missouri assistant attorney aeneral one would be hard pressed to name any other advocate with as much success in the courtroom. As a trial lawyer he was in a word: fearless.”
Carrier also maintains a constant presence in the community, whether serving as an advisory board member of Drury’s University Meador Center for Politics and Citizenship or as a member and volunteer of Ozark Greenways Inc. Carrier also has served on the boards of the Greene County 100 Club, the Child Advocacy Center and continues to be a sustaining member of Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.
“One of the hallmarks of our community is the ability of our citizens, not-for-profits and government entities to work together collaboratively,” Carrier says. “I believe that leading by listening can be incredibly effective, allowing those around you to identify their passions, their causes and their missions.”
Given the opportunity to mentor under another attorney while still in high school, Carrier hopes to pay that opportunity forward by encouraging the next generation of barristers.
“It is critical that young attorneys understand they early-on establish their reputation in regard to ethics, work standards and professionalism,” Carrier says. “It is my hope that I have aided at least a few young attorneys as they strive for success.”