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Nixon fills opening on Missouri appeals court

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has appointed to a state appeals court an attorney whose practice focused on workers' compensation law.

Phil Hess, of Sunset Hills, was named Thursday to the Missouri Court of Appeals' Eastern District. Hess has practiced law in St. Louis for more than 30 years and was the president of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys from 2011 to 2012.

Under Missouri's judicial selection process, a state commission selects three nominees for vacancies on appellate courts. The governor appoints one who later appears on the ballot for a retention vote.

Hess is replacing Judge Kathianne Knaup Crane, who retired in August. The other finalists were James Dowd and Michael David, who is a circuit judge in St. Louis.

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