With proper pomp and circumstance and a twist of humility, Honorable Judge Matthew P. (Matt) Hamner was sworn in by Judge Kenneth Hayden Thursday afternoon as the new Division 1 Circuit Judge for the 26th Judicial District.

With proper pomp and circumstance and a twist of humility, Honorable Judge Matthew P. (Matt) Hamner was sworn in by Judge Kenneth Hayden Thursday afternoon as the new Division 1 Circuit Judge for the 26th Judicial District.

He will serve Camden, Laclede, Miller, Moniteau and Morgan counties.

Judge Hamner fills the vacated seat held by Judge Stan Moore who retired last month.

"I can't think of anyone that I would rather be following in the footsteps of than Judge Moore," Hamner told a gathering of friends, colleagues and family after he was sworn in at the Camden County Justice Center. "It is my sincere hope that I can be half the judge that he is. If I can be half the judge he is then I think I'm doing okay."

He noted as an aside that Judge Moore was unable to attend the investiture ceremony due to health issues of his wife. However, Judge Hamner said that Judge Moore had conducted the official swearing-in the week before.

Hamner has been the Associate Circuit Court Judge for Camden County since 2015. He was appointed Circuit Judge for the 26th Judicial Circuit by Gov. Eric Greitens in the wake of Judge Moore's retirement.

Before his election to the bench, Judge Hamner worked in private practice for 12 years with the Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter and Welch firm in Camdenton. Hamner began his career as a law clerk to the Honorable William Ray Price, Jr., of the Missouri Supreme Court.

Hamner is a 1994 Camdenton alumni. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication in 1991 and a law degree with honors from the University of Missouri in 2001. He is president of the 26th Judicial Circuit Bar Association and a board member for the Camdenton Rotary Club and the Camdenton Education Foundation. He and his family live in the Osage Beach area and are members of the Harper Chapel United Methodist Church.

"Matt is a zealous advocate," Judge Hayden said before the swearing in ceremony. "He has brought his knowledge and experience to the bench. Matt has the unique ability and demeanor that he doesn't get frustrated and he shows that he genuinely cares about folks who come before him. He wants to make sure he treats everyone fairly and with dignity and respect."

Judge Hayden said that Judge Hamner has the "rare ability to command respect just by the way he acts. He's not pompous nor is he bully."

Judge Hamner was joined by his wife, Sherrie, and daughters Isabella, 11, and Emery, 7, along with his parents and wife's parents. Several colleagues, Justice Center officials and friends remained for a short reception.