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Retired appellate judges to lead Missouri Bar’s COVID-19 Task Force

Missouri Bar President Tom Bender has appointed retired Missouri Court of Appeals Judges Lisa Van Amburg and James Welsh to lead the bar’s COVID-19 Task Force.

Bender said the task force is set up to help the bar respond to problems Missouri lawyers are facing in their practices in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis and finding solutions to them.

“We’re trying to help them define the problem and see if we can help them with the solution and identifying things we won’t be able to help in the short term,” Bender said. The group hopes to put together a report to identify needed changes that can be addressed going forward, he added.

The task force includes attorneys in three working groups: one for civil litigation, another for criminal law and a third that is more general but includes estate planning and issues unique to the elderly.

He said the task force already has worked to address the issue of in-person notarization requirements, submitting proposals to both the secretary of state and governor’s offices.

Bender said the working groups are meeting every other day. Attorneys who wish to raise concerns may do so through Eric Jennings, the bar’s general counsel and government relations counsel, or Farrah Fite, its media relations director.

Bender said the board of governors also has implemented a separate group to assist lawyers with the economic impact of COVID-19. The bar is providing resources on economic relief on its website.

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