Missouri Legal Overview
The highest court in Missouri is the Supreme Court of Missouri, with seven judges appointed by the Governor and then elected on a popular non-partisan vote for a 12 year term. The Chief Justice is the only "justice" and the others are referred to as judges. The Supreme Court has supervisory authority over all Missouri courts, including the Missouri Court of Appeals and the Circuit Courts. The Court of Appeals is divided into Eastern, Southern and Western districts to hear appeals coming from Circuit Courts in their region. The Circuit Courts are the main trial courts with general jurisdiction.
Top metro Missouri areas for Legal Issues:
1. Capital punishment is legal in Missouri, with the death penalty being administered via lethal gas or injection. In Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health (1990), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the Supreme Court of Missouri regarding the need for clear evidence to support removal of life support. In Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857), the court made one of its biggest mistakes by ruling that slaves and their descendants were not U.S. citizens protected by the Constitution. On the other hand, racial covenants on real estate were ruled unconstitutional in Shelley v. Kraemer (1948).
2. A judge in Missouri has refused to dismiss a lawsuit over oil rights.
3. A bank in Missouri has sued ex-employees over stolen mortgage data from customers.
Trending Missouri Legal Topics: The Missouri Bar was created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri. Membership is compulsory for all of the nearly 24,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in Missouri. The Missouri Bar has more than 28,400 members. Bar exams are administered by the Board of Law Examiners appointed by the Supreme Court. The Missouri Bar, the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Board of Law Examiners are all based in Jefferson City. Some parts of the judiciary, such as the Commission on Retirement, Removal and Discipline which oversees ethical conduct of judges, are located in St. Louis.