The clerk of the Supreme Court is responsible for a wide range of duties, including the supervision of the internal administrative function of the Court itself as well as the planning and administrative direction of the Missouri Judicial Conference, the organization of all the state’s judges. Those who have served as clerk include:
1972 to 2011
Simon was instrumental in the process throughout the 1970s to reform the judiciary, culminating in the legislature’s passage of a constitutional amendment approved by the state’s voters in August 1976. This amendment made significant improvements that continue to this day, including consolidating the multitude of trial courts into a system of circuit courts; consolidating the appellate courts into one court with three geographic districts; allowing judges to be transferred temporarily from one court to another to help manage case loads; and changing the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction so there no longer are significant delays in resolving most cases and all decisions are handled by all seven judges rather than by a division of just three judges. Chief Justice Teitelman believes Simon was the longest-serving clerk of any high court at the time of his retirement.
2012 to 2017
Thompson came to the Court in June 1978 after nearly three years as a staff attorney for the Joint Committee on Legislative Research for the state’s General Assembly. He served as a staff attorney until 1979, when he was named staff counsel. He served as counsel to the Court since 1997. He also served as acting commission counsel for the state’s Judicial Finance Commission from 1985 to 1989. He served as vice chair of The Missouri Bar’s civil practice and procedure committee since 1990. Throughout his career, Thompson served as a legal advisor to 30 Missouri Supreme Court judges and to nearly 400 law clerks.
2017 to present
A native of Alton, Missouri, Betsy Ledgerwood AuBuchon is the first woman to serve as clerk of the Supreme Court of Missouri. She began her career with the Court in 2012, serving first as commission counsel for the Judicial Finance Commission and legislative liaison and was reclassified nine months later to become director of government relations and deputy counsel. She was promoted to clerk effective January 1, 2017.
As clerk, AuBuchon’s duties are vast, including not only managing and supervising the Supreme Court of Missouri’s internal operations but also taking on additional responsibilities encompassing the entire state judiciary, as chief administrator for the third branch of government. In this capacity, AuBuchon supervises the Supreme Court of Missouri’s office of state courts administrator, through which it provides support for all lower courts in the state.