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IN THE NEWS


AUGUST 3, 2011


N.J. judge suing over rising pension, health care deductions is misguided 

NJ.com

(WEB ARTICLE)
 New Jersey judges contribute an average of $59,300 to their pensions during their time on the bench, which qualifies them for a $107,540 annual lifetime pension after as few as 10 years of service. Under the new public employee pension and health benefits bill signed into law recently by Gov. Chris Christie, those contributions will increase.

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AUGUST 2, 2011

N.Y. Judges Leave Bench For Law Firm Jobs

n.p.r.

(NEW YORK, NY.) New York state judges haven't had a pay raise in 12 years — and now many of those judges are leaving the bench for lucrative law firm jobs. But some question whether the public would really benefit from paying judges more. A state commission plans to issue recommendations in August.

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AUGUST 1, 2011

National court organization announces new board members
National Center for State Courts

(WILLIAMSBURG, VA.) Eight new members have joined the Board of Directors of the National Center for State Courts, a nonprofit that aims to improve the administration of justice through leadership and service to the nation's state courts. In addition, Chief Judge Eric T, Washington of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has been named chair of the Board of Directors, and Rosalyn W. Frierson, director of South Carolina Court Administration, has been named vice-chair. Both will serve in their leadership positions for one year.
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AUGUST 1, 2011


Is It Time to Take Away My Right to Vote... For Judicial Candidates?

Huffpost Politics

(WEB ARTICLE) According to an old adage, no one is above the law. But does that include a sitting judge? Apparently so. The fate of California Superior Court Judge Harvey Silberman is now in the hands of a Southern California jury.

AUGUST 1, 2011

Elias: Whining over state's new districts is pure sour grapes

vcstar.com

(CAMARILLO, CA.) There's a two-word description for the loud whining that as folowed release of nearly finalized new political district lines by the state's rookie redistricting commission. Sour grapes. Some people and interests didn't get what they wanted and expected, and now they're vocally unhappy.
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AUGUST 1, 2011

The real costs of shortchanged courts
The National Law Journal

(WEB ARTICLE) When you call a certain family court in Alabama you get a prerecorded message at the courthouse apologizing that no one can take your call. It's not the weekend and it's not off-hours. It's two o'clock in the afternoon on a Tuesday and, as the message explains, budget reductions from the statehouse mean there is no money to staff the line.

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JULY 30, 2011


Bring justice to judges' salaries

timesunion.com

(NEW YORK, NY.) New Yorkers have every right to expect and even demand that the state's judges observe the highest ethical standards and dispense justice fairly, impartially and in a timely manner. To meet these goals, the state must attract the most qualified, motivated and public-spirited individuals possible.

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JULY 25, 2011

In the news: PSC member named to appeals court 

Missouri Lawyers Media

(ST. LOUIS, MO) Robert M. Clayton III, a member of the Public Service Commission, has been named the newest judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District. Clayton fills the vacancy left by Judge Nannette Baker, who is now a federal magistrate judge.  

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JULY 25, 2011


Under new nomination process, fewer candidates seek seat on Supreme Court 

Missouri Lawyers Media

(WEB ARTICLE) Triskaidekaphobia aside, 13 is an odd number of people to apply to the Missouri Supreme Court. There are, after all, some 25,000 lawyers in Missouri, and it’s hard to believe that only 13 thought it was worth their time to apply for a vacancy on the state’s highest court.

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JULY 18, 2011

Gov. Nixon appoints Robert Clayton III of Hannibal to Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District 

Office of Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO)  Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the appointment of Robert M. Clayton III, of Hannibal, to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. Clayton will fill a vacancy on the appellate court created by the resignation of the Honorable Nanette Baker, who stepped down to become a federal magistrate.  
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APRIL 30, 2011

 Sharia Law in the United States 

The PJ Tatler

(WEB ARTICLE) The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Richard Callahan, assured Muslims on April 29th that “the Obama Administration would likely step in on behalf of Sharia law should any state try to ban it.” This may be of interest because various laws are pending in many states to prohibit or limit the application of Sharia Law in their courts.

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APRIL 30, 2011

Lawmakers Use Your Cash to Overturn Your Vote

Orlando Sentinel

(ORLANDO, FL.) Right now, legislators are waging a wicked war — against democracy itself. Sound extreme? Well, consider the following: They're using your money to pay lawyers $300 an hour to try to overturn one of your votes. They're trying to shorten the amount of time you have to vote in the future.

APRIL 28, 2011

Judge-selection changes head to ballot

Arizona Business Gazette

(PHOENIX, AZ.) Arizona voters will get a chance next year to make the first significant change in 36 years in the way judges are selected for the state Supreme Court, Court of Appels and the trial courts in the two largest counties.

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APRIL 28, 2011

Holding a Referendum is Only Way to Reduce Judges' Salaries

Independent.ie

(ORLANDO, FL.) Two years ago, Ireland's judges found themselves in the spotlight following the introduction of a mandatory pension levy that saw everyone, from welfare claimants to Taoiseach Brian Cowen, endure pay cuts of between 5pc and 10pc. Judges were caught up in an unprecedented public backlash because they, along with President Mary McAleese, were exempt from the mandatory levy measure

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APRIL 27, 2011

 

Businesses Write to Mo. Governor on Discrimination

Forbes

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO.) Several Missouri lawyers and civil rights groups are urging Gov. Jay Nixon to veto a bill that would change the legal standard workers must meet when they file discrimination lawsuits against former employers. In letters released this week to The Associated Press, the groups ask Nixon to veto legislation which they say would give employers less incentive to prevent discrimination. Nixon has indicated he is opposed to the legislation and will take action on it Friday.

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APRIL 27, 2011

Judge Dismisses Mo. It, Gov's Health Care Lawsuit
Associated Press

(JEFFERSON CITY, MO.) A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder and several others challenging the federal health care law. In his ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel said those bringing the lawsuit did not have standing for many of their claims and that other claims were not ripe for review.

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APRIL 26, 2011

 

By Which Method Are State Court Judges Selected?
eHow

(WEB ARTICLE) Article III federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. According to the Constitution, federal judges are appointed to a lifetime term and can be removed only through impeachment. Filling state court judicial positions is a different process. States select judges in a variety of ways as prescribed by individual state constitutions. In many states, the method of selecting judges is a matter of continuing contentious debate.

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APRIL 24, 2011

Cape Girardeau County Follows Statewide Trend of Salary Increases That Far Exceed Consumer Price Index

Southeast Missourian

(SOUTHEAST MO.) Through the good times and the bad, from the economic boom of the late 1990s to the financial collapse of the Great Recession, Cape Girardeau County elected officials could count on one thing: a raise. County officeholders effectively have given themselves cost-of-living increases each of the past 14 years, pushing their average annual salaries to more than $69,000 in 2010, according to an analysis by the Southeast Missourian. Over the period, elected officials salaries' have increased 68.3 percent, nearly double that of the rate of inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index.

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APRIL 24, 2011

Judge’s Online Protest for Pay Sparks Salary Controversy

JakartaGlobe

(JAKARTA, INDONESIA) The Supreme Court has questioned a female judge for allegedly instigating a protest movement on Facebook to demand a pay rise and better facilities for judges, bringing into the spotlight the question of whether justices are paid enough

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APRIL 23, 2011

Cuts Lead to Fewer Jury Trials

Times Daily.com

(WEB ARTICLE) Crime victims waiting for justice and plaintiffs in civil lawsuits awaiting resolution of their case could find those waits even longer. Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is ordering judges throughout the state to hold fewer jury trials this year and has authorized closing court offices one day per week to help cope with judicial system budget cuts.

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APRIL 22, 2011

OUR VIEW: Say 'no' to Tebow Act
Gadsden Times

(WEB ARTICLE) Parents of home-school students met with legislators this week in Montgomery to urge passage of “The Tim Tebow Act,” which would allow their children to play on public school athletic teams. It’s an idea whose time has not come. Tebow, as most people know, gained fame as a University of Florida quarterback after he played high school football while being home-schooled. 

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APRIL 21, 2011

Ruling Broadens Judges' Right to Control Lawyers' Salary 

The Globe and Mail

(TORONTO, ON) Ontario's highest court has given trial judges a new weapon to combat a deluge of self-represented defendants and runaway trials: the right to appoint lawyers at whatever pay scale they feel is appropriate. The Ontario Court of Appeal flatly rejected arguments from the Ontario government that judges should not be permitted to dictate pay rates for lawyers appointed to defend accused people.

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MARCH 4, 2011


What's Right About Kansas

The Wall Street Journal

(NEW YORK, NY.) Wichita trial lawyers may soon feel like they're not in Kansas anymore. Late last week, the Kansas state House of Representatives passed a law that would change the way the state selects its appeals court judges, scaling back a system that has given disproportionate power to lawyers and pushed state courts to the left

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DECEMBER 1, 2010

Obama nominates Missouri Judge to District Court

PoliticMo

(ST. LOUIS, MO.) The White House announced Wednesday evening that the President would be nominating Judge John A. Ross to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.“These outstanding candidates have shown an unwavering commitment to justice throughout their careers,” said President Obama, of the seven District Court nominations he announced. 

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NOVEMBER 3, 2010

Tilley Discusses Court Plan

Missouri Lawyer's Media


Future House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, said Wednesday that he is in favor of making alterations to the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan.

OCTOBER 28, 2010

Buckley: Missouri has good method for ensuring good judges

EXAMINER.net


(INDEPENDENCE, MO.) - A friend of mine from church who regularly reads this column asked me a couple of weeks ago, about the judges up for retention on the ballot for the Nov. 2 election. He asked some really good questions that made me realize that voters are faced with the decision to retain these judges and have no clue how to vote.


OCTOBER 22


Jackson County judges are afraid voters will chuck them out with the rest of the trash

The Pitch

This election season, you're ready to show those fat cat incumbent politicians that you're the boss. So you walk into the voting booth on November 2 and get to the question about whether to retain 15 Jackson County Circuit Court judges. 


OCTOBER 13, 2010

Report on Costs and the Poor Includes Missouri

St. Louis Public Radio News

ST. LOUIS, MO. (ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO) - Poor defendants can wind up in jail in Missouri if they are unable to pay the state for court costs and other fees.  Missouri was one of 15 states highlighted in a report this month by the New York University School of Law's Brennan Center for Justice.  One of the authors, Rebeka Diller, says states are applying more pressure on defendants to pay, even those who are represented by public defenders. 

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OCTOBER 4, 2010


Good Changes Protect Missouri's Court Plan

Kansas City Star 

One constitutional amendment Missourians fortunately won’t see on the Nov. 2 ballot is a proposal to seat all of the state’s judges through partisan elections. That’s not for lack of trying. People who seek to influence Missouri’s judiciary spent millions of dollars in a losing effort to gather enough voters’ signatures to force a statewide vote. And they’re almost certain to try again.

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OCTOBER 3, 2010

Missouri Supreme Court Orders More Open Missouri Plan

Missouri Lawyers Weekly

ST. LOUIS, MO -- In the most significant shift toward transparency in its 70 year history, the Nonpartisan Court Plan will now require judicial candidates to present themselves to the public.  Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price Jr. announced three major changes to the process for selecting judges:

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OCTOBER 1, 2010


Old and improved: Missouri's excellent non-partisan court plan gets even better

St. Louis Post Dispatch 

Chief Justice William Ray Price of the Missouri Supreme Court sounded a warning to the people of the state last year.  “We have been taught to honor a fair and impartial judiciary that carefully decides cases on their own facts and in accordance with the law,” he said in a speech to before the state bar. But Missouri has become home to aggressive special interests, he said, who are “vocal and committed and know no limits to the extent that they will fight or spend money to get their way....” 

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AUGUST 16th, 2010


Report: Too Much Money Going to State Court Races

NPR

Special interests are flooding state Supreme Court races with millions of dollars to try to tip the courts in their direction. A study being released Monday documents an arms race that's escalating among business groups, trial lawyers and unions. They're all competing to raise money to put their favorite candidates on the bench.
The report from the nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice, Justice at Stake, and the National Institute on Money in State Politics, says that so much money is pouring into state judicial races from outside groups that it's beginning to undermine public confidence in the courts.

JUNE 4th, 2010


Missouri Bar will protect Judicial Integrity

ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH

Regarding "Missouri’s judicial selection process is in need of reform" (June 1): The Missouri Bar Board of Governors disagrees strongly with James Harris’ dismal and misinformed assessment of Missouri’s court system. So do most Missourians. An analysis by Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Action Fund of the petitions submitted to the Missouri secretary of state revealed that the group fell far short of the required number of signatures to earn the initiative a place on the ballot. 

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Tilley discusses Court Plansounded a warning