JUDICIAL ADMINISTRATION


Honorable Mary Ott, Presiding Judge

105 South Central Avenue Clayton, MO 63105 Telephone: 314-615-1507

Judge Mary Elizabeth Ott was appointed Circuit Judge in February of 2018.   She had served as an associate circuit judge since 2008.

Judge Ott received her undergraduate degree from Saint Mary's College in Notre Dame, IN and her law degree from Saint Louis University.

Before her appointment to the bench, Judge Ott spent 22 years in private practice where she specialized in criminal defense work and family law.

While on the bench, Judge Ott has presided over hundreds of trials. In 2013, the Supreme Court of Missouri appointed Judge Ott to serve
on the Committee on Criminal Instructions and Procedures. She is an adjunct professor for the Washington University School of Law.

She has served as a board member for Cardinal Ritter Institute, Friends of Heritage House, and the Progressive Youth Center.

Judge Ott is a member of the Missouri Bar, St. Louis County Bar Association, Missouri Association of Probate & Associate Court Judges
and Women Lawyers' Association.

Presiding Judge

Circuit Judge - Division 7

Hope E. Whitehead, Director of Judicial Administration/Court Administrator

105 South Central Avenue  Clayton, MO 63105  General Information: 314-615-2666  Fax: 314-615-8280

In 2020, Hope E. Whitehead began her term as Judicial Administer after being chosen by a majority vote of the circuit judges after a national search. Whitehead is the first African-American to hold the position. Whitehead received her Bachelor's degree from Fordham University in New York and worked as a social worker for 7 years before earning her juris doctorate from Washington University, School of Law in St. Louis. After graduation, Whitehead joined the St. Louis City Circuit Attorney's Office as a prosecutor. In 1997, she was appointed by Governor Mel Carnahan to be the State Supervisor for the Division of Liquor Control.

From 2001 to 2005, Ms. Whitehead served as a Legal Advisor for the Division of Workers' Compensation. She was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives, District 57, in a special election in February 2010 and represented part of St. Louis City. Ms. Whitehead is a past president of the Mound City Bar Association, Missouri's oldest African-American lawyers association. She is a former member of The Missouri Bar Board of Governors Women's Political Caucus and the Women Lawyers Association. Prior to her appointment Ms. Whitehead was in private practice at the firm she founded, Whitehead & Associates, LLC. She lives with her husband and two sons in St. Louis.

Ms. Whitehead has the unique distinction of being appointed by four different governors to positions in their administration.