Missouri Bar Association

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Court fees – which came under Justice Department criticism after the unrest in Ferguson – are getting attention again.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Gov. Jay Nixon thanked the Missouri Bar for backing his veto of two bills that would have raised some court fees.

Senate Bill 67 and House Bill 799 would have added new fees to court cases to help pay for building and maintaining new and existing county jails around the state.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Gov. Jay Nixon says he's wary about signing a wholesale revision of the state’s criminal code. 

For the past few years, the state’s legal community has made overhauling the code a major priority. The legislation being considered by the Missouri General Assembly reassesses punishments for certain crimes, including eliminating jail time for some misdemeanors. 

(via Flickr/neil conway)

Missouri's criminal code would get a major makeover under a bill advanced by a House committee.

(via Flickr/alancleaver_2000)

A Missouri Senate panel is beginning work on an effort to overhaul the state's criminal code.

The legislation is the work of a Missouri Bar panel that began meeting five years ago to give the code its first makeover since the 1970s.  

The measure would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.

Steakpinball | Flickr

Supporters of Missouri’s non-partisan court plan say Tuesday’s rejection of Amendment Three sends a strong message that voters embrace the current system for selecting nominees for the State Supreme Court, Appeals courts and a few of the state's circuit courts.

Had it passed, it would have given the governor more say into selecting panel members – currently the governor is limited to selecting the non-lawyer panel members, but language approved by the Secretary of State’s office said the amendment would have allowed the governor to “appoint all lawyers” to the panels.  Missouri Bar President Pat Starke says he doesn’t think the language was misleading, as has been contended by Amendment Three’s supporters.

Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri Bar has canceled its planned debate for the state Attorney General’s race.

The debate had been planned for Friday, October 19th, in St. Louis at the Missouri Bar’s annual meeting.  Spokeswoman Farrah Fite says they canceled the debate because Republican nominee Ed Martin did not RSVP by Thursday’s deadline.  She added that incumbent Democrat Chris Koster and Libertarian nominee Dave Browning had accepted the invitation.

St. Louis County website

Updated 12:42 p.m. with more details.

The Missouri Bar Association is out with its judicial retention recommendations.

The organization surveys judges, lawyers and jurors every election year to ask whether the state’s judges should be retained by voters in November.

Of the 51 judges evaluated by the Bar, just one – St. Louis County Judge Dale Hood – did not get a retention recommendation. This is the second time Judge Hood has received a sub-par rating from the group of attorneys.