Missouri Court of Appeals to Convene at William Woods University

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will convene in the Bernard Weitzman Model Courtroom on the William Woods University campus Tuesday, March 20.
A three-judge panel, consisting of Joseph Ellis, Harold Lowenstein and Patricia Breckenridge, will hear oral arguments in a mixture of civil and criminal cases, starting at 1:30 p.m. The four cases involve:
· whether a parent has the right to relocate minor children in a joint custody situation
· a possible violation of rights by the Missouri Gaming Commission
· the alleged stealing of a chemical used to manufacture methamphetamine
· the seizure of alleged illegal gaming machines
The model courtroom, which is located in the lower level of the Burton Business and Economics Building, opened almost a year ago, The court of appeals made its first visit to the model courtroom in November.
The Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals regularly convenes in Kansas City. Its jurisdiction includes appeals from trial courts in 45 counties of northwest and central Missouri.
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Members of the university’s pre-law fraternity, Phi Alpha Delta, as well as students in the paralegal and juvenile justice programs, will be given priority for the courtroom’s 45 seats. The three judges will remain after the court session to discuss the court system and explain proceedings to the students.
According to Chief Justice Paul Spinden, “It is important for the court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City. 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.”
Cynthia Kramer, director of the department of legal studies and associate professor of political science at William Woods, feels “It is important for students to see how law and the legal processes actually work. It is a very unique opportunity to witness an appellant court – one that most wouldn’t get to experience otherwise.”
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NOTE: Although no cameras will be allowed in the courtroom while cases are being heard, media are welcome to photograph before and after the proceedings.