Judge Michael Manners, from Division 2 in Independence, will retire soon after almost 13 years as a circuit judge with the 16th Judicial Circuit.

Judge Michael Manners, from Division 2 in Independence, will retire soon after almost 13 years as a circuit judge with the 16th Judicial Circuit.

“I have loved my time on the bench, especially my dealings with juries,” Manners said in a news release. “Having presided over something like 170 jury trials, my faith in our justice system is stronger than ever.”

Manners, 62, is leaving the bench to return to private practice. He will join the law firm of Langdon and Emison, which does plaintiffs’ work on a national level, although it is based in Lexington, Mo. Even as he prepares to leave, he recently found out that he will be receiving an award for his work as a judge. In September, the Missouri Bar will honor him with the Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award.

Manners will retire Aug. 1.

“Even though I have enjoyed most of my time as a judge, I have missed the thrill of being in trial,” Manners said. “I look forward to getting back into the arena.”

Manners was appointed to the bench by Gov. Roger Wilson on Nov. 17, 2000. He had worked as a trial attorney for 24 years prior to his appointment. In 2008 and in 2009, he was voted “Best Circuit Judge in the State” through a statewide poll of attorneys that was conducted by the legal publication, Missouri Lawyers Weekly. In 2012, he received the Joseph E. Stevens, Jr. Aspire to Excellence Award presented by the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. Manners also had the honor of being selected four times by the Appellate Judicial Commission as a candidate for a judicial opening with the Missouri Supreme Court, although an appointment from the governor was not forthcoming.

Prior to his appointment as a judge, Manners was President of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys and President of the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association. He is a 1976 graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School.