Othic - 9th Circuit Judge dies

Staff Writer
Chillicothe News
Chillicothe News

LINNEUS — Ninth Judicial Circuit Judge Scot Othic died suddenly sometime this morning. A member of the Linn County Circuit Clerk’s office confirmed his death on Tuesday, adding to check back on Friday for a response from the county.

Othic, a Marceline native, has been the associate circuit court judge in Linn County since 2015.

According to a 2015 article in the Linn County Leader by Chris Houston, Othic enlisted in the U.S. Army immediately following his graduation from Marceline High School.

An avid quail hunter and outdoorsman, Othic majored in forestry at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and upon earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1977, followed a professor’s advice to pursue a Master’s Degree in Forestry with an emphasis in economics. Before even completing the coursework for that graduate degree, Othic took advantage of what was supposed to be a temporary job opportunity with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

“DNR wanted to hire me to create a land reclamation program that focused on abandoned strip mines in the Ozarks,” he explains.

That ‘temporary’ assignment morphed into a decade-long mission to create a land reclamation program that would serve as the model for all others to follow.

“The program I created with the help of a staff of nine was approved by the federal government, and I found myself in the occasional role of a Washington lobbyist,” Othic said in 2015. “I went to Congressional subcommittee meetings, and was exposed to lots of legal contracts with DNR...Contract law eventually became my primary interest.”

Just as mutual obligation is the very nature of a contract, Othic felt obliged to nurture a growing attraction to contract law specifically and civil law generally.

By the close of 1990, he had completed a Juris Doctor (law) degree at M.U. and passed the bar exam.

“I initially worked as an intern clerk for a U.S. Magistrate in Jefferson City,” he said. “For that year or so, I got some great exposure to court cases involving civil rights actions.“

Continuing his residence in the state capitol for several more years, Othic then received appointments as Assistant to the Missouri Attorney General, first under Bill Webster and then under Jay Nixon.

Othic said then he never intended to stay with the attorny general’s office, he noted he just wanted the experience.

Check the Linn COunty Leader’s website www.linncountyleader.com for updates to this sotry, including a comment from Linn County officials and arrangements for services.