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Hanaway reflects

When Catherine Hanaway was tapped as U.S. attorney for eastern Missouri, many people worried about having such a highly political person in charge of the law enforcement agency. But as the one-time Republican state House speaker leaves office after three years and returns to private practice, observers say she was savvy in overseeing the federal prosecutor's office. She kept experienced attorneys around, stepped back, let them do their job and didn't turn the office into a political operation. It's also how Hanaway sees her record. "I just played it straight and did the work," Hanaway said in an interview with Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

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Jefferson County selected to recognize Obama record

Jefferson County will be on center stage as President Barack Obama makes a stop on Wednesday to mark his 100th day in office. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed during his afternoon briefing April 21 that President Obama will celebrate the milestone in Jefferson County. Festus City Administrator Steve Stoll said the last time a president visited Jefferson County was Bill Clinton during the floods of 1993. Arnold Mayor Ron Counts confirmed that someone from Obama's office has contacted both City Hall and the Fox C-6 School District about possible venues.

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Employment discrimination lawsuit settled

A significant employment law case, Douglas Daugherty v. The City of Maryland Heights, has settled, but city officials refuse to turn over the financial details of the settlement in compliance with an open records request. Daugherty sued Maryland Heights in 2003 alleging that he was wrongfully terminated from his position of police captain on the basis of age and disability. His attorney, Mary Anne Sedey (pictured), of Sedey Harper, confirmed that the parties had settled but would not disclose any details concerning the settlement. Missouri Lawyers Media made a Sunshine Law request to the city for the settlement amounts that was denied.

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Fewer take bar exam

The Missouri Board of Law Examiners released figures on Wednesday for the smallest group of February bar exam takers in recent memory. However, the percentage of successful takers remained on par with results from previous February tests. In total, 205 of the 269 people who took the test passed, a rate of 76 percent. In February 2008, about 74 percent of takers passed. Kellie Early (pictured), executive director of the Missouri Board of Law Examiners, says results of February’s bar exams are similar to those of past years.

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Inmates fight for right to porn

Three federal appellate judges told a district court judge to allow three Licking, Mo., inmates to pursue their right to read porn. The inmates wanted to read Rockstar, Penthouse, Penthouse-Forum and American Curves magazines, but prison officials said they were too hot to handle. Specifically, the magazines promoted violence and portrayed explicit and sadistic sex acts as well as sex acts that violate state and federal law. But the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the inmates sufficiently stated a claim to challenge the regulations as they apply to the magazines they want to read.

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Bar decries Court Plan reform

As debate looms in the Missouri Senate on a constitutional amendment altering the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, The Missouri Bar is reiterating its opposition to changing the way the state chooses some of its judges. Bar President Tom Burke and President-elect Skip Walther held a press conference on Tuesday morning to skewer proposed changes offered in House Joint Resolution 10. The two attorneys portrayed the alterations as a way of injecting politics into the plan and giving more power over judicial selection to the governor.

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Suit questions Nixon’s role in clemencies

A federal lawsuit demands that Gov. Jay Nixon recuse himself from clemency considerations for three death row inmates, saying he can't be trusted to be objective because he prosecuted the men as attorney general. Dennis J. Skillicorn and two others say Nixon, through his representation of the Missouri Department of Corrections, "intentionally obstructed federal court appointed counsel's access to evidence in support of clemency." Based on those allegations, the Missouri Supreme Court last year granted a stay of execution for Skillicorn, who had been scheduled to die Aug 27. However, the court on Monday issued a new execution date for Skillicorn - May 20.

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AG Koster sues mortgage companies for fraud

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has sued two mortgage brokers, alleging the companies fraudulently misrepresented themselves in refinance letters to consumers by appearing to be supported by the consumers' banks and tied to the federal government. The lawsuits filed against Gold Star Home Mortgage and Oxford Lending Group are part of Koster's "zero tolerance" campaign against mortgage scams. Standing with Koster are John Phillips, left, and Doug Ommen, both with the consumer protection division of the Attorney General’s office.

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Court may get money to battle mold

Lawmakers are considering whether to take aim at an insidious force threatening to eat away at the very foundations of the Missouri Supreme Court. No, they're not talking about shoddy attorneys or activist judges. They're seeking to eradicate an ancient menace: mold. The chairman of the House Budget Committee is proposing to spend around $6.5 million worth of federal stimulus funds to refurbish the state Supreme Court Building (pictured) in Jefferson City. House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood, included the item in a budget bill that would fund a number of capital improvement projects.

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40 years and counting

When you think "legal lions," think Myron H. Bright. Bright, 90, just celebrated more than 40 years as a judge on the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. It's been 40 years and eight months, to be precise, and that makes him the longest-serving working appellate judge on the 8th Circuit since it began in 1891. Bright, and other Court of Appeals employees who observed milestone anniversaries, were honored at a ceremony Tuesday at the Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse.

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Collection agency to pursue red-light camera violators

St. Louis has stepped up efforts to bring in money from those cited for running red lights, hiring a collection agency to pursue violators who don't pay up. The city has hired Texas law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson to pursue collection of outstanding court fines. Meanwhile, an anti-camera group led by Jesse Irwin and Ed Martin (pictured) is taking a wait-and-see approach. The group may pursue a ballot measure for a 2010 election to allow St. Louis city voters to ban use of red-light cameras.

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