7:09 PM

Attorney Mark Rundel, who has a private law practice in Galena, is the President of The Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Court Judges Association.

He graduated from the School of the Ozarks (where he met his wife Susan) before attending law school at the University of Missouri.

He sent out just one letter seeking employment during law school. That letter went to Crane attorney Bob Wiley. Wiley said he wasn't hiring, but after meeting with Rundel, put him to work. "We had matching philosophies. I've always been a small town boy and wanted to practice law in a rural area," said Rundel.

Rundel, who worked his way through law school as a photographer, spent four years with Wiley's law firm before running for Stone County prosecutor. He won that election in 1986 and spent four years as the county's top law enforcer before opening his own practice in 1991.

At first, Rundel was the prosecutor for several municipalities, handling cases like traffic infractions, disturbances, stealing and some DWI cases, but that changed when those municipalities urged him to seek their Municipal Judge's seat.

He took over as Municipal Judge after city council's in Crane, Hurley, Reeds Spring, Branson West, Battlefield, Clever, Galena and Kimberling City appointed him to represent them.

As municipal judge Rundel says he has seen everything "from kids doing things for thrills, to people stealing because of economic necessity. "Those a particularly heart wrenching," said Rundel.

Rundel says it was an honor to be elected as President of the association by his peers. He and the judges that elected him need continued training and continuing education, services that the association he heads offers at its annual conference held at the Lake of the Ozarks.

He is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment of the Constitution (the right to bear arms) and was instrumental in getting the Conceal and Carry law passed in Missouri in 2003.

Rundel says Stone County Sheriff Richard Hill "let" him become the third person in the state to be issued a conceal and carry permit. "I have a great deal of respect for Sheriff Hill for doing that."