On January 31, 2012, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will convene court at William Jewell College. Oral arguments will take place in Room 221 of the Yates-Gill College Union beginning at 9 a.m. The public is invited to attend.
A three-judge panel consisting of Western District Judges James Welsh, Cindy Martin and Gary Witt will sit on four of the five cases on the docket. On the fifth case, Judge Witt will be joined by Judge Zel Fischer from the Missouri Supreme Court and Judge Kenneth Romines from the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District. Judges Fischer and Romines will be sitting with the Western District pursuant to special order of the Missouri Supreme Court. Judges Fischer, Romines, Martin and Witt are all graduates of William Jewell.
Chief Judge Lisa White Hardwick explained that the cases are appeals from previously held trials in area circuit courts. The judges will hear attorneys argue whether the trials had errors, which should cause them to be retried, or the trial court's judgment reversed, she said. The judges will read written arguments before the court session, she added, and may interrupt the attorneys' arguments with questions. The judges will take a break between cases to answer questions about the court system in Missouri, especially the appellate courts.
Although the Court convenes regularly at its courthouse in downtown Kansas City, it also convenes frequently in other locations within the Western District. "It is important for the Court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City," Hardwick said. "This gives individuals an opportunity to observe a part of the judicial system they normally do not see. We hope those attending will gain a better understanding of the Court's function."
William Jewell College is committed to bringing together talented students and gifted faculty mentors within a vibrant community sparked by a rigorous and intentional liberal arts curriculum. A full range of personal and professional development experiences are presented by the selective national liberal arts college’s location within the Kansas City metroplex of more than two million.