Blue Springs Attorney Patrick Starke begins his role of president of the Missouri Bar, following the bar’s annual meeting this month.

Pat has been a Blue Springs lawyer since his graduation from law school at the University of Missouri in 1979.

One of the busiest and most successful lawyers you’ll ever find, Pat has been immersed in leadership roles in a variety of area civic organizations and activities over the last three decades.  

He has served as president of the Blue Springs Jaycees, the Blue Springs Rotary Club, the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce and the Blue Springs Board of Education.

He also served as a captain in the U.S. Army JAG Corps, the Army’s legal unit, for six years.

And now, he assumes the position of president of the Missouri Bar.

The Missouri Bar is made up of state’s licensed attorneys, some 30,000 in number.

It is involved in a number of services and activities on behalf of its members and the public at large.

One of Pat’s priorities as president will be the bar’s continued support for the state’s system of selecting Missouri judges in the appellate courts and metropolitan areas, which has been under increasing attack from political forces seeking to change the current merit-based, non-partisan system to one that would be more controlled by the forces that drive partisan political elections.

The latest challenge to this effort is the bar’s opposition to Amendment 3, which will appear on the ballot on Nov. 6.

“The Missouri Bar is dedicated to ensuring justice for all. To that end, we stand for a judicial system that is free of partisan politics and does not serve as a political weapon for moneyed interests. We will continue to educate the public on why judges should be referees, not combatants for any cause except the rule of law.”

As president, Pat will continue the bar’s emphasis on lending its members’ expertise to Missouri’s legislature, which is made up mostly of non-lawyers, on matters of pending legislation.

“The Missouri Bar will continue to have a strong presence in our state capitol, but it is important we engage our members on the local level to provide their expertise when called upon to help their elected officials understand the impact their decisions have on their communities when it comes to our judiciary and Missouri citizens’ access to the courts.”

Other priorities of Pat’s presidency will be to launch “Missouri Lawyers for America’s Heroes,” to provide legal support for the state’s military veterans in need; and to provide pro bono legal services for others in need, such as the poor and victims of disaster.

Serving a year as president of the Missouri Bar is a significant honor, and a significant challenge for any lawyer, but particularly for a busy solo practitioner and civic leader in a community like Blue Springs.    

But fortunately for Pat, help has just arrived.

His daughter Vanessa graduated this spring from MU Law School, took the bar exam, passed on the first try, and has joined her dad’s practice as an associate attorney.

Best of luck and congratulations to Pat and Vanessa on your new adventures.

Ken Garten practices law in Blue Springs. You can reach him at