Court News and Notes


Larsen Becomes Chief Magistrate Judge in 2010

On January 1, 2010, United States Magistrate Judge Robert Larsen will become the Chief United States Magistrate Judge for the Western District of Missouri as Judge Jim England’s term in that role expires.  Judge Larsen first took the bench in 1991 and was previously an Assistant United States Attorney.  Among other things, the duties of the Chief Magistrate Judge include scheduling criminal cases that are set on the criminal trial docket.  Judge Larsen looks forward to the challenge of the Chief Magistrate Judge position.  If you have any questions for the “new Chief,” you may contact Carol Marullo in Judge Larsen’s chambers at 816-512-5760 or





“MOJO” Supports Juror Education State-wide

The Missouri Jury Organization recently celebrated its first anniversary.  Through several events in 2009, the Missouri Jury Organization or “MOJO” fulfilled its mission to support juror education and enhanced juror management practices.

One such event occurred in April when MOJO helped to promote Jury Appreciation Week throughout the state of Missouri.  The Missouri Bar provided posters and brochures to all court jury offices – federal and state – and the fledgling organization worked to coordinate distribution of materials and ideas about how to honor jury service.In addition, the Missouri Jury Organization received a proclamation from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon recognizing Jury Appreciation Week.                                                            

The Missouri Jury Organization is open to all interested in the jury process (state or federal) as well as: court personnel, attorneys and paralegals.  If you are interested in joining please contact, Kelsee Pierce, Jury Administrator, 816-512-5012 or 816-512-5012.

Law Clerk Society Update  

The Western District of Missouri Federal Law Clerk Society met on Wednesday, November 18, 2009.  Judges Beam, Melloy, and Gruender of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit spoke to the group and answered questions.  This meeting was well attended by current and former law clerks from the Eighth Circuit and the District Court. 

Members should watch for an e-mail in January announcing meeting dates and plans for 2010.  If you are a former law clerk and you are not currently receiving e-mails from the Federal Law Clerk Society, please contact Christine Blegen at (816) 512-5710 or .

Historical Society Update

The fall meeting of the Historical Society for Western District of Missouri was held at the new National Archives facility, 400 West Pershing Road, on September 18.  Lori Cox-Paul, Education Specialist for the Archives, gave a presentation which introduced the members to the incredible resources available at the Archives, including the original files of famous court cases.  The members toured the exhibit galleries, currently featuring the history of the Kansas Nebraska Act of 1854 and archival photos and documents connected with big events in local history.  Original court files were on display in the research room, including: U.S. v. Pendergast (tax fraud conviction), U.S v. Hall and Heady (Greenlease kidnapping) and Weeks v. U.S. (origin of the federal exclusionary rule).

The Society plans to announce its winter meeting details in the near future, and new members are always welcome. For details, contact Elaine Koch at



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