FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Hon. Fernando J. Gaitan Jr.

Hon. Fernando J. Gaitan Jr.

United States District Court, Western District of Missouri
Chief Judge
Kansas City, MO, USA


The Honorable Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. was graduated from Pittsburgh State University (B.S., 1970), and the University of Missouri at Kansas City (J.D., 1974) where he was a member of the Law Review. He serves as a United States District Judge for the Western District of Missouri (1991-present) and formerly as Chief Judge (2007-2014). He also serves as a member of the Eighth Circuit Judicial Council. By appointment of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, he served as a member of the Federal-State Jurisdiction Committee of the Judicial Conference (1997-2003). He has also served and is serving as a transferee judge by appointment of the Multidistrict Litigation Panel. Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Judge Gaitan served as an appellate judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals-Western District (1986-91), and as a state trial judge for the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit in Kansas City, Missouri (1980-86). Before his appointment to the state trial bench, Judge Gaitan served as counsel for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company.

Judge Gaitan serves as an advisory board member to the Kansas City Crime Commission=s ASecond Chance@ Foundation. He has served as adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law and as a UMKC Trustee. Judge Gaitan has been a member of numerous not-for-profit boards including 25 years of service as a St. Luke=s Hospital board member. He is a member of local, state and national bar associations, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. Judge Gaitan has been honored on a number of occasions for his professional achievements. He was listed by Lawdragon as one of the 500 leading judges in America. Other awards of note are the Hon. Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr. Award created by his alma mater and presented to the outstanding student participant at the U.M.K.C. Law School=s Youth Court, the UMKC Alumnus of the Year Award, Outstanding Alumnus - Pittsburg State University, the Difference Maker Award received by the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Centurion Leadership Award,  inducted into the Missouri Walk of Fame, the Reason to Believe Award given by the Kansas City, Kansas School  District  and  2009  Pittsburg State  University  Meritorious  Achievement Award.

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