Deputy Probate Commissioner S. Margene Burnett is now appointed as a circuit judge for the 16th District Circuit Court of Jackson County.

She replaces the recently retired Circuit Judge Ann Mesle. Gov. Jay Nixon announced the appointment on Wednesday.

“The judicial experience and skill that Commissioner Burnett has acquired over the past 10 years in Jackson County will serve her well in becoming a Circuit Judge,” said Nixon. “And I am pleased to appoint her to this position.”

Burnett’s legal career began in 1987. From that year to 2003, she was involved in private practice; first as an assocate and later as a solo practitioner. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law and her undergraduate degrees are from the University of Missouri in Columbia.

For the past 10 years, Burnett has served on the probate bench in Jackson County. In that position, she presided over cases that involved estate administration, mental health commitments, guardianships and conservatorships. She also was president of the Missouri Association of Probate & Associate Circuit Judges for 2011-2012.

Burnett has been extensively involved with Sheffield Place, a transitional living facility for homeless women and their children, and served in several leadership positions.

She was selected out of three applicants submitted to Nixon for consideration by the 16th Circuit Judicial Commission as per the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan.