The Honorable Kathy A. Surratt-States

U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri


The Honorable Kathy A. Surratt-States was sworn in as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri on March 17, 2003 and served as Chief Judge from February 1, 2013 to June 30, 2022. She was appointed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Eighth Circuit on January 13, 2023.  Judge Surratt-States was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She received her B.A., cum laude, from Oklahoma City University and her J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. She was recipient of the 2007 Washington University School of Law Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Judge Surratt-States began her legal career as law clerk to now retired Bankruptcy Judge James J. Barta. In 1993, she was an associate at Campbell & Coyne, P.C. where her work focused on bankruptcy, commercial litigation and foreclosures. She moved to Ziercher & Hocker, P.C. in 1998, where she became partner. This firm later merged with Husch Blackwell, where she was a partner in the insolvency practice group until her appointment to the Bankruptcy Court. In 1997, she was appointed to the Panel of Bankruptcy Trustee for the Eastern District of Missouri. In 1999, she served as the Chapter 7 Trustee for Family Company of America, then the third largest grocery store chain in St. Louis. In 2001, she was appointed by then Governor Bob Holden as one of four Commissioners for the St. Louis City Board of Election Commissioners. She held both of these positions until her appointment to the bench. Judge Surratt-States serves on the boards of several charitable organizations in St. Louis including Gifted Resource Council, whose mission is to provide educational opportunities for gifted and talented young people ages 3 – 14 and the St. Louis Public Library Foundation Board of Trustees. She is also a member of Altrusa International, Inc. of St. Louis, an international association of professionals dedicated to serving their community, where she previously served as President. She was formerly a member of the board for Good Shepherd Children & Family Services, where she served as President and the board for Catholic Charities of St. Louis, where she served as Secretary and Vice-Chair. Judge Surratt-States also supervises law students from various law schools as interns in her chambers. Judge Surratt-States is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., St. Louis (MO) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated and the Associates of St. Louis Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc.  She is also a member of Missouri Bar, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Mound City Bar Association, American Bar Association, National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, American Bankruptcy Institute and International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC). Judge Surratt-States is married to Clifford States, a retired Lieutenant from the St. Louis City Metropolitan Police Department and they have one daughter.

Articles by The Honorable Kathy A. Surratt-States

Judge Deborah Thorne, NDIL, and Judge Kathy Surratt-States, EDMO, on behalf of the NCBJ’s DEI Committee, have written two articles about some of judicial firsts.
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