Missouri Court Of Appeals, Western District, to sit at WWU

William Woods University’s Weitzman Model Courtroom provides a perfect setting for students to participate in mock trials, as well as observe the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, when it convenes on campus.
William Woods University’s Weitzman Model Courtroom provides a perfect setting for students to participate in mock trials, as well as observe the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, when it convenes on campus.

The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District will convene court at William Woods University Wednesday, April 1, Chief Judge Alok Ahuja has announced.

A three-judge panel, consisting of Mark Pfeiffer, Gary Witt and Anthony Rex Gabbert, will hear oral arguments in four cases beginning at 1 p.m. in the Weitzman Model Courtroom on the lower level of Burton Business Building.

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.  The judges will read written arguments before the court session and may interrupt the attorneys’ arguments with questions.

The four cases to be heard are:

  • Strack Excavating, LLC, Appellant vs. (Cole County) Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Land Reclamation Commission, Respondent; Saxony Lutheran High School, Respondent
  • Eldon Bugg, Appellant, vs. (Moniteau County) James L. Rutter, et al., Respondent
  • Joan Jungmeyer, et al., Appellants, vs. (Miller County) The City of Eldon, Missouri, Respondent
  • State of Missouri, Respondent vs. (Saline County) Luis Zetina-Torres, Appellant

The three judges will recess sometime between arguments to step down and discuss the court system and generally explain proceedings.

This will be the court’s 23rd visit to the William Woods campus. The court convenes regularly in Kansas City.  Its

Students observe court in session.
Students observe court in session.

jurisdiction is appeals from trial courts in 45 counties, which include all of northwest Missouri and most of central Missouri.

Pfeiffer will preside over the proceedings in Fulton. He was appointed to the Western District in 2009.  Before his appointment, he practiced law in Springfield and later, Columbia.  He lives in Columbia.

Witt was appointed to the court of appeals in 2010.  Immediately prior to his appointment, he served as an associate circuit judge in Platte County. Previously he had practiced law in Platte County and served in the Missouri House of Representatives.

Gabbert is the newest judge on the Western District, having been appointed in 2013.  Before his appointment, he served as a municipal judge, an associate circuit judge and circuit judge in Clay County.

During the past 23 years, the court has held sessions in Chillicothe, Clinton, Columbia, Fulton, Gallatin, Huntsville, Independence, Jefferson City, Keytesville, Kirksville, Lexington, Liberty, Linneus, Macon, Marshall, Maryville, Milan, Nevada, Platte City, Richmond, Rockport, St. Joseph, Savannah, Trenton, Tuscumbia and Warrensburg.

“It is important for the court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City,” Pfeiffer  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.