11:33 AM

COVID-19, medical marijuana and inheritance: Top takeaways from the May-June 2020 Journal of The Missouri Bar

by Gary Toohey, editor and communications director 

In his regular column, 2019-20 Missouri Bar President Tom Bender relates how a term he learned while playing basketball as a youth – the pivot – has helped The Missouri Bar, the judiciary and Missouri lawyers adjust to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It would be a gross understatement to say Mischa Buford Epps has had an eventful first few weeks as executive director of The Missouri Bar. Faced with the challenges posed by theglobal pandemic, she has overseen the state bar’s efforts to provide a wide array of resources designed to help members even better serve their clients, meet their professional obligations, and share with one another their concerns and their support during this difficult time. In her debut column, she provides additional information about those resources and those who continue to make this assistance available.

In our cover story, author Royce de R. Barondes reviews one of the many issues that have sprung up in the wake of Missourians’ adoption of a constitutional amendment decriminalizing medical marijuana: the requirement that a qualifying patient be a “Missouri resident.” The author reviews the applicable regulatory, statutory and constitutional issues, concluding that the residency requirement is of questionable tenability.

Both state and federal law provide notable benefits and protections for a typical widow or widower. Those protections, though undeniable in the context of the law of inheritance, often come with the caveat that a person's marital status does not guarantee a substantial devise or bequest if their deceased spouse was not inclined to affirmatively favor them. Authors Robert Selsor and Jeffrey Glogower explore the extent of default spousal rights in the absence of an express and formal reservation of benefits for a surviving spouse.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to our society – including legislative, executive and administrative actions to offer relief to Americans whose incomes have been adversely affected by the virus. In his regularly appearing column, Scott Vincent highlights some of the recent actions that may impact lawyers’ practices, particularly relating to tax matters.