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Tag Archives: Tom Burke

Commentary: Missouri’s court system isn’t for sale

Plan opponents may spend $5M on a campaign to buy it

"The Missouri Bar stands in support of the courts and the Nonpartisan Court Plan and against those who would try to change the constitution of Missouri for their private benefit and who would disregard the welfare of the people of this state," writes Tom Burke, president of the Missouri Bar. Pictured is Missouri Speaker Pro Tem Bryan Pratt, left, greeting James Harris, head of Better Courts for Missouri, who wants to change the court plan to one modeled after the federal government system.

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Annual bar meeting probes ups, downs of poor economy

The struggling economy's impact on Missouri lawyers remains one of the main focuses of The Missouri Bar's annual meeting, beginning Sept. 23 in St. Louis. Conference sessions will coach lawyers on booming opportunities in bankruptcy and foreclosure, and how to advise business clients experiencing layoffs. "It's on everybody's mind ... and it cuts across all segments of the bar, large firms, small firms and all practice areas," said Tom Burke, bar president. Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. (pictured) will address The Missouri Bar on Thursday, Sept. 24.

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ABA’s Wells: Courts face threats on many fronts

The president of the American Bar Association says that courts across the nation are facing potential threats to their independence. H. Thomas Wells Jr. (pictured with recently exonerated prisoner Josh Kezer, center, and Bryan Cave attorney Charlie Weiss, right, whose pro bono representation freed Kezer) said the threats ranged from ballot initiatives to partisan elections to rating systems from special interest groups. Wells was at Saint Louis University School of Law on Monday as a panelist for a roundtable discussion on the independent judiciary.

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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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