Monday, June 1, 2015

Bates County Judge Debra Hopkins Selected to Participate

Judge Debra A. Hopkins was one of 50 judges selected to participate in Missouri’s first-ever domestic violence summit, held May 13, 2015, and the Inn of Grand Glaize in Osage Beach, Missouri.

The summit, organized and taught by trial court judges for trial court judges, was funded by a grant from the United States Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women.

Judge Michael Burton of St. Louis led a faculty that has handled thousands of cases in which domestic violence is involved.

“Domestic violence has its own unique challenges – and we are not serving the needs of the community if we treat a domestic violence case like we would any other matter,” Burton said. “We known that collaboration and education make us better judges, especially for this complex and emotionally charged issue. Thanks to this summit, we know Missouri’s judges will be better prepared to met the needs of the families that come before them in domestic violence cases.” The Summit taught judges strategies for ensuring the accountability of the offender, methods of assessing the risk of escalating violence, approaches to interacting effectively with the victim and family, and programs from other states that could be applied to courtrooms in Missouri.

Judge Hopkins was appointed as an Associate Circuit Judge in 2009 by Governor Nixon, and was elected in 2010 and 2014. She earned her Bachelor’s in History from University of Missouri, Kansas City in her Law Degree from the UMCK School of Law. Prior to becoming a judge, she practiced law with The Caskey Law Firm since 1992 until her appointment. She is involved in the community through civic clubs and church.

Courtesy of Marla Kash Fm. 92.1