Law school to Host Missouri Court of Appeals Special Session Oct. 11​

The law school is hosting a Special Session of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom (Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 310). The court periodically holds special sessions at law schools as part of an educational outreach program.

The attorneys for the three cases ― regarding a property line dispute, legal representation of a defendant in a child sexual abuse case, and an alderman’s defamation claims ― will have 15 minutes each to argue their sides.

A Q&A on judicial procedure and an informal Q&A on judicial clerkships will follow, ending at about 3 p.m.

The cases center on:

The denial of a prescriptive easement in a property line dispute between neighbors related to the location of a fence and to landscaping that had been maintained for more than 20 years. The appeal centers on whether the requirements were met for a proscriptive easement, including ongoing and open use of the property, and whether damages for one of the neighbor’s destroyed trees should have been awarded.

The disqualification of a defendant’s attorney in a sexual abuse case and the defendant’s right to counsel of choice guaranteed by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 18(a) of the Missouri Constitution. The defendant was convicted by a jury and received two concurrent life sentences.

The denial of a directed verdict and motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict after a jury awarded a St. Louis City alderman $150,000 in damages in his defamation suit. The lawsuit was related to a recall petition and the alderman’s involvement in several redevelopment projects. The appeal addresses whether there was clear and convincing evidence of actual malice; whether defamation and actual damages were proven; and whether the complaints were constitutionally protected speech.

Visitors are asked to enter and exit only during breaks in the arguments. All students are encouraged to attend as much of the session as their schedules allow.

The panel will be made up of Chief Judge Gary M. Gaertner Jr.; Judge Robert M. Clayton III; Judge Patricia L. Cohen; and Judge Lawrence E. Mooney.

Case briefs can be accessed at