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February 27, 2012

New Head of Kennett Office Selected

KENNETT-The Missouri State Public Defender has selected Ian Page as the new lead attorney in the Kennett Trial office. Page replaces Catherine Rice, who has served as the office’s District Defender for 19 years. Rice is retiring at the end of this month.

A Missouri native, Page was born and raised in Independence. He attended Baker University, where he received a bachelor’s degree in biology and played football, serving as team captain during his senior year. After graduation, he spent a few years working as a technician in an orthopedic rehabilitation clinic before making the decision to attend law school, inspired to serve in some capacity in the legal field by years of watching his father serve as a police officer. He received his law degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

While in law school, Page was a member of the UMKC Trial Advocacy Competition Team, which he says helped him develop a love for the courtroom. Following his graduation, he joined the Missouri State Public Defender, working several years first in the Jackson and then the Kansas City public defender offices, before going into private practice. In 2010, he took advantage of an opportunity to return to both public defense and southeast Missouri, and accepted a position in the Poplar Bluff Public Defender office.   

Page is stepping into the leadership position at a difficult time for public defenders.    Litigation is currently pending in the Missouri Supreme Court over the ability of overloaded public defenders to turn away new cases when they have more clients than they can effectively represent. Last year, the 5-lawyer Kennett office handled over 1200 cases.  Lawyers in the Missouri State Public Defender System are tasked with fulfilling the state’s obligations under the U.S. Constitution to provide criminal defense representation to those facing charges who cannot afford to hire their own attorney. The Kennett Defender office serves clients charged in Stoddard and Dunklin counties.  

Page is married to Angie Page, a native of Ellington. Together they have a 3-year-old son.