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St. Louis judges hire former circuit attorney to represent them during effort to remove Kim Gardner

Booker Shaw's resume includes 25 years on the bench.

ST. LOUIS — Judges in the 22nd Judicial Circuit have retained a former assistant St. Louis circuit attorney who also served 25 years on the bench as their attorney during the Missouri attorney general’s legal battle to remove St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner from office.

Booker T. Shaw, now of the Thompson Coborn law firm, entered Thursday on behalf of the judges, who have been served subpoenas and notified that they may be asked to testify against the city’s top prosecutor.

Judge Bryan Hettenbach will most likely be called on to testify because Gardner has accused him of refusing to revoke Daniel Riley’s bond after her office made an oral motion to do so last year. Riley was on GPS monitoring and house arrest for an armed robbery case dating to 2020 and he violated it dozens of times.

There is no written record that anyone from Gardner’s office asked Hettenbach or any other judge to revoke the bond, but there is a memo from Hettenbach in April 2022 stating the judge was continuing to allow him to remain on GPS monitoring until he was supposed to go to trial three months later.

That trial never happened because Gardner’s prosecutor was not ready, dropped the charges and refiled them. That started the process over again and Riley continued to violate his bond – including in February when police say he crashed into a Tennessee teen in town for a volleyball tournament, severing both of her legs.

Shaw’s resume includes a stint in the circuit attorney’s office during the late 1970s and early 1980s in which he prosecuted more than 50 jury trials, according to his online profile with the Thompson Coburn law firm.

He then served as a trial judge in the 22nd Judicial Circuit from 1983 through 2002, in which he presided over more than 500 trials, according to his online bio.

He also served seven years on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, including one year as Chief Judge. There, he participated in more than 1,000 cases, wrote 141 appellate opinions on multiple cases ranging from medical negligence, nuisance/sovereign immunity to commercial transactions, contracts and personal injury.

He’s also served as a Special Visiting Judge of the Missouri Supreme Court.

Prior to his judicial posts, Shaw worked at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.

The court said he is listed as one of the Best Lawyers in America by BL Rankings, one of the 500 Leading Litigators in America by Law Dragon and is on Missouri Lawyers Media’s “Power List” of top appellate attorneys. He has been recognized as a Legal Legend by the Mound City Bar Association.

He also co-chairs Thompson Coburn’s Diversity Committee and the firm’s Tort Litigation Practice Group.

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