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March 6, 2015
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 16, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Ballroom.
The panel of three judges will consist of Gary Witt, James Welsh and Missouri Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer. The program is free and open to the public.
The session will be the seventh 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.
The three judges will take a break in between cases and remain after the court session to discuss the court system and answer questions about the proceedings.
“It is important for the Court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City,” Witt 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.”
Witt, who was appointed to the court of appeals in 2010, will preside over the proceedings at Northwest. Prior to his appointment, he served as an associate circuit judge in Platte County. Previously, he practiced law in Platte County and served in the Missouri House of Representatives.
Welsh was appointed to the Western District in 2007 and served as the court’s chief judge in 2013-2014. Previously, he practiced law for 10 years and then served successively as a municipal judge, an associate circuit judge and circuit judge in Clay County.
Fischer, a native of Rock Port, 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.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468