Missouri Western is pleased to announce that the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals will convene court on campus for the thirteenth year in a row.
The Missouri Court of Appeals function is to hear appeals from previously held trials in the given district area. The appealing party usually feels that there were errors in their trail that could be grounds for a retrial.
Three Missouri judges; Chief Judge Lisa White Hardwick, Buchanan County Judge Keith Marquart and Judge Gary Witt will preside of the appeal hearings. They will hear the arguments for appeal in five cases.
Hardwick is in her first year as the Western Districts Chief Judge. She has practiced law in the Kansas City area for over 15 years and has been a member of the appeals court for a total of nine years.
Hardwick feels that it is important for the Missouri Court of Appeals to convene outside of their normal Kansas City court so that more of the public is exposed to how appeals process of the legal system works.
“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 of the courts function,” Hardwick said.
David Tushaus, associate professor of legal studies, likes the benefits of the Missouri Court of Appeals coming to Missouri Western. Tushaus feels that it is especially valuable to criminal justice and legal studies majors.
“It’s important for students to get out and see how one aspect of the legal system works,” Tushaus said.
Tushaus stated that other benefits to having the court come to Missouri Western is that students don’t have to travel to attend and that it does not cost the university anything to bring the court here.
Missouri Western sophomore, Jacob Scott, legal studies major, says he plans on attending the hearings. Scott stated that being a declared legal studies major makes it mandatory for him to attend.
When asked how he felt about the Missouri Court of Appeals coming to Missouri Western, Scott said, “It’s a good opportunity for students to get out there and see how the criminal justice system works first hand. I am glad to have it come to Missouri Western.”
In between cases, students will have the opportunity to ask the three-judge panel any questions they may have, as long as it does not directly relate to a case. Students are encouraged to attend, even if it is not required of them.
The court will convene at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13 in Potter Hall Theater. The event is free and open to the public.