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March 15, 2016
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will again convene court at Northwest Missouri State University to hear oral arguments in three cases, beginning at 1 p.m., Monday, March 28, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.
A three-judge panel consisting of Western District judges Victor Howard and Gary Witt and Missouri Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer will hear the arguments and remain after the court session to discuss the court system and explain the proceedings.
The program is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Northwest’s Department of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Northwest Pre-Law Society.
The session will be the eighth time the Western District has convened in Maryville. The court has convened annually at the University since 2010, and it heard oral arguments at the Nodaway County Courthouse in 1993.
The Western District convenes regularly at its courthouse in Kansas City, and its jurisdiction is appeals from trial courts in 45 counties that include all of northwest Missouri and most of central Missouri.
The cases are appeals from previously held trials in area circuit courts. The judges will hear attorneys argue whether the trials had errors, which should cause them to be retried, or the trial court's judgment reversed. The judges will read written arguments before the court session and may interrupt the attorneys’ arguments with questions.
“It is important for the Court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City,” Howard said. “This gives individuals an opportunity to observe a part of the judicial system they normally do not see. We hope those attending will gain a better understanding of the Court's function.”
Howard, who will preside over the proceedings at Northwest, is the longest-serving judge on the Western District, having been appointed to the Court in 1996. Immediately prior to joining the court of appeals, he served as a circuit judge in Clay County, Missouri. Before his judicial service, he practiced law in Liberty, Missouri.
Witt was appointed to the court of appeals in 2010. Immediately prior to his appointment, he served as an associate circuit judge in Platte County, Missouri. Previously, he practiced law in Platte County and served in the Missouri House of Representatives.
Fischer, a native of Rock Port, Missouri, was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 2008. Previously he was the associate circuit judge for Atchison County and practiced law in Atchison, Holt, Nodaway and Platte counties.
For more information, contact Dan Smith, Northwest assistant professor of political science, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
email@example.com | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468