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East St. Louis park becomes a lawyer’s legacy

A law school would make sense. So would a courthouse. But it's a pretty safe bet that not many public parks are named after lawyers. The Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park in East St. Louis, Ill., is named for a St. Louis lawyer who devoted much of his life to extension of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park across the Mississippi River. Malcolm W. Martin, one of the founders of Martin, Peper & Martin back in 1941, died in January 2004 and never saw his dreams realized.

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Judgment for $7.3M is based on texting

A $7.3 million judgment this week ended a lawsuit that, in an unusual turn, became a path-breaking case about harassment through text messages. The lawsuit was filed in 2007 and was, until just a day before the judgment was entered on Tuesday, largely based on claims of childhood sexual abuse. After a confidential agreement between the parties, the plaintiffs dropped that count, along with allegations of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Joan, the mother of the plaintiff, shown in the background photo as a 13-year-old, said the lawsuit was the only way her family could end her son’s harassment by the defendant.

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Is a bad economy a good time to get a divorce?

A recession might just be a good time for a husband to leave his wife, a St. Louis divorce lawyer said. "In the stock market, you buy low and sell high. Why in a divorce would you divorce high and not low?" asked Scott Trout, the managing partner of Cordell & Cordell, a law firm that calls itself "a partner men can count on." Trout stressed that the law firm isn't encouraging divorce but just saying not to let the bad economy prevent a divorce that would otherwise happen. Attorney Marjorie Carter (pictured) says that there are too many variables to say “now is a good time to get a divorce.”

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State wins $1.8 million judgment that defense says it can’t pay

A St. Louis County court has awarded a $1.8 million judgment to the state of Missouri and Missouri HealthNet in a civil fraud lawsuit charging a licensed clinical social worker committed fraud. According to Case.net, the state already settled claims against Stephanie Spilton's husband, Gerard Moskowitz, and her corporation, On-Site Counseling Inc., for $55,000, so the net judgment against Spilton is $1.75 million.

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Conspiracy of blood and money?

Missouri hospital sues plasma makers

CSL Ltd. and Baxter International Inc. were sued by a Missouri hospital over allegations they conspired to fix and raise prices for blood plasma products. The companies used key words to encourage each other to increase supply only incrementally to keep pace with demand and not to increase supply to the extent the companies actually compete for market share, lawyers for Pemiscot Memorial Hospital, based in Hayti, said in a complaint filed Wednesday.

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Court affirms ban on Bibles given at school

Both sides are claiming victory in a lawsuit over distributing Bibles in a public school. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a permanent injunction prohibiting the distribution of Bibles to students at an elementary school in southeastern Missouri. For about 30 years, school officials at South Iron Elementary School have allowed representatives of Gideons International to distribute Bibles to fifth-graders.

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Lawsuit alleges discrimination, videotaping at Marshalls

A former loss prevention officer for two Kansas City-area Marshalls stores sued his former employer in federal court, alleging racial discrimination. According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Wayne Cotton, who is black, worked for Marshalls from May 2006 until his termination on March 11, 2008. Cotton said he was "subjected to discriminatory practices and a hostile environment due to his race" during his employment.

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KC lawyer wins $7.2 million verdict in Iowa copter crash

Kansas City lawyer Gary Robb added another notch to his belt of helicopter-crash lawsuits with a $7.2 million victory on Monday in Polk County, Iowa. The jury verdict was on behalf of Kathy Schlotzhauer, a Lenexa, Kan., woman whose husband was killed while filming a movie scene. "We hope that this verdict serves as a wake-up call to the movie industry that safety must always come first," Robb said in a press release. He noted that the entire budget for the film was $7 million.

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