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Zel Fischer


The Supreme Court of Missouri

Judge Zel Fischer was born in Hamburg, Iowa and grew up in the small town  of Watson, Missouri. He was educated in Rock Port public schools, and attended William Jewell College, in Liberty, MO.  He went on to graduate from the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Law with distinction in 1988. 

Judge Fischer was admitted to The Missouri Bar in 1988 and served one year  as law clerk for the Honorable Andrew Jackson Higgins of the Supreme Court of Missouri.  From there, he practiced law in Kansas City, engaged in a solo law  practice in northwest Missouri, and in November 2006, he was elected associate circuit judge for Atchison County. Judge Fischer served in that capacity until his appointment to the Supreme Court of Missouri in October 2008. He served as chief justice from July 2017–June 2019, receiving the Theodore McMillian Judicial Excellence Award from the Missouri Bar in 2019. 

Judge Fischer is the President of The National Courts and Science Institute (NCSI), which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to training judges in science, and also serves as a member on the National Advisory Board for the University of North Carolina Bryson Center for Judicial Science Education.

Judge Fischer is an active member of his church and community. 

Judge Fischer has been married to Julie Fischer, his wife of 36 years. They have four children, and four grandchildren.