Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / Top News (page 729) /

Top News

Homes getting smaller, cheaper

A weak market and lower mortgage rates are helping make homes in St. Charles County more affordable, according to an analysis recently released by the county's Department of Community Development. There also appears to be a trend to build smaller homes in the county. For years many local not-for-profit organizations and some businesspeople have lobbied local officials to take action to spur the construction of low- and moderate-income housing, which advocates of such projects call affordable housing. The marketplace may be doing what government couldn't or refused to do.

Read More »

Defenders see increase despite recession

The state's public defender office is mulling over the most effective use for money aimed at paring down its caseload. Approximately $2 million for the Public Defender Commission was tucked into a wide-ranging bill featuring some projects funded with federal stimulus money. After a series of starts and stops through the legislative process, the bill passed both the Senate and the House on Thursday evening, a little less than a day before a mandatory budget deadline. Pictured is House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood.

Read More »

Thompson Coburn defers associate starting dates

St. Louis firm Thompson Coburn is pushing off until January the starting date for 13 incoming first-year associates. The firm is paying the new hires a $10,000 stipend and urged them to volunteer with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri during the three-month delay, said Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue (pictured). "It's better to have them start when the economy is turning around," Minogue said. Thompson Coburn's first-year class also is smaller by four lawyers than it was in 2008.

Read More »

Legal document mills may face scrutiny

An effort to crack down on companies that provide and complete legal paperwork without an attorney could get a boost from Jefferson City. An amendment tacked on to a wide-ranging judiciary bill in a Missouri House committee would place the unauthorized practice of law under the state’s Merchandising Practices Act. Moving such violations to the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act could increase prosecution by the state attorney general’s office of online legal document mills, said sponsoring Rep. John Burnett (pictured), D-Kansas City.

Read More »

Legislature passes the 2010 budget

The Missouri General Assembly has completed a budget that uses federal stimulus money to forestall cuts made to the state's judiciary system. (pictured is House Budget Chairman Allen Icet, R-Wildwood) As a result, both the judiciary and the state's public defender system will see slight increases to their 2010 operating budgets. Included in that budget bill is $37.3 million for the state's public defender system. The appropriation is slightly higher than what the department got during the current fiscal year.

Read More »

Judge defends sealing Clay divorce filing

St. Louis Circuit Clerk Mariano V. Favazza and Judge Margaret M. Neill (pictured) are defending the process used this week to seal U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay's divorce filings. Clay's wife, Ivie, who was not consulted about the sealing, issued a statement saying she hadn't been told of the divorce filing and questioning whether she could get a fair divorce proceeding in St. Louis. The case raises a number of legal issues, including: Is it appropriate for a circuit clerk to delay releasing a public record before a judge seals the record? Can a judge seal the file in a divorce proceeding without notifying the other party? Can a judge seal the file without giving specific and tangible reasons for doing so?

Read More »

Pfeiffer named to Western District appeals court

Columbia attorney Mark D. Pfeiffer has been appointed to fill the first of three vacancies on the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. The appointment is Gov. Jay Nixon's first to an appellate court since taking office in January. Pfeiffer will fill one of three openings on the Western District. He officially takes the spot of Judge Ron Holliger, who left the bench in January to go work as general counsel for Attorney General Chris Koster. Pfeiffer's name was submitted to Nixon in March, along with 17th Judicial Circuit Judge Jacqueline A. Cook and Cynthia L. Reams Martin. The governor had until Tuesday to make his selection.

Read More »

Supreme Court grants new trial to plaintiffs in deadly crash

Almost six years after a fiery crash on Interstate 70 killed a state trooper and severely injured another driver, the Missouri Supreme Court said lawyers for the victims are entitled to take another crack at the maker of the car that burned. "This has been a long battle," said the plaintiffs' lawyer Edward "Chip" Robertson (pictured), of Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny in Jefferson City. In May 2003, a truck rear-ended Missouri Highway Patrol Trooper Michael Newton's Crown Victoria patrol car on Interstate 70, where he had pulled over Michael Nolte for a minor traffic violation.

Read More »

Supreme Court grammar lesson makes ID theft convictions harder

To be guilty of aggravated identity theft, you must know the false Social Security number you're using belongs to somebody else, the U.S. Supreme Court said Monday. The unanimous decision reverses decisions by two lower courts, including the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, that said the government did not have to prove Ignacio Flores-Figueroa, who is Mexican, knew the fake Social Security number he used belonged to another person. Flores-Figueroa, a resident of Iowa, gave the false information to his bosses at L&M Steel Services in East Moline, Ill.

Read More »

Fantasy football scores big in federal court

Fantasy football providers have a First Amendment right to use the names and statistics of professional football players without having to pay a licensing fee. "It's a great decision for us. We got pretty much everything we wanted," said St. Louis lawyer Rudolph A. Telscher Jr., of Harness, Dickey & Pierce. Telscher had already scored big in the fantasy baseball case, C.B.C. Distribution & Marketing Inc. v. Major League Baseball Advanced Media L.P., before signing on with CBS Interactive Inc. to battle the National Football League Players Association Inc. and National Football League Players Inc.

Read More »

A positive result?

Family law attorneys say paternity bill doesn’t go far enough A bill allowing fathers to use DNA testing to challenge child-support orders has left some family law attorneys wondering what kind of help the measure really offers. At the insistence of prosecutors, the bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Jeff Smith, D-St. Louis, scaled back or cut portions that would have given fathers wider leeway in challenging paternity. LaVerne Hale, second from right, leads fathers in prayer Tuesday at the Fathers' Support Center in North St. Louis. Hale recently testified before the state Legislature about his struggles to pay support for a child who, DNA evidence eventually showed, wasn't his.

Read More »