John Kurtz - Class of 1965
John Kurtz was born on May 7, 1947 in Maryville, Nodaway County, Missouri, and was educated in the public school systems of Maryville, St. Joseph, and Columbia, Missouri. He received a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1969 and a master’s degree in criminology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1970. His United States Army service was in Kaiserslautern, West Germany from 1970 to 1972. In 1972-73, he worked for the Northwest Missouri Law Enforcement Assistance Council in Kansas City. Next, G.I. bill paid for three years of law school at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
The first two years after law school were spent doing central city work with children and the elderly through St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City. Then came work as a law clerk for Judge Paul Vardeman of the Jackson County Circuit Court followed by service as an Assistant Public Defender for Jackson County from 1979 to 1981. The clients were indigent defendants in both juvenile court and adult court. During the years from 1981 through 1997, he was an associate and later a partner at The Popham Law Firm where clients included plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation, children and adults in family law matters, and some defendants in criminal cases.
He now works at Hubbard & Kurtz L.L.P. at 1718 Walnut in Kansas City. He has tried 66 jury cases and argued 26 appellate cases. The Missouri Bar gave him the Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award and the Pro Bono Lawyer Award. Community service includes the boards of directors for both Genesis School and The Community Movement for Urban Progress (MOVE-UP). In 1999, Jackson County, Missouri lawyers elected him to serve from 2000 through 2005 as a member of the 16th Judicial Circuit Nominating Commission, a group that interviews judicial candidates and submits three nominees to the Governor of Missouri.
John and Patricia Kurtz were married in 1987. She teaches at Liberty High School and William Jewell College. She is also an elected member of the Kansas City, Missouri Board of Education. They have 20 godchildren. Their home also serves as a residence for Whitey the Spaniel and Lucky the Mutt---two stray dogs who wandered up to their door and have been there ever since
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