PYSK: Jodie Asel, Circuit Judge of the 13th District
Name: Jodie Asel
Title and company/organization: Circuit Judge of the 13th Circuit, Division 4 (Boone and Callaway counties)
Job description: Circuit judges preside over felony criminal cases and all types of civil cases including lawsuits in which the amount of dispute is more than $25,000.
Years lived in Columbia/mid-Missouri: 47
Original hometown: Chaffee, Missouri
Education: B.S. and J.D. from the University of Missouri
Community involvement: I have served on the boards of the Missouri Circuit Judges Association, the Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges and the Boone County Bar. During my term as the Presiding Judge of the 13th Circuit, I was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Presiding Judges’ Executive Committee. I have served on the Supreme Court’s Judicial Education Committee continuously since 1993 and have been vice chair since 2009. I have also been a member of the Supreme Court’s Coordinating Commission for Judicial Education and served on the Supreme Court’s Family Court, Case Management, Fine Collection and Legislative Committees, various committees of the Missouri Bar and as a member of the Executive Council of the Judicial Conference of the State of Missouri for 12 years.
Professional background: I graduated from law school and became licensed to practice law in 1975. I worked as an assistant prosecuting attorney and as an assistant public defender before becoming a solo practitioner. In 1991, I was appointed by the governor to fill an unexpired term as Associate Circuit Judge. I was elected in 1992, 1994, 1998 and 2002 to four-year terms. In 2006, 2008 and 2014, I was elected Circuit Judge of the 13th Circuit. I began a new six-year term in January.
A favorite recent project: The 13th Circuit has undergone a total conversion to electronic filing. Paper files dating back several years were scanned and converted to electronic files. It took a monumental cooperative effort on the part of our judges, the Office of the Circuit Clerk, our technology staff and members of the bar to accomplish. The results have been nothing short of amazing.
A Columbia businessperson I admire and why: I couldn’t single out one person, as I think the world of my plumber, electrician, doctor, dentist, insurance agent and a number of others with whom we do business.
Why I’m passionate about my job: I never for a moment lose sight of the fact that I make decisions on a daily basis that have a profound effect on the lives of many people.
If I weren’t doing this for a living, I would: If I weren’t a judge, I would no doubt be engaged in the practice of law in some capacity.
What I do for fun: I like to cook, sew, do repairs and projects around the house and spend time with family.
Family: I have been married to Don Asel for nearly 39 years, and we have three daughters: Ashley, who lives in St. Louis and is the institutional research analyst at St. Louis University; Toby, who lives in Bentonville, Arkansas, with her husband and their baby girl and works as Assistant County Counselor for St. Charles County, Missouri; and Mackenzie, who lives in New Hampshire and is a dermatology resident at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.
Favorite place in Columbia: After a day at the office or on the bench, there is no place I would rather be than my kitchen.
Accomplishment I’m most proud of: My parents (Robert and Juanita Capshaw) never had the opportunity to go to college even though my mother was valedictorian of her high school class and awarded a scholarship. Despite that, or maybe because of it, education was a high priority when I was growing up. Four of their seven children have law degrees, and two have other advanced degrees. For their 17 grandchildren, college is the norm, and several have law and medical degrees. I am grateful that my parents raised us with an emphasis on education and proud that all my daughters have advanced degrees.
Most people don’t know that I: I am a regular at the local hardware store. I like to fix things and make things and understand how they work.