Judge Robert G. Dowd Jr. has been elected chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, by unanimous vote of the judges of the court. Judge Cynthia L. Martin was elected by her colleagues on the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals to serve as Chief Judge for that court. .
This is the second time he has served as the court’s chief judge. Dowd previously served as chief judge from July 1998 through June 1999. The chief judge is the chief administrative officer of the court, presides at court en banc meetings and represents the court to the public.
Dowd’s election marks the sixth time a Dowd has occupied the court’s top post. Dowd’s father, Judge Robert G. Dowd Sr., previously served two terms as chief judge. His cousin, James R. Dowd, and his brother, James M. Dowd, also served as chief judge of the court. Chief Judge Dowd declared:
“I am honored to be elected to serve my colleagues as the Court’s next chief judge. I am dedicated to serving the citizens of the State of Missouri by providing fair and efficient resolution of the appeals that are filed in this Court.”
Dowd was appointed to the Eastern District in 1994. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Quincy College and his law degree from St. Mary’s University. Prior to his judicial career, Dowd engaged in private law practice at the Dowd & Dowd Law Firm, founded by his uncle, Edward L. Dowd Sr., and his father. He was elected in 1978 as a magistrate judge for the city of St. Louis and retained in 1982 as an associate circuit judge. In 1985, Governor John Ashcroft appointed Dowd as a circuit judge for the city of St. Louis, where he served until his appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, under the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan. In November 2008, he was retained in office for a 12-year term that expires December 31, 2020. When Dowd’s term concludes in December, he will have served as a judge for 41 years.
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, hears appeals from the trial courts in 25 counties in eastern Missouri and the City of St. Louis. It is the largest court in the state appellate system. The court is located in the historic Old Post Office in downtown St. Louis but regularly holds sessions at various locations throughout the district.