The Missouri Supreme Court has selected Harold Stearley to serve as general counsel to the court.
Stearley began working in his new position earlier this month.
Prior to accepting the general counsel position, Stearley worked for the Public Service Commission where he served as a regulatory law judge since June 2006 and as deputy chief regulatory law judge since October 2011.
"I am both honored and humbled by the court's appointment as general counsel," said Stearley. "I look forward to serving the court doing the work I love, researching and analyzing the law. There is nothing more challenging than unraveling legal arguments, bearing in mind the profound effect legal decisions have on peoples' lives."
Stearley earned his bachelor of science in nursing in 1986 and his JD in 2000, both from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
While in law school, he won awards for his course work in administrative law, labor law and trial practice. He was also on the school's moot court team and was the editor-in-chief of the Missouri Environmental Law and Policy Review.
Stearley worked as a critical care nurse before attending law school, earning numerous certifications in critical care and awards for original nursing research. Following graduation from law school, he worked two separate terms as a law clerk for Supreme Court of Missouri Judge Ronnie L. White. In between those terms, Stearley engaged in private practice handling medical malpractice, workers' compensation, personal injury, and criminal and professional defense. He also taught coursework in legal issues for nurses, ethics in juvenile justice, employment law for public managers and competent expert witness testimony for consultants.
Stearley has served as a member of various organizations including: Columbia's Board of Health, Sigma Theta Tau: The Organization of International Nursing Scholarship and the Missouri Organization of Nurse Leaders. He is also a member of The Missouri Bar's Health and Hospital Law Committee, Administrative Law Committee, Judicial Administration Committee, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.
He lives in Columbia with his wife, Bev, a former critical care nurse and supervisor of a cardiac care unit. His daughter Caroline is a veteran of the Iraq War and currently runs a horseboarding business in Fulton. When not busy researching and writing, Stearley enjoys fishing and reading a good book.