The Honorable Mary W. Sheffield, of Rolla, took her oath of office as the newest judge to serve on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Tuesday afternoon.
The oath took place during an investiture ceremony held in the St. Pat’s Ballroom of the Havener Center on the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus.
“I’m so proud to be a judge,” said Sheffield, who was appointed to the court by Gov. Jay Nixon in December 2012.
Sheffield was most recently a Circuit Judge for the 25th Circuit in Phelps County and had previously served as Presiding Judge for the Circuit.
She filled the vacancy on the appellate court that occurred with the retirement of the Honorable Robert S. Barney.
Missouri Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Teitelman administered the oath of office to Sheffield.
Sheffield is the second female appellate judge to serve on the Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals and is the first judge to be elevated to a higher court position from the 25th Circuit.
Sheffield has served on the bench in the 25th Circuit since January 1983, after being elected at the age of 26 as an Associate Circuit Judge and Probate Judge.
She was re-elected to that position for six terms before being elected as Circuit Judge in 2004. She has received several awards for her work on the bench.
During Tuesday’s ceremony, several individuals shared stories and praise of Sheffield, including Teitelman; Missouri Supreme Court Judge Patricia Breckenridge; Judge John Wiggins, senior judge of the 25th Judicial Circuit; Brian May, regional director of the Eastern District for Nixon; and Judge Greg Warren, who replaced Sheffield on the 25th Circuit.
Chief Judge Don E. Burrell, of the Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals, also gave remarks and the Rev. Tim Lee, gave the invocation.
A large crowd, including Missouri Supreme Court judges, 25th Circuit Court judges, other judges, attorneys , court officials and law enforcement officials among others attended. Sheffield was accompanied during the ceremony by her family.
Sheffield has represented the United States at several international conferences on family law and child protection issues.
Sheffield is a 1976 graduate of North Carolina State University and a 1980 graduate of the University of Miami School of Law.
She was one of three nominees for this judgeship submitted to Nixon by the Appellate Judicial Commission for the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.