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Hon. Richard C. Bresnahan

Areas of Expertise:
Administrative Law, Business Litigation, Commercial, Compensation, Constitutional Law, Construction, Consumer, Contracts, Employment, FELA, Insurance, Media Law, Medical Malpractice / Medical Negligence, Personal Injury, Probate, Products Liability, Professional Liability / Malpractice, Real Property, Toxic Torts
Mediator, Arbitrator
Hon. Richard C. Bresnahan photo

Professional Experience:

Judge Bresnahan served as a Circuit Court Judge for the 21st Judicial Circuit of Missouri (St. Louis County) from 2004 – September, 2015. After being drafted and serving in the U.S. Army and the Ready Reserves until receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1974 he received his J.D. from the University of Missouri, Columbia and his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. In 2015 he was honored by the University of Missouri, St. Louis with a Distinguished Career Achievement Award

Prior to his appointment to the bench Judge Bresnahan was an attorney in private practice and also served as City Attorney and Municipal Judge for numerous municipalities and cities in the St. Louis metropolitan area. His private practice provided extensive experience in litigation representing both plaintiffs and defendants, including approximately 20 jury trials and 1,000 bench trials and contested motions, in personal injury, property damage, employments maters, securities cases, fraud, contract and business litigation matters. As a Conflicts Public Defender for the City of St. Louis he represented defendants in felony jury cases. Judge Bresnahan has extensive experience in municipal and administrative law, including trials and appellate practice. He served as Special City Counsel for the City of University City and as head of the Law Departments for Ferguson, Lakeshire and Edmundson where he represented the City in bond issues, TIF transactions, creation of Industrial Development Authority, annexations, and implementation of an Urban Development Corporation.

Judge Bresnahan has been an active member of the legal community throughout his career. Elected to the 21st Judicial Circuit Judicial Commission for a 6 year term commencing in 1998 he also served as a Special Investigator for the Circuit concerning complaints against attorneys from 1987-1993. In 1999 he was elected as a member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors and was re-elected to the Board in 2001, 2003 and 2005. Judge Bresnahan also held several offices with the St. Louis County Bar Association including serving as its President in 1992; the same year that he was honored with the Association’s Distinguished Service Award. He also served as President of the St. Louis Municipal Lawyers Association from 1999-2004. Prior to his appointment to the Bench, Judge Bresnahan was certified and served as a neutral for the Missouri Bar, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Circuit Courts for St. Louis City and County.


Professional Affiliations:

  • Circuit Court Judge – St. Louis County, 2004-2015
  • Sole Practitioner, St. Louis, Missouri, 1993-2004
  • City Attorney, City of Edmundson, 2003-2004
  • Special City Attorney, City of University City, 2002-2004
  • City Attorney & Prosecuting Attorney, City of Lakeshire, 2002-2004
  • Prosecuting Attorney, City of Des Peres, Missouri, 1994-2004
  • City Attorney, City of Ferguson, Missouri, 1994-2004
  • Municipal Judge, City of Town & Country, Missouri, 1986-2004
  • Acting Municipal Judge – Various Municipalities, 1986-2004
  • Barry & Bresnahan, P.C., St. Louis, Missouri, 1980-1993
  • City Attorney and Prosecuting Attorney – City of Beverly Hills, Missouri, 1977-2002
  • Special Public Defender – 22nd Judicial Circuit, 1975-1979
  • Sole practitioner, St. Louis, Missouri, 1975-1980
  • Lashly, Caruthers, Thies, Rava & Hamel, St. Louis, Missouri, 1973-1975


  • JD, University of Missouri, Columbia, 1973
  • BA, Business Administration, University of Missouri, St. Louis, 1967


  • St. Louis County Bar Association
    • President, 1992
    • President-Elect, 1991
    • Secretary, 1990
    • Treasurer, 1989
    • Executive Committee Member, 1986-1989
  • Elected to the Twenty-First Judicial Circuit Judicial Commission, January 1998-December 2003
  • Elected to the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, 1999-2001
  • Reelected to the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, 2001, 2003, and 2005
  • St. Louis County Bar Association Distinguished Service Award, 2002
  • Elected President – St. Louis Municipal Lawyers Association, 1999-2004
  • Distinguished Career Achievement Award, University of Missouri, St. Louis, 2015

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