St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie M. Edwards Elected To National Center for State Courts Board of Directors

Judge Jimmie M. Edwards

ST. LOUIS (June 22, 2017) — The National Center for State Courts has elected St. Louis Circuit Judge Jimmie M. Edwards to a three-year term on its Board of Directors.

Edwards will join the board Aug. 4 at its summer meeting in Philadelphia.

Since October 2015, Edwards has been a member of the National Advisory Board on Community Engagement in the State Courts. That 16-member board is part of the National Center for State Courts’ Conference of Chief Justices and National Consortium for Racial and Ethnic Fairness.

Edwards has served as a St. Louis Circuit Judge for 25 years. He started his legal career in private practice at a small law firm in S. Louis in 1981. In 1984 he joined the Sabreliner Corporation where he was general counsel for six years. He then joined the Southwestern Bell Telephone Company legal staff. Judge Edwards has served as a Special Missouri Supreme Court Judge and has served on the Executive Council for Missouri State Judges and Missouri Habeas Corpus subcommittees.

In 2009, Edwards founded Innovative Concept Academy after recognizing that his hometown was suffering from an unrelenting cycle of juvenile offenders dropping out of school and cementing their path to lifelong criminality. ICA is the first school in America supervised by a judge and dedicated to the last-resort education of juvenile offenders.

Judge Edwards’ efforts have gained national attention. In 2013, Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts presented him with the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, one of our nation’s highest judicial awards. Saint Louis University and Eden Theological Seminary each have awarded him honorary doctor of laws degrees. People magazine named him its “Editor’s Choice National Hero” recipient in 2011, and Ebony magazine selected him to its 2013 Power 100 Most Influential in America List.

The National Center for State Courts is an independent, nonprofit court improvement organization founded at the urging of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Warren E. Burger.  He envisioned NCSC as a clearinghouse for research information and comparative data to support improvement in judicial administration in state courts.

2017 Law Day

Law Day 2017
Law Day 2017

Millie Aulbur (left) of the Missouri Bar Association presents Juvenile Court Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke (second from left) and retired Judge Iris Ferguson (second from right) with The Missouri Bar Dr. Warren H. Solomon Civic Virtue Award for their work on the Law Day program for 22 year. Presiding Judge Michael Mullen (right) also participated in the ceremony April 28, 2017. Students from Northwest Law Academy attended court hearings and heard about law careers from Assistant Circuit Attorney Annette Llewellyn, Assistant Public Defender Rick Kroeger and Juvenile Commander, Lieutenant Perri Johnson of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. The students then role played actual cases with some acting as judge, bailiff and witnesses.

St. Louis Circuit Court Appoints Jill Hanley as Public Administrator

Jill M. Hanley
Jill M. Hanley

ST. LOUIS (March 28, 2017) — The 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri today appointed Jill M. Hanley to Public Administrator, replacing Gerard A. Nester, who resigned in February to pursue other opportunities.

The Court, meeting en banc, selected Hanley in a unanimous vote.

Hanley had served as legal counsel to the court’s Probate Division since 2006. Until moving to Probate, she had worked with Nester as an attorney in the Public Administrator’s office since 2002.

The Public Administrator acts on behalf of the citizens of St. Louis before the Probate Division, taking charge of the assets of city residents who die without family or a last will and testament, pays the claims of any creditor of the deceased, and distributes any remaining assets to surviving relatives, if any.

The Probate Division sometimes appoints the Public Administrator to act as guardian for the mentally ill or developmentally disabled adults whom the Probate Division has determined are unable to meet their essential needs for food, shelter and clothing. In this capacity, the Public Administrator is called upon to consent to the admission of these “wards” to nursing homes and residential care facilities and to see that they receive proper medical, psychiatric and therapeutic care. The Public Administrator currently manages the needs of more than 600 wards.

Hanley earned a bachelor’s degree in 1986 from Southwest Missouri State University. She received a paralegal certificate in 1989 from St. Louis Community College and earned a law degree in 1993 from Saint Louis University School of Law.

 

St. Louis City Circuit Court to Debut New Jury System

ST. LOUIS (Feb. 2, 2017) — The city of St. Louis will be the pilot location to implement Show Me Jury, a new jury system that the Missouri judiciary plans to introduce across the state in October 2018.

The St. Louis Circuit Court will mail new Show Me Jury summonses starting Feb. 24, for jury service beginning April 3.

Joanne Martin, jury supervisor for the St. Louis Circuit Court, said, “A big benefit to our citizens will be the ease of contacting and communicating with the courts, and in particular, the jury supervisor’s office.”

When residents receive the new jury service summons, they will be directed to www.courts.mo.gov/ejuror, where they will fill out a qualification form. This online questionnaire, which will become active February 24, 2017, gives citizens the opportunity to choose their preference of communication — whether by U.S. Postal Service, e-mail or even text message. Paper copies of questionnaires can be obtained by calling the jury supervisor’s office.

“We hope the public will recognize the benefits of a more efficient court system, but also the convenience of communication with our courts,” Martin said.

HON. BARBARA T. PEEBLES GRADUATES FROM 2016 MISSOURI COURT MANAGEMENT INSTITUTE

Judge Barbara Peebles
Judge Barbara T. Peebles

St. Louis, Mo. – Hon. Barbara T. Peebles, Associate Circuit Judge, 22nd Judicial Circuit, St. Louis City, is one of 24 participants who graduated from the Missouri Court Management Institute in December 2016. The ceremony was held at the Supreme Court of Missouri in Jefferson City. Judge Peebles’ completion of the institute qualifies her for recognition as a Certified Court Manager by the National Center for State Courts.

The Missouri Court Management Institute is an initiative created by the Coordinating Commission for Judicial Education of the Supreme Court of Missouri and its state courts administrator’s office to enhance the professionalism and expertise of the people who work for the Missouri courts. It is based on the six-part court management program created by the National Center for State Courts. The courses in the program are Purposes and Responsibilities of Courts, Managing Judicial Financial Resources, Case Flow Management, Managing Human Resources, Measuring Court Performance, and Managing Technology Projects.

Participation in the institute was an opportunity provided to only the best of the Missouri judiciary. Applicants were evaluated based on their experience and an extensive essay.

“The selection process was beyond rigorous,” said Dr. Anthony Simones, manager of judicial education and programming with the state courts administrator’s office. “We received so many applications for participation in this institute, and the process was incredibly competitive. That Judge Peebles was chosen for and completed this program speak volumes about her talent, commitment and promise as a leader in the judiciary of this state.”

St. Louis Family Court Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke Elected Chair-elect of the National Bar Association Judicial Council

Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke
Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke

Family Court Commissioner Anne-Marie Clarke of the St. Louis Circuit Court has been elected chair-elect of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association and will be sworn in at the NBA’s 92nd Convention in Toronto July 29-August 3, 2017.

The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 65,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.

Clarke served as chair of the host committee for the NBA’s 91st Convention in St. Louis last month, which was attended by nearly 1,000 lawyers from across the country. She was appointed Family Court Commissioner in 1998 and has been assigned to both the Juvenile Division and the Domestic Relations Division. She and has served on numerous statewide committees including the Fostering Court Improvement Committee under the Missouri Supreme Court.

CIRCUIT RECOGNIZED FOR JUVENILE COURT’S TEAM SUPPORT APPROACH

Missouri State Rep. Bill Lant (center), Chair, Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and Bev Newman (right), President, Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, present the award to Catherine Horejes (left), Chief Deputy Juvenile Officer - Special Services Department, 22nd Judicial Circuit.
Missouri State Rep. Bill Lant (center), Chair, Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, and Bev Newman (right), President, Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, present the award to Catherine Horejes (left), Chief Deputy Juvenile Officer – Special Services Department, 22nd Judicial Circuit.

 

The Missouri Juvenile Justice Association (MJJA) has awarded the 22nd Judicial Circuit of Missouri its Excellence in Programming Award for the circuit’s Team Support Approach model.

The award was presented at the President’s reception at the spring MJJA conference. Cathy Horejes accepted the award on behalf of our circuit.

The Team Support Approach (TSA) model brings key people together for youth on official court supervision to discuss a youths’ strengths and needs, identify and provide resources, and make strength-based plans that will provide for the youth’s safety, repair harm to the victim or community, and bring accountability through strengthening competency skills while ensuring community safety. The family decides who the key people are that they want to include. These could be relatives, coaches, religious figures, and others.

The goal of the TSA is to involve families and their support systems, community members, along with caregivers, service providers and agency staff in all decisions regarding planning options and to ensure a timely network of support for children and the adults who care for them. The focus of the TSA meeting is to ensure the safety and well-being of the youth and community while preserving the family unit. When possible, the family and community’s strengths are used to form treatment plans that will enable children to safely remain home with appropriate services. When this is not possible, plans are made that reflect the least restrictive placement possible for each youth that will keep the child and community safe as well as preserve and nurture the child’s familial and community connections.

Among those working with Horejes in developing the model were Harmena Frierson, Jack Murphy, Jeanette McAllister-McDonald, Ken Mayo, Chris Fahy, and Jean Beil.

Hon. Michael W. Noble will join Emory Law faculty for annual trial techniques advocacy program

Judge MIchael W. Noble
Hon. Michael W. Noble

ATLANTA — St. Louis Circuit Judge Michael Noble will join the 2016 faculty of Emory University School of Law’s Kessler-Eidson Trial Techniques Program to be held April 30 through May 6.

Judge Noble joins an elite group of more than 120 jurists, practitioners, and legal scholars from across the United States and foreign jurisdictions, including Mexico, to teach in the prominent program which, over the course of three decades, has launched some of the nation’s leading trial lawyers and judges.

“We are very selective in choosing faculty,” said Emory Law professor, and Emory Law Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution director, Paul Zwier. “The group of faculty that will convene in Atlanta this year includes people who are at the top of their game – and who also have the teaching skills to train the next generation of trial advocates.”

When founded in 1982, the program was modeled after the National Institute for Trial Advocacy’s program for teaching practicing lawyers. Emory Law’s program is the largest in the country and is recognized as one of the nation’s finest. The American College of Trial Lawyers has twice conferred on Emory’s program the Emil Gumpert Award for excellence in the teaching of trial advocacy.

“Emory Law has been one of the nation’s leading producer of trial lawyers, and this program – along with our course offerings in advocacy – is a big part of that,” said Zwier.

The program’s teaching methodology focuses on integrating the second-year law student’s knowledge of substantive evidence with practical trial skills through a “learn-by-doing” format. Trial experience is supplemented by a textbook, lectures, and discussions. During two sessions in the spring semester, students develop theories for particular witness examinations, decide on appropriate approaches to bring out the facts consistent with their theories, prepare witnesses, and conduct direct and cross-examinations using current courtroom technology in the use of exhibits. This is followed by an seven-day intensive learn-by-doing class in which participants will engage in a “Daubert” hearing to determine whether an expert witness will testify at trial. Two days later, students will conduct a jury trial with high school students from the Atlanta area serving as jurors. By the end of eight days, more than 290 students will have collectively tried more than 70 jury trials and participated in more than 70 Daubert hearings.

Founded in 1916, Emory University School of Law is an American Bar Association (ABA) nationally accredited law school. Consistently ranked as one of the premier law schools in the United States, Emory Law offers exceptional doctrinal and practical legal education with signature programs in advocacy, transactional law, technology and IP law, law and religion, and vulnerability studies.

Supreme Court recognizes 22nd Judicial Circuit for successfully holding timely hearings for children

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – On behalf of the 22nd Judicial Circuit, Presiding Judge Bryan Hettenbach accepted the Permanency Award during a special ceremony at the presiding judges’ meeting in Lake Ozark. This is the eighth time the 22nd Circuit, which includes St. Louis city, has received the Permanency Award.

The Permanency Award is given to circuits for successfully holding timely hearings during fiscal 2015 in child abuse and neglect cases in which children removed from their homes are to be reunited with their families or are to be placed in another permanent home as soon as possible.

The hearing time frames apply to six types of hearings and vary depending on the type of hearing. For example, when a child is taken into protective custody, an initial hearing must be held within three business days, the allegations must be proven within 60 days, and a disposition entered within 90 days. If the child remains in protective custody, the court must hold periodic reviews until the child is reunited with its natural parents, is adopted or another permanent placement is made. These time frames were developed based on recommendations from the Commission on Children’s Justice.

In evaluating which circuits qualify for the permanency awards, the circuits first were placed in size classes based on the total number of hearings that were due to be held during a particular time period. A circuit then had to achieve either 100 percent timeliness each quarter or an average of 100 percent annually to qualify.

Committee Selects Design Proposal by Sculptor Preston Jackson For Memorial to Slaves’ Lawsuits for Freedom Tried in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (March 28, 2016) — A steering committee has selected sculptor Preston Jackson’s design for a dynamic visual narrative to memorialize more than 300 courageous slaves and lawyers who went to court in St. Louis to sue for their freedom from 1806 through Emancipation in 1863.

The memorial is planned for the east plaza of the Civil Courts Building downtown. Fundraising from private sources will begin immediately.

Jackson is a professor emeritus at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, where he continues to teach foundry techniques. He is owner of a gallery in Peoria, Ill. A specialist in cast bronze, his works include dozens of public sculptures, including a statue of Miles Davis in Alton; “Acts of Intolerance” in Springfield, Ill., celebrating the 100th anniversary of the NAACP; and “From Cottonfield to Battlefield” in Decatur, Ill., memorializing Abraham Lincoln’s decision to permit African American soldiers to fight in the Civil War.

His design for the Freedom Suits Memorial calls for a cast bronze work approximately 5 feet by 3 feet wide and 10 feet tall. Each angle of the sculpture will be a pictorial lesson on the lawsuits and the times. It will incorporate both free-standing and relief sculptures in a construction recalling the dome and cupola of the Old Courthouse.

“This is a very important project, which fits my life’s work, telling the visual history of our country in a compelling and effective manner that is appropriate for all,” Jackson said. “I feel it is imperative that the descendants of slaves see themselves as strong people, as survivors, and this sculpture will certainly send that important message.”

St. Louis Circuit Judge David C. Mason, who first conceived the memorial, said, “The design vividly shows how two centuries ago, St. Louis provided proof for the American ideal that even those with least means can achieve justice through the courts. It is likely this work will become another sculptural icon for St. Louis.”

Paul N. Venker, chairman of the steering committee, said, “This moving memorial compels us to reflect upon how the least powerful among us, exercising what imperfect legal rights they had, initiated what can only be described as nation-altering change.  We honor these African Americans who chose the Rule of Law, and the lawyers who embraced the Spirit of Justice to help them.”

The sculpture will be aligned with the Gateway Mall and the Old Courthouse, where most of these suits were tried — including that of Dred Scott and his wife Harriet. The Scotts initially won their freedom in the St. Louis court but lost it on appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1857, a decision that helped propel the nation into the Civil War.

The steering committee for the memorial advertised for proposals beginning in August. It received several responses and chose three finalists. Jackson’s proposal was the clear consensus of the committee.

The steering committee comprises 12 members representing the court, local lawyers, academicians, arts leaders and city officials. Fundraising will be conducted through the St. Louis Bar Foundation.