Court News and Notes

Springfield Video Conference Hearings

The Western District of Missouri Bankruptcy Court has scheduled two upcoming Springfield Bankruptcy Court Hearing Dockets for video conference. The 2010 Hearing Dockets on July 28 and 29 will be held by video conference, and Judge Federman will be in Kansas City. Attorneys who wish to appear should go to the bankruptcy courtroom in the Springfield Courthouse at the scheduled time or, if it is more convenient, they may come to Courtroom 6B at the Charles Evans Whittaker Federal Courthouse in Kansas City.

The complete 2010 Court Docket Schedule can be found at:

8th Circuit Appellate Judge Benton Contributes to New Book on Dred Scott Case

Eighth Circuit Appellate Judge Duane Benton contributed a chapter to a newly published book called “The Dred Scott Case: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Race and Law.”  The book is the result of original research and analysis by a group of scholars who met in St. Louis on the 150th Anniversary of this infamous decision. The chapter by Judge Benton is about Scott v. Emerson, the predecessor decision by the Missouri Supreme Court.

Copies of the book are now available at the St. Louis and Kansas City 8th Circuit libraries.

Reprinted with permission from the 8th Circuit Library Newsletter, May/June 2010 Issue.

8th Circuit Library Focuses on Crime & Punishment
8th Circuit Library's display on Crime and Punishment

The digital era we now live in has transformed the way we communicate and save information. But as 8th Circuit Librarian Deborah Showalter said: “The ‘Age of Information’ is the only age about which there will be no information.” So if you’re craving information from something more tactile and permanent, stop by the library on the ninth floor of the Whittaker Courthouse for a look at crime in Missouri.

The new display focuses on the history of crime and punishment in the Western District of Missouri and contains books, photographs and artifacts. Among the unique items on display is a brick from the original construction of Leavenworth Penitentiary in 1903. The bricks used were manufactured by the military prisoners at the nearby U.S. Disciplinary Barracks (USDB). The inmates of the USDB were used for much of the construction of Leavenworth Penitentiary, and the brick on display was removed from the prison during the renovation of B cell house in the 1980s. There are also photographs of a Prohibition-era still and the Union Station massacre.

Stop by our beautiful Whittaker courthouse library to learn more about Missouri’s history and to bask in the peace and quiet. The library is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Federal Courts Advocates Section

On May 5, 2010, FCA attorneys and Kansas City area federal judges tried something new. Rather than having a luncheon where judges address issues as a panel from a dais, this program seated individual judges at tables with six to eight attorneys. Lead by Pat Stueve, the table groups were asked to discuss specific ways to reduce litigation costs, including procedures for managing e-discovery, staging discovery and potential limitations on depositions.  Each table then reported out to the full group, and those reports produced additional information sharing between judges and attorneys.

The next step is for FCA leadership to reconvene with judges to review session comments, but the judges did encourage attorneys to bring creative cost-management ideas to their attention. Attendees appreciated the increased opportunity for individual and small-group discussion with the judges, and a similar Bench Bar Dialogue lunch is set for Oct. 6 at the Whittaker Courthouse.  While FCA members enjoy a variety of social events, the section is committed to substantive interaction between bench and bar as well, and these lunch sessions offer attorneys a way to discuss legal issues with judges outside the context of a pending case. 

Judges Art Federman and Duane Benton
Judge John Maughmer

Because the FCA covers both sides of the state line, FCA members may also take advantage of programming at the Robert Dole Courthouse. The second annual fall CLE presentation and reception will be held at the District of Kansas on Sept.15, 2010, at 5 p.m. This benefit for FCA members includes an hour of free CLE followed by a social hour with colleagues and federal judges, including wine, soft drinks and appetizers.

Information on both events and registration details will go out to members in August, but mark your calendars now to attend. Federal practitioners interested in joining the Federal Courts Advocates should contact Bob Thomas at (816) 474-4322. Both KCMBA and non-KCMBA members are welcome.

2010 Federal Bar Reception - Springfield

Attention Springfield-area attorneys: The judges of the Western District will be hosting a reception for members of the bar on Thursday, Aug. 26, at the Highland Springs Country Club in Springfield, Missouri.

Invitation details will be emailed to active members of the bar in the Southern/Southwestern Division soon.

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