Thomas Patrick Deaton Jr.

Attorney at Law

Patrick Deaton

Attorney Profile

State Bar Admissions

  • Missouri 1980
  • Illinois 1981
  • Education

  • University of Virginia (Bachelor of Arts 1973)
  • St. Louis University School of Law (Juris Doctoris 1980)
  • Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government (Master in Public Administration 1987)
  • Assistant Public Defender in St. Louis County

    My first job after passing the bar examination in 1980 was working as an assistant public defender in St. Louis County. After just over two years there, the Missouri Public Defender Commission appointed me to serve as head of the state public defender office in Springfield, Missouri. While I was there, that office grew to represent indigent defendants in several counties in southwest Missouri.

    Public Defender in Greene County

    As public defender, my most publicized case was representing an alleged neo-Nazi who was accused of killing a Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper with an automatic gun. The State sought the death penalty, but a jury in Boone County, Missouri, sentenced the defendant to serve a sentence of life in the state penitentiary without the possibility of parole for fifty years.

    Democratic Candidate in the Seventh Congressional District

    I left the state public defender system in 1986 to obtain a masters in public administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. I later worked as an associate at Margulis and Grant in St. Louis before returning to Springfield to open a law office and run for Congress. I was the Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Misssouri's Seventh Congressional District in 1990 and 1992.

    Circuit Judge in Greene County

    I was a solo practitioner in Springfield from 1989-1998. Most of the cases I handled were criminal or traffic. I practiced in federal, state, and municipal courts in southwest Missouri. Governor Mel Carnahan appointed me to serve as a circuit court judge in Greene County in 1998.

    After losing a partisan election to remain a judge, my wife and I moved to St. Louis in 1999. I worked as an associate at a small plaintiff's firm, Newburger & Vossmeyer.

    Acting Chairman of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission

    I have always been interested in public service. In 2003, Governor Bob Holden appointed me to serve as acting chairman of Missouri's Labor and Industrial Relations Commission. I was the lawyer-member and public's representative on the three-member Commission. The Commission ruled on appeals from administrative decisions made on contested cases involving workers' compensation, unemployment compensation, and prevailing wage orders.

    Private Law Practice in St. Louis

    I started my solo practice in St. Louis in 2006. I receive appointments from the probate division of the St. Louis City Circuit Court to represent persons facing involuntary civil commitment for mental health or substance abuse treatment. I also receive appointments to represent indigent defendants in federal criminal cases. These federal appointments have been in cases involving charges of illegal drug-dealing (cocaine, crack cocaine, or methamphetamine), fraud, and child pornography.

    As part of my practice, I serve as a hearing officer for the St. Louis City Civil Service Commission. I conduct evidentiary hearings in employment-related disputes and write reports on the hearings for the Commission.

    Art Hill in Forest ParkSt. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park