Legal roundtable

David Broome, UPI

Deadly force. The right to assemble. Civil rights. Freedom of the press. The shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson more than a week ago has raised several legal issues and questions.

On Monday, the “St. Louis on the Air” Legal Roundtable discussed several of those issues.

Filing charges

If charges are going to be filed against Wilson, the next step is to present evidence to the grand jury.  

James Cridland via Flickr

Two proposed amendments to Missouri's Constitution will appear on August's ballot, and they are raising questions among law enforcement officials, lawmakers and voters. 

James Cridland via Flickr

The Francis Howell School District announced Friday that it will no longer accept student transfers from Normandy. State law requires schools to accept student transfers from unaccredited schools in the same or an adjacent county, but come July 1, Normandy will have no accreditation status.

James Cridland via Flickr

Wednesday marked the fourth day of the Lyft hearing in downtown St. Louis. The Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC) sees the ride-sharing app as a taxi service, and wants Lyft to comply with existing regulations. But Lyft says it is a “friend with a car,” not a taxi. Who has the stronger legal argument?

James Cridland via Flickr

If you get a call saying you owe a fine for missing jury duty, take care. Scammers posing as officials with the city’s warrants department are targeting St. Louisans with that line.

James Cridland via Flickr

Much is made these days of creating a personal brand. But what happens when a family name has multiple associations? Saint Louis Brewery, maker of Schlafly beer, would like to trademark the Schlafly name. Political activist Phyllis Schlafly objects, saying the Schlafly name stands for conservative values. Who has the stronger legal case?

James Cridland via Flickr

Missouri’s constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman is being challenged by a suit filed last week in Kansas City. Eight same-sex couples living in Missouri are seeking the state’s recognition of their out-of-state marriages.

James Cridland via Flickr

The law continues to play a central role in the controversy over Missouri’s execution methods. On Friday, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state is not required to reveal the name of the pharmacy supplying it with execution drugs.

James Cridland via Flickr

Do corporations have the same religious rights as individuals? If so, what size of corporation can be considered and what sort of sincerity threshold should they meet? And what about the potential conflict with an individual's right to health care?

James Cridland via Flickr

The state of Missouri carried out its first execution in nearly three years last week, after a delay caused by the need to develop new execution protocols.

James Cridland via Flickr

If all goes according to plan, a surveillance drone could be policing the skies of St. Louis by this time next year. According to SLMPD Chief Sam Dotson, the drone would be used in public spaces, and would enable the police to avoid dangerous high-speed chases. But what are the legal parameters? And what is considered public?

Rich Herberts / St. Louis Public Radio

Every month, St. Louis on the Air holds a legal roundtable in which we discuss local, regional and national issues pertaining to the law.  This month, we took the show on the road to Saint Louis University's new downtown School of Law building.

Host Don Marsh and the panel of legal experts took questions from a live audience in the 12th floor court room. And with the new U.S. Supreme Court session scheduled to begin October 7th, there was a lot to talk about.

The panelists were:

James Cridland via Flickr

During next week's veto session, Missouri legislators will likely attempt to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto of the gun bill (H.B. 463), called the Second Amendment Preservation Act. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has announced that he agrees with Nixon's override, stating that the bill violates the Supremacy Clause of the constitution. If put into law, the bill would conflict with federal gun laws.

(via Flickr/mike matney)

Florida's Stand Your Ground law has been the subject of much debate in the wake of the Trayvon Martin case. Missouri has a similar law on the books called the Castle Doctrine, which gives an individual greater protection under the law when located on his or her property.

James Cridland via Flickr

The top legal issue in the day’s news was the U.S.

James Cridland via Flickr

Legal issues are never far from the headlines and in many cases, they are the headlines.

The Missouri Legislature recently ended its session and passed some bills worth considering from a legal perspective.  One bill bars the implementation of Agenda 21, a non-binding United Nations plan which promotes sustainable development.  Another would bar Sharia law in Missouri.

Host Don Marsh talked with a panel of legal experts to explain those issues and more. 

The panelists included:

(Mike Matney)

Legal questions surround the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing who was captured on Friday.

What is the role of the public safety exception as it relates to Miranda rights? Were civil rights violated as a result of the lockdown?  Should Tsarnaev be tried as an enemy combatant as some Republican legislators have suggested?

The questions surrounding the surviving suspect of the Boston Marathon bombing were discussed by a panel of legal experts, as part of our monthly legal roundtable discussion.

The panelists included:

(via Flickr/mike matney)

The U.S. Supreme Court, last week, heard arguments on two gay rights cases which may produce landmark rulings. 

The Missouri legislature is considering banning the use of drones by journalists while the University of Missouri Journalism School is teaching students how to use them.

And, Missouri’s contraception exception law is no more – at least for now.

Those and other topics were discussed as part of our monthly legal roundtable.

Our guests:

(via Flickr/mike matney)

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a legal battle between St. Louis-based Monsanto and a 75-year-old farmer from Indiana named Vernon Hugh Bowman.

While some Supreme Court justices have already tipped their hat signifying Monsanto will likely win the case, the issue revolves around whether Bowman violated Monsanto’s patent rights when he planted soybean seeds from a grain elevator.

(Courtesy: St. Louis City Circuit Attorney's Office)

In the early 1980s, University City resident George Allen was charged with and convicted of raping and murdering court reporter Mary Bell.

Last year, after serving 30 years in prison, Allen was released from prison as new evidence came to light which could have helped Allen’s defense and which a judge ruled made his trial unfair.

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