Missouri Court of Appeals Judge Nannette Baker has been tapped to join the federal court as a magistrate judge.
Baker will join the St. Louis-based federal court after the FBI completes its background check. She will fill the vacancy created when Judge Audrey Fleissig moved up to the district bench. Baker said she anticipates moving to the federal bench in March.
The district judges interviewed the top five applicants on Wednesday, and Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine D. Perry called Baker just before 5 p.m. to tell her the news, Baker said.
“I’m looking forward to a new challenge,” Baker said. “It’s obviously going to be very different work from the work I’m doing. I’m looking forward to getting back in the courtroom on a daily basis, doing trial work, interacting with lawyers and litigants, which is something I don’t get the opportunity to do here.”
Baker has been an appellate judge since 2004, and she served as chief judge from July 1, 2008, until June 30, 2009. Before joining the Court of Appeals, Baker had served as a circuit judge for the St. Louis Circuit Court since 1999. She practiced law for Lashly & Baer and for Schlichter, Bogard & Denton. Baker worked as a reporter for 13 years before entering law school. She was a reporter for Channel 5 from 1986 to 1989 and for Channel 9 from 1990 to 1991.
Perry said more than 50 people applied for the magistrate judge vacancy.
“For the judges of this court, it was so gratifying to see the caliber of attorneys who sought this appointment,” Perry said in a statement. “The job of magistrate judge is both demanding and very important to our system of justice. We know that Judge Baker’s experience and exceptional qualifications will make her an asset to our court.”