The Greene County Judicial Courts Facility. (Photo by Dean Curtis)

After serving as a judge in Greene County for nearly 15 years, Circuit Judge Michael J. Cordonnier submitted a notification of retirement to the governor’s office on Sunday.

“It has truly been my great honor and pleasure to serve the judiciary and the citizens of the State of Missouri as a Circuit Judge, and as a Presiding Judge of the 31st Judicial Circuit Court,” the letter reads, in part. “I will miss my direct participation in the important work of the judiciary, but am reassured in the knowledge that I leave the court in the very best hands.”

Judge Michael J. Cordonnier Credit: From GreeneCountyCourts.org

Cordonnier was appointed in January 2008 by former Governor Matt Blunt to fill a vacancy. He was then elected in November of that same year to serve the remaining term for Division 1 on the court. 

Cordonnier was supported by voters to keep that office in 2012 and again in 2018.

Cordonnier earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri in 1979. He earned his law degree from the Tulsa College of Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1982.

He is a member of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and former board member and past president of the board of the Discovery Center of the Ozarks.

In private practice, Cordonnier focused on litigation, medical and professional negligence, product liability and health care contracting. 

“I have every confidence the 31st Circuit Judicial Commission will select a panel of qualified applicants from which the Governor may select my successor,” Cordonnier wrote in his letter to Gov. Mike Parson. “I stand ready and willing to assist the next judge of Division 1 in any manner possible so as to facilitate a smooth transition.”

Circuit Judge Jason R. Brown, who presides over Division 3 in Greene County, also submitted a letter notifying Chief Justice Paul Wilson that Brown would not be seeking retention when his term expires at the end of this year.

Brown served more than 10 years as an Associate Circuit Judge and seven years as a Circuit Judge. He has presided over 100 jury trials.

Brown intends to begin a full-time Alternative Dispute Resolution practice and will conduct mediations and arbitrations in Southwest Missouri, according to his letter.

“It has truly been my honor and privilege to serve,” he wrote in part. “I will greatly miss our diligent and conscientious Division 3 team, and my colleagues, both locally and throughout the State. Our bailiff and friend, Larry Hartman, has served with me the entire 18 years.”

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. She covers housing, homelessness, domestic violence and early childhood, among other public affairs issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald