Paul M. Spinden
Judge Spinden was first welcomed to Liberty University School of Law as a part-time visiting faculty member in 2007. After serving 17 years as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Judge Spinden joined the full-time faculty in January 2009.
While an appellate judge, he authored nearly 1,300 opinions involving virtually every aspect of civil and criminal law, including issues of federal and state constitutional law, administrative law, family law, business and contract law, and employment and labor law. He served as the court’s chief judge from 2000-2002.
Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals by then Missouri Governor John Ashcroft, Judge Spinden served for six years as a Missouri administrative law judge. He presided over hundreds of adjudications involving some 50 state administrative agencies, first with the Missouri Department of Transportation and then with the Missouri Administrative Hearing Commission. While serving as chief of the Administrative Hearing Commission, the agency received the Governor’s special commendation for eliminating a two-year backlog of cases and reducing the average time for decisions from nine months to 27 days. For three years, he served as chief counsel of a division of the Office of Missouri Attorney General and supervised 17 attorneys in defending and prosecuting various state agencies and officials, including the Governor.
For nearly 20 years, Judge Spinden taught constitutional law and business law courses as an adjunct professor at Westminster College, William Jewell College, and Webster University. Recognized for his expertise in administrative law, he authored a chapter titled "Judicial Review" for the Missouri Bar publication Administrative Law. During his tenure as a judge, the Supreme Court of Missouri called upon Judge Spinden to chair its educational program for Missouri’s appellate judges and its commission on judicial resources. He also served as a member of Missouri’s judicial records committee and was a frequent instructor and speaker at judicial seminars and fora.
While in law school, Judge Spinden was an associate editor of the UMKC Law Review, editor of the student newspaper Obiter Dicta Secundum, and vice-president of the Christian Legal Society. Prior to law school, he was an investigative reporter for a small daily newspaper in Springfield, Missouri, and, prior to that, he did on-air reporting of news and sports for Springfield radio and television stations.