Court of Appeals, Western District, to convene at WWU
|3/28/2013||Mary Ann Beahon|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||(573) 592-1127|
William Woods University students will have the opportunity to observe the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, when the court convenes at WWU April 3.
Among the cases to be heard is one regarding whether a videotape deposition from the victim and letter of apology from the accused should have been allowed during a trial in which the defendant was charged with statutory sodomy in the first degree.
A three-judge panel, consisting of Gary Witt, Thomas Newton and Mark Pfeiffer, will hear oral arguments in five cases beginning at 1 p.m. in the Weitzman Model Courtroom in the Burton Business Building.
Chief Judge James Welsh explained that the cases are appeals from previously held trials in area circuit courts. The three judges will recess sometime in between arguments to step down and discuss the court system and generally explain proceedings, Welsh said.
“The judges will hear attorneys argue whether the trials had errors, which should cause them to be retried, or the trial court's judgment reversed,” he said. “The judges will read written arguments before the court session and may interrupt the attorneys’ arguments with questions.”
Cases to be heard include
- A liability settlement involving nursing home employees
- A solid waste contract
- An involuntary manslaughter charge
- Denial of a reciprocal veterinary license
This will be the court’s 21st visit to the William Woods campus. The court convenes regularly in Kansas City. Its jurisdiction is appeals from trial courts in 45 counties, which include all of northwest Missouri and most of central Missouri.
Witt will preside over the proceedings. He was appointed to the court of appeals in 2010. Before his appointment, he practiced law in Platte City, served in the Missouri House of Representatives and was an associate circuit judge for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
Newton was appointed to the court of appeals in 1999. Previously, he served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Jackson County, an assistant United States attorney and as a circuit judge in the 16th Judicial Circuit.
Pfeiffer was appointed to the Western District in 2009. Before his appointment, he practiced law in Springfield and, later, Columbia.
During the past 21 years, the court has held sessions in Chillicothe, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Gallatin, Huntsville, Independence, Jefferson City, Keytesville, Kirksville, Lexington, Liberty, Linneus, Macon, Marshall, Maryville, Milan, Nevada, Platte City, Richmond, St. Joseph, Savannah, Trenton, Tuscumbia and Warrensburg.
"It is important for the court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City," Witt said. "This gives individuals an opportunity to observe a part of the judicial system they normally do not see. We hope those attending will gain a better understanding of the court's function.
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will convene April 3 in William Woods University’s Weitzman Model Courtroom. The courtroom is used by WWU legal studies students for mock trials and other educational endeavors.