Areas of interest


Over 30 years as an attorney and lead counsel on over 75 jury trials

Fair & objective relationships

Excellent working relationships with local leaders

Vernon County is my home

Proud to call Vernon County my home for 29 years and counting

Doting grandfather

Proud grandfather to seven grand kids ages from newborn to teenager

Joe Zuzul

Meet Joe Zuzul

I have the desire use my vast experience to further serve this community. In 1989, at the age of 28, I moved here and never moved away. I did not expect to stay, but fell in love with this fine place and its people. I have been honored to work with a long line of great Vernon County judges over the years, judges like Patricia Breckinridge, David Darnold, Jerry McBeth, James Bickel, and Neal Quitno. I would like to carry on this strong legacy.

I have been a lawyer over 30 years. Much of that time has been spent in courtrooms. Clarence Darrow once said, "The only real lawyers are trial lawyers, and trial lawyers try cases to juries." I've done more jury trials than I can count. Much of that 30 years has been being the boss of a law office, and I've assisted and mentored younger lawyers, many who themselves were doing their first jury trials, often winning.

Over the years I've developed excellent working relationships with local judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, probation officers, court clerks, and mental health professionals, and most of all, with my clients.

I'm more than prepared to be your next Associate Circuit Judge.

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Married to Cammie Zuzul, BSN, a local nurse, former Director of Hospice and Home Health Care at NRMC, former school nurse for Bronaugh schools, former instructor at Crowder College, etc.

Partner, Zuzul & Moorhouse, primary practice in Vernon and Barton Counties, some in Bates, Cedar, Dade, Lawrence, and Jasper; 2016-2018

District Public Defender in Nevada for 28th Judicial Circuit from 1989 to 2016 - managed and trained around 20 lawyers, some of whom are full time prosecutors, chief juvenile officers, and another who is running unopposed for judge. Opened the office when it and other distict offices were created by the legislature and then Gov. John Ashcroft.


Lead counsel on over 75 jury trials from murder first degree to minor traffic offenses.

Excellent working relationship with local judges, prosecutors, law enforcement, probation officers, court clerks, etc. Ask.

Was on the team that founded the first Drug Courts in the Circuit in 2001, including attending national training. The first two Drug Court participants in Vernon County were my clients.

Decades-long experience dealing with forensic psychology. The Vernon County Associate Judge runs the Mental Health Court.

Asst. Public Defender Joplin, MO 1987-1989

UMC School of Law 1983-1986

Behavior Therapist, Jasper County Sheltered Facilities (group homes) 1982-1983

Undergraduate Texas Christian University and UMC. BA Psychology 1982.

Other facts

Born and raised in Joplin, MO. Dad was a metallurgical engineer at Sperry Vickers. Mom was a seamstress. Graduated from Joplin Parkwood 1979. Editor of school paper and President of speech and debate. Started on state-ranked football team (defensive end and tackle) and threw varsity discus in track.

Hobbies and interests include aviation (pilot), golf, swimming, computers/tech, and KC Royals baseball. Current president of the El Dorado Springs Flying Club. Past president of the Nevada Bowling Association. Past castmember in several community theater prodictions.

Doting grandpa to seven grand kids, ages from newborn (twins born late June) to 13 years.