Phil LeVota is a life-long resident of Jackson County, Missouri. Phil attended Truman High School in Independence and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg in 1988. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and held many leadership roles in the organization.
After college, Phil worked for the State of Missouri in the Division of Child Support Enforcement for four years. In the position of Manager and Public Awareness Director, Phil was responsible for the supervision of a team of investigators and office staff in enforcing state administrative law. He also was appointed to the Governor’s Public Relations Task Force as well as representing the agency in media interviews and speaking engagements. During this period, Phil was elected to the Board of Directors of the Missouri Child Support Enforcement Association. In 1994, he received his Masters degree in Management from Baker University, which he had completed while working full-time.
Phil was then able to pursue his lifelong dream of being an attorney. In Phil’s first year of law school, he was ranked in the top fifteen percent of his class. While attending the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Phil was a member of Law Review, was selected to the UMKC National Trial Team, and was listed in “Who’s Who of American Law Students” twice. During law school, Phil was employed as an Administrative Hearing Officer dealing with administrative law issues for the Department of Social Services. In his last year of law school, Phil worked in the Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney’s office in Kansas City, Missouri as a legal intern licensed to practice law in Missouri courts. Even before graduation, Phil had numerous court appearances and was involved in eight jury trials prosecuting criminals on behalf of the State of Missouri.
After graduating from law school, Jackson County Prosecutor Claire McCaskill appointed Phil as an assistant prosecuting attorney in the criminal trial division. As a trial attorney, Phil has tried numerous jury trials ranging from murder and assault to drug cases. He also has argued successfully before the Missouri Court of Appeals. Further, Phil specialized in prosecuting gang violence as the designated Gang Prosecutor for the Kansas City Police Department. Phil has served on the County Homicide Case Review Committee, as well as the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Death Penalty Review Committee.
Phil LeVota served under four different state prosecutors as the Trial Team Leader within the Community Justice Unit of the office. His duties ranged from homicide prosecution to media contact and office spokesman as well as coordinating several law enforcement and community task forces and committees. In 2006, Phil went into private practice and opened his own law firm; The Law Offices of Phil LeVota, L.L.C.. The firm’s practice is diverse in areas of state/local government practice, plaintiff litigation in wrongful death/personal injury, professional/motivational speaking, criminal defense, and campaign consulting. Phil is also a certified court mediator and is involved in mediation and arbitration in referrals from many courts in the midwest
In his personal time, Phil recently worked with citizens concerned about the release of prisoners. Phil was the co-author of, and lobbied for, the passage of the Jake’s Law bill that was signed into law by Missouri Governor Bob Holden. Phil also worked with the Missouri General Assembly for passage of a “Child Enticement” law to protect children on the Internet and in neighborhoods.
Phil is licensed to practice in Missouri, Kansas, and Federal District Courts. He serves as Legal Advisor for the Eastern Jackson County Youth Court Program and serves on the Board of Directors of Hope House Shelter for Battered Women and Children. Phil is a former board member of KKFI 90.1 FM - Blues & Jazz Community Radio Station. He was also a member of the Paseo Corridor Safe Neighborhood Grant Advisory Council and the Executive Director of the "SHOW-ME" Council for Accountability & Responsibility in Government. Phil has participated as a speaker in over 100 DARE graduations in elementary schools in Jackson County. Phil also was appointed by the Independence Police Department as a board member of the Juvenile Law Enforcement Coalition Committee. Phil is also member of the United States Attorney's Weed & Seed Steering Committee responsible for the administration of law enforcement and community grants in Kansas City, Missouri.
Phil has extensive experience in training and speaking for different organizations. Phil is active as a speaker, instructor, and trainer for the Missouri Bar Association in moderating and teaching continuing legal education seminars, the International Homicide Investigators Association, and the Midwest Gang Investigators Association. He also has experience as a trainer and presenter for the U.S. Department of Justice Law Enforcement Education Program and as an instructor for both the Kansas City Police Department Crime Scene Investigation Academy and the Kansas City Police Officer Academy. Phil is also on the training staff of the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services conducting training for prosecutors across the state of Missouri. Phil is also a popular conference speaker and trainer across the country and travels from West Virginia to California to give presentations to many groups.
Phil received the honor of being selected by the National District Attorney’s Association to be a member of the faculty at the Department of Justice’s National Advocacy Center in Columbia, South Carolina. Phil was one of only 40 prosecutors across the entire nation selected to participate in training at the Office of Legal Education’s new state of the art training and technology center. After Phil attended an Advanced Trial Advocacy course as a student, he was nominated by the faculty to be a teaching member of the faculty and then taught a variety of subjects to prosecutors across the country. As a faculty member, Phil instructed courses ranging from Trial Advocacy to Cross Examination.
Phil serves as a part-time municipal prosecutor for the City of Lee’s Summit, Missouri and is a member of many other organizations including the International Association of Fire Fighters Local # 42, the K.C. Metropolitan Bar Association, Missouri & Kansas Bar Associations, UMKC Law School Mentor Program, American Bar Association, and the American Trial Lawyers Association.