United States Courts
Western district of Missouri
AT THE CIRCUIT LEVEL
As with most conferences, the true benefit was the dialogue between judges and their colleagues, and between the judges and the lawyers who practice before them. This sharing continues to produce a “best practices” mentality for all those who work for and with the federal courts. Unfortunately, as law firms reduce expenses in these economic times, it becomes harder for practitioners to attend the conferences―missing out on the benefits of in-person information exchange. But the good news is that the Western District will be hosting the event in August 2012. This should give Kansas City lawyers a great chance not only to participate, but also to contribute to both educational and social event planning.
The members of the 8th Circuit Jury Instruction Committee and Civil and Criminal Subcommittees held their annual meetings on Aug. 9 and 10 at the 8th Circuit Judicial Conference in Minneapolis. At the conclusion of the meetings, Senior U.S. District Judge Bill Wilson, Eastern District of Arkansas, and the chairman of the 8th Circuit Jury Instruction Committee, gave special recognition to Senior District Judge Scott O. Wright and Magistrate Judge William A. Knox. Judge Wright was the founder of the Jury Instruction Committee and had been chairman from 1986 until 2009. Judge Knox had served as a member of the committee and was chairman of the Civil and Criminal Jury Instruction Subcommittees from 1986 until August 2010. Both Judge Wright and Judge Knox were recognized and thanked for their many years of dedicated service and hard work on the 8th Circuit Jury Instruction Committee and Subcommittees. They also each received a very nice hand-carved leather belt as a gift from Judge Wilson.
Replacing Judge Knox as chairs of the Civil and Criminal Subcommittees are Magistrate Judge Beth Deere, Eastern District of Arkansas, who was appointed by the Jury Instruction Committee as the new chair of the Civil Subcommittee, and Magistrate Judge Matt Whitworth of the WDMO, who was appointed to be chair of the Criminal Subcommittee.
The Jury Instruction Committee consists of district judges from throughout the 8th Circuit. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey also serves as a member of the committee. Magistrate Judge Whitworth will also serve as a member of the committee, since he is chair of the Criminal Subcommittee.
Other Criminal Subcommittee members from Western Missouri are James R. Wyrsch, Wyrsch Hobbs and Mirakian PC, Assistant Federal Public Defender Troy Stabenow, Jefferson City, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gene Porter and Linda Marshall.
Civil Subcommittee members from Western Missouri are Daniel Boatright and Denise Drake of Littler Mendelson PC, Dennis Egan of the Popham Law Firm PC, Ann Maloney of Holman Schiavone LLC, Marty Meyers of the Meyers Law Firm LC, Larry Schumaker, of the Schumaker Center for Employment Law, and Magistrate Judge Whitworth.
The members of the committee and subcommittees work throughout the year to draft new and modify existing model jury instructions consistent with changes in the law. The subcommittee members typically meet in either St. Louis or Kansas City on a monthly basis. Once the members of the subcommittee complete their work on recommended new jury instructions or changes in existing instructions, the proposals are then presented, debated and voted upon by the members of the committee. When the committee completes its work and approves or disapproves the proposed instructions, the changes are posted on the 8th Circuit Model Jury Instructions website and are later sent to West Publishing for publication. Both the proposals and the later approved instructions can be viewed at any time on the 8th Circuit Model Jury Instructions website hosted by the WDMO.
Members of the committee and the civil and criminal subcommittees will all be devoting significant time to a “plain language” review of the 8th Circuit’s Model Jury Instructions during 2010-11. The members of the committee and subcommittees volunteer their time to work on the model jury instructions.
Beginning Oct. 1, 2010, some changes will be made to the way you e-file your documents in the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Specifically, changes are being made to Rules 25A, 25B and 28A.
These new rules will:
To learn more, view the new rules at http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/files/rulesOct2010.pdf.