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Author Archives: David Knopf

Hourly billing soldiers on

It’s not time to say goodbye to the billable hour.  The time-honored tradition of charging clients by tracking work by tenths of an hour has come under fire for years from various quarters. Lawyer and author Scott Turow denounced hourly ...

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New governors

In August, Missouri lawyers voted in districts throughout the state to elect six new members to the bar’s Board of Governors. The six officially join the board at the conclusion of the annual meeting. They are: Charles Curless Associate circuit ...

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Planners: Topics critical for drawing lawyers

A central goal of The Missouri Bar’s 100-member annual meeting committee is that “Irrelevant, your honor!” won’t be heard in St. Louis this week. An expected 800 or so attorneys will attend the meeting at the Hilton St. Louis at ...

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Stricter regulation comes to prepaid funerals

A law that provides oversight of Missouri's funeral homes and prepaid funeral arrangements imposes new licensing requirements and financial scrutiny. It's designed to avoid a financial collapse similar to one that shook the industry in 2008. The law requires extensive new regulations of interest to attorneys who work for the industry and those who advise clients on estate planning. "I don't know another instance where an entire chapter (Chapter 436, MRS, ‘Special Purpose Contracts') was ripped up and rewritten," said Don Otto (pictured, left), an attorney and executive director of the Missouri Funeral Directors Association.

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Lawyer active in promoting bee population

It makes sense that Robert Sears, a sole practitioner who specializes in contracts and disputes related to architecture and design, would get a buzz from his hobby. Sears, president of the Eastern Missouri Beekeepers Association, is fascinated by bees' social hierarchy, the intricacies of the hives they build and the purposeful role they play in the ecosystem and in producing food for people. "The satisfaction of beekeeping is being in touch with the flowering cycle and the seasonal life cycle," said Sears, who maintains bee colonies in St. Louis and at a vacation home in the Ozarks. "What beekeeping does is heighten the beekeeper's awareness of the natural environment."

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Immigration official addresses docket transfer

St. Louis immigration lawyers are pleased that court administrators are evaluating how the merger of St. Louis and Kansas City dockets will affect attorneys and their clients, but they say questions remain unanswered. Thomas G. Snow, acting director of the ...

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St. Louis immigration lawyers in the dark

St. Louis immigration attorneys are unsure how a merger of their docket with a Kansas City court later this month will affect them. Furthermore, lawyers are concerned that some or all of the city’s cases may require in-person hearings in ...

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Quadruple threat

Under the stage lights, Courtney LaBelle’s lipstick gleams bright red. Clad in sequins and fishnet stockings, she spins and slinks across the stage as Lola, the sultry sidekick to the Devil himself. As a contract lawyer for a downtown St. ...

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Holding court on the Court

After observing his whirlwind, extemporaneous 2008-09 Supreme Court Term Review Thursday, few could argue that Erwin Chemerinsky isn't "one of the brightest leading lights in the legal community today." That's the description 10th U.S. Circuit Court Judge Deanell Reece Tacha offered in introducing Chemerinsky, the speaker at a UMKC School of Law event. Pictured is Chemerinsky greeting Tacha.

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‘Business as usual’ is over, says speaker

The economy may return to health and resemble the one preceding the 2008-09 recession, but don’t be fooled, Association of Corporate Counsel’s Susan Hackett says. For big business, corporate counsels and the law firms that serve them, there will be ...

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Judge: Retirement fund is owed $320,000

In ruling that a state teacher’s retirement fund should recover more than $320,000, a circuit court judge said that a former superintendent and the school district he worked for tried to circumvent a law for retired school employees. Cole County ...

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