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Nixon appoints Paul Wilson to Missouri Supreme Court vacancy

Paul Wilson brings experience to his new spot on Missouri's highest state court.

Dec. 7, 2012

On Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon named lawyer Paul Wilson a Missouri Supreme Court judge.

Wilson will be replacing William Ray Price Jr., who retired in August.

Nixon and Wilson have worked together throughout Wilson’s career. Beginning in 1996, he served on Nixon's staff when Nixon was attorney general. Wilson was first assistant attorney general and then deputy chief of staff for litigation. In 2001, Wilson was named the nation’s Outstanding Assistant Attorney General by the National Association of Attorneys General.

Wilson, 51, earned his undergraduate degree from Drury University in Springfield, Mo. In 1992, Wilson graduated first in his class from the MU School of Law and was admitted to the Missouri bar. He clerked for Chief Justice Edward Robertson of the Missouri Supreme Court and Judge Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit before joining the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York.

In 1996, Wilson returned to Jefferson City to gain experience in his work with then-Attorney General Jay Nixon. He represented Missouri before the U.S. Supreme Court and the Missouri Supreme Court in cases on issues such as federalism, conversion of non-profit assets, school funding and constitutionality of actions by the general assembly, according to a Nixon administration news release.

From 2008 to 2010, Wilson was senior counsel for budget and finance and the director of the Transform Missouri Project.

Nixon appointed Wilson Circuit Judge in the 19th Judicial Circuit in Cole County in 2010, making this the second time Nixon has used his former aide to fill a court position.

“His long record of service demonstrates that he will be consistently tough on crime, fiscally responsible and dedicated to the needs of the community that he and his family have served for generations,” Nixon said when Wilson was appointed in 2010.

In 2011, Wilson joined a private practice with the law firm Van Matre, Harrison, Hollis, Taylor and Bacon.

“He has demonstrated, time and again, both his ability and his dedication to serving the people of Missouri, and I am very pleased to be able to name him to the state’s highest court,” Nixon said Monday.

Wilson is a Jefferson City native and son of Lorna Wilson and the late Cole County Associate Circuit Judge McCormick Wilson.

He was one of three candidates for the opening in the court submitted by the Appellate Judicial Commission, and was considered a favorite by Nixon because of their extensive experience working together.

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