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Charles E Atwell

Charles Atwell joined the firm on December 1, 2012 after serving over 16 years as a Circuit Judge in Jackson County, Missouri. Charlie's last assignment was that of Presiding Judge for the entire circuit. During his tenure on the bench he tried or was involved in a variety of complex cases in such areas as commercial litigation, securities fraud, product liability, medical malpractice, antitrust, real estate evaluation and death penalty cases. Some of the more notable cases that Judge Atwell presided over include a plane crash case involving the death of the governor of the state of Missouri; commercial litigation involving the Power & Light District of Kansas City, Missouri; constitutional interpretation of the state statute involving abortion rights of minors and complex real estate litigation touching upon the value of commercial real estate on the Country Club Plaza area of Kansas City, Missouri. During his over 16 years as a judicial officer Judge Atwell sat as a special judge for both the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District and on the Missouri Supreme Court. Charlie's practice involves both mediation and arbitration. He has successfully mediated cases in such areas of employment law, business and commercial litigation, medical malpractice matters, personal injury and real estate disputes. He also participates in both civil and criminal litigation on behalf of the firm. Judge Atwell has had substantial experience in representing individuals and companies in business investigations including matters before state and federal grand juries.

Judge Atwell has also had substantial experience as a discovery master in complex cases. While on the bench he used discovery masters on many occasions in complicated cases and has the good fortune of being a master himself in several of these matters since he joined the firm. If should be noted that frequently that Judge Atwell in such masters assignments uses two of our other lawyers, Michael Belancio and James Maggard, both of which served as law clerks in the 16th Judicial Circuit and are familiar with discovery practice in the Kansas City area.

Since joining the firm he has been involved in representing individuals and corporations under investigation as well as individual defendants in state and federal court.

Of Note

Before taking the bench, Charlie served as both an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Jackson County, Missouri and an Assistant United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Thereafter, he was a partner in the firm of Wyrsch Atwell Mirakian Lee & Hobbs and was a well known trial lawyer both regionally and throughout the United States. While in practice, he was regularly named in Best Lawyers of America and retained an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell. Charlie was active in the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). In 1989 – 90 he served as President of the Missouri Association and between 1990 – 1996 he served twice on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 1993 – 1994 he was co-chair of NACDL's CLE committee with the Honorable Charles Daniels, who presently sits on the New Mexico Supreme Court. He has been a long time faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy at the national session in Boulder, Colorado as well as the Midwest Regional in Chicago, Illinois — both at Northwestern and Loyola Law Schools. In 2007 he was named by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as the best Circuit Judge in the State of Missouri.

In law school, he was a member of the law review and graduated with honors from UMKC Law School in 1978.

Professional Endorsements

"Judge Atwell brings a fresh approach to mediation. His insight based on his years presiding over trials in Jackson County is invaluable. Judge Atwell will get your case settled! In my case it was 8 days after the mediation, after he worked the phones relentlessly. He got a case settled that all of the lawyers said had a zero chance at settling."
"'Outstanding Mediation' in a most difficult case. Judge Atwell worked overtime to make sure a workable resolution was reached in one of my most emotion-charged cases."
Retiring Judge Charles Atwell Leaves Behind Respected Legacy

Read the entire article from the Kansas City Star online→

Bar Admissions

Judge Atwell is admitted to the Missouri Bar, the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the United States District Court of Kansas and the United States Supreme Court. During his career he has been admitted in and practiced in the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th, 8th and 10th circuits.

During his career as a lawyer he also appeared pro hac vice or handled matters in the following jurisdictions: the Eastern District of Missouri, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Central District of California, Eastern District of Arkansas, District of New Mexico, District of Colorado, Baltimore County Maryland, Saline County Kansas, Johnson County Kansas, Wyandotte County Kansas, Lake County Ohio, Shawnee Kansas, Maricopa County Arizona, Linn County Kansas and various counties throughout the State of Missouri.


University of Missouri - Kansas City, J.D., 1978

Professional Affiliations and Memberships

In November 2014 Judge Atwell was again elected as a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).


Charles E Atwell

Charles E Atwell
Of Counsel


Areas of Practice

Schedule a Mediation

If you wish to schedule a mediation with Judge Atwell, please contact Katrina Batcheller at 816-460-2883.