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- Practice Commenced: 2007
- Total Mediations (as of Aug 2019): 420
- Total Arbitrations (as of Aug 2019): 35
As an arbitrator, Judge J. Miles Sweeney brings his 23 years of experience with hundreds of court-tried cases in which he was called upon to evaluate the facts and apply the law. He tried over 300 jury trials including two on National Court TV. His reputation for fairness and legal ability is well-known in the legal community. Indicative of Judge Sweeney's reputation is the fact that he was virtually never disqualified by the attorneys in the cases before him.
Judge Sweeney's background in labor and employment law includes his teaching the subject at Missouri State University and his serving as an arbitrator in labor disputes before going on the bench. He is an approved neutral for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
As a mediator, Sweeney's experience allows him to help the parties recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their cases relative to the processes and tendencies of juries in southwest Missouri. Judge Sweeney has regularly conducted mediations and arbitrations since retiring from the bench in November, 2007.
Judge Sweeney has also been active in the areas of Special Master work, expert witness assignments and insurance Umpire duties. He has handled several complex cases as Special Master for discovery and was Special Master for the Missouri Supreme Court in the Public Defender case NACDL v. Waters. He has been designated as an expert witness in 14 cases and has testified in Circuit Court in Greene and Jackson County, He has served as an Umpire in insurance property damage cases from roof damage to the total destruction of a 250 unit self storage facility in the Joplin tornado.
He practiced law from 1972 until 1984, mostly with partner Ken Johnson in the firm of Johnson and Sweeney. In 1984, he was appointed Associate Circuit Judge by Governor Kit Bond. He was subsequently elected without opposition. In 1990, he was appointed Circuit Judge by Governor Ashcroft and has since been elected, again without opposition. He has served 9 years as Presiding Judge of Greene County and was on the Presiding Judges Executive Committee.
In 1985, Judge Sweeney organized the Community Alternative Service Program, a Not-for-Profit Corporation which receives nonviolent offenders from the court on probation and supervises their community service. It is self-funded and uses no tax dollars. It places offenders in 250 different community agencies and the total value of the services rendered is about $1,000,000.00 per year. He received the David Woodruff Community Justice Award for this accomplishment. There are now 8 other agencies across the State organized on the same model.
Judge Sweeney initiated the "one day/one trial" system for jury trials in Greene County. He drafted and proposed legislation which substantially improved the jury compensation system for Greene County.
Judge Sweeney started the Children First program in conjunction with the Burrell Mental Health Center. It provided educational programs for parents involved in divorce. This type of program has since been mandated statewide.
Judge Sweeney received the Spurgeon Smithson award from the Missouri Bar Foundation in 2007, It is given annually to judges and/or lawyers who have rendered outstanding service to the administration of justice.
Judge Sweeney received the Wall of Fame award in 2008 as a distinuished alumnus of the University of Kansas Army ROTC.
Judge Sweeney received the Judicial Excellence award from the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association in 2006.
Judge Sweeney received the Distinguished Attorney award from the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association in 2016. It is the highest recognition from that organization and is given to one individual each year.
- ADA Disability
- Banking & Finance
- Civil Rights
- Class Actions
- Community Associations
- Contract Disputes
- Debt Collections
- Divorce (High Asset)
- Family Businesses
- Health Care
- Legal Malpractice
- Local Govt./Municipalities
- Medical Malpractice
- Non-profit Organizations
- Nursing Homes
- Personal Injury
- Premises Liability
- Product Liability
- Professional Fees
- Professional Liability
- Professional Malpractice
- Professional Negligence
- Property Damage
- Railroad & Trucking
- Sexual Harassment
- Shareholder Disputes
- Title Disputes
- Trusts / Estates
- Wage & Hour/FMLA
- Wrongful Death
- Judge Sweeney attended the University of Kansas Undergraduate ’67 and Law ’72, where he was an editor of the Kansas Law Review.
- Judge Sweeney attended basic mediation training at the University of Missouri Law School.
- He attended advanced mediation training at Missouri StateUniversity.
- Judge Sweeney was a member of the Trial Judge Education Committee which planned and presented the annual Trial College for the Missouri Judiciary. He has also presented on ADR topics for the Missouri Bar and numerous other organizations.
Memberships & Affiliations
Judge Sweeney has served the Judiciary of the State in a variety of committee positions. He was Vice- Chairman of the Circuit Court Budget Committee. He was a member of the Trial Judge Education Committee, the Chief Justice’ Advisory Committee, and the Judicial Education Coordinating Committee. He is past chairman of the Greene County Computerization Committee and the Implementation Committee for the Jail population reduction project in Greene County. He is a past president of the Missouri Trial Judges Association. He currently serves on two other Supreme Court Committees.
Judge Sweeney has been active in his community and in the area of conservation. He is a past president of the Springfield Downtown Rotary Club, He was president of the Board of Alpha House in Springfield. He chaired the Mayor's Committee to study amendments to the Springfield Human Rights ordinance. He served as a Deacon for the National Avenue Christian Church. He is a past state officer of the Missouri Department of the American Legion. He serves on the board of the Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation and the Board of the James River Basin Partnership. He is a member of the Springfield Rod and Gun club, Ducks Unlimited, and the Missouri Trapshooters Association, where he is the current Veteran Division state champion.
$300.00 per hour. $100.00 per hour travel. $.50 per mile vehicle travel. Other expenses as billed.