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Missouri Court of Appeals to hear arguments at Moberly Area Community College


ST. LOUIS -- The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, will convene court to hear cases for a special Northern Division docket at the Hannibal Area Higher Education Center, a campus of Moberly Area Community College, Chief Judge Robert M. Clayton III has announced. Students and interested citizens are invited to attend the court sessions scheduled for Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at MACC-Hannibal, located at 190 Shinn Lane, Hannibal. The first docket will be called at 10:30 a.m. and the second docket will be called at 11 a.m. The court sessions are open to the public.

"We are honored to hold this special session of our Court at Moberly Area Community College in its first year of service to the community," Judge Clayton said. "This docket continues a tradition of convening in areas outside of St. Louis, where the court regularly conducts its sessions. We hope that the MACC instructors and students find the sessions informative and 'relatively' enjoyable."

This special session of the court is also unique for other reasons. Chief Justice Mary R. Russell of the Supreme Court of Missouri also will be sitting with the court as a special judge. Chief Justice Russell was instrumental in enhancing the court's presence in outstate Missouri when she served on the court of appeals.

Judge Clayton stated, "It is an honor for my former boss Chief Justice Russell to join our court for this session." It is rare occurrence to have Hannibalians serving as chief justice of the Supreme Court and of the court of appeals at the same time. It is even more rare that the two judges worked at the same law firm in Hannibal, Clayton & Rhodes.

In addition, Chief Justice Russell and Judge Clayton will be joined by Hannibal's own Judge Clifford H. Ahrens, currently serving as the "dean" of the court of appeals, Judge Roy Richter from Montgomery City and Judge Gary Gaertner Jr. from St. Louis. The judges will sit in panels of three to hear oral arguments from attorneys in two appeals from the Pike County and Ralls County circuit courts.

Chief Justice Russell was appointed to the Supreme Court of Missouri in 2004 and previously served as a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, from 1995 to 2004. She was in the private practice of law as a partner at Clayton & Rhodes, Hannibal. She is a graduate of Truman State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. She currently serves as the Court's chief justice.

Judge Clayton was appointed to the court of appeals in 2011. He previously served as chairman of the Public Service Commission and a Missouri state representative and was also in the private practice of law in Hannibal.

Judge Ahrens was appointed to the court of appeals in 1991 and is the court's "dean." Prior to his appointment, Judge Ahrens practiced law in Hannibal with the firm, Rendlen, Rendlen, Ahrens, Browne & Rendlen.

Judge Richter was appointed to the court of appeals in 2006 and previously served as an associate circuit judge in Montgomery County from 1979 to 2006.

Judge Gaertner was appointed to the court of appeals in 2009. He previously served as a circuit judge, a federal prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office and a state prosecutor.

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, is the state's largest appellate court, with offices in the historic Old Post Office in downtown St. Louis. There are fourteen judges on the court, which handles approximately forty-eight per cent of the intermediate appellate caseload in Missouri. The Eastern District has jurisdiction over appeals from trial courts in 25 counties and the City of St. Louis stretching from the Iowa border to Cape Girardeau. The court regularly hears cases in St. Louis, Hannibal, Cape Girardeau and other locations in the Eastern District.

To review a copy of the docket, visit the "Eastern District Cases Docketed" page on the Your Missouri Courts website.


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