Judge Jack R. Grate, Jr. was appointed as Circuit Judge in 2004 by Gov. Bob Holden. He was in private practice for 28 years before his appointment to the bench. From 1995 until his appointment, Judge Grate was a solo practitioner in Independence. From 1980 to 1995 was a partner with White, Allinder, Grate & Graham. From 1976-1980, Judge Grate worked for Legal Aid of Western Missouri and from 1977-1980 served as managing attorney in the Independence office.

Judge Grate has served as a member or board member of numerous legal and community organizations including the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, American Bar Association, Eastern Jackson County Bar Association, Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers, Legal Aid of Western Missouri, the American Cancer Society and the Kansas City Youth Court. Judge Grate obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame in 1972, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1976. He was named the Lawyer of the Year in 1999 by the Eastern Jackson County Bar Association. Judge Grate and his wife have four adult children.