07:36 AM

Executive Summary: Tools for the future

Vol. 79, No. 2 / March - April 2023

Mischa Buford Epps
Mischa Buford Epps 


We all know that the only constant is change – especially in the legal world.

Here at The Missouri Bar, we work to stay on top of local and national changes, so we can identify or develop tools and resources to help you even better serve your clients and communities.

July 1 will mark the start of expanded remote access to court documents through Case.net. In a June 28, 2022, order, the Supreme Court of Missouri issued a rule change paving the way for all Missourians to view public case documents from their personal electronic devices. With expanded access comes a heightened awareness of the responsibilities of lawyers and legal staff to protect clients’ confidential information.

Redaction requirements are not new; those filing documents in Missouri courts have been obligated to redact confidential information. The increased access to court documents only underscores the existing need for care in completing redactions in a responsible manner.

As you review best practices for redacting documents, we’ve created a Remote Public Access and Redaction Resource Center at MoBar.org/RemotePublicAccess to assist you. There, you can find the specific Supreme Court rules and orders related to the expansion, an on-demand program which outlines the rule change and ethical considerations for self-study credit, as well as options for redaction software and step-by-step videos tutorials to walk you through the redaction process. In addition, you can request a continuing legal education speaker to visit your firm or local or specialty bar to present on redaction updates. You can also tune in to a pre-recorded discussion of remote public access matters.

I would be remiss if I did not extend a heartfelt “thank you” to the clerks and court staff across our state who are helping us navigate these recent changes and the ones that have come before. Special thanks are also due to Office of State Court Administrators staff. As Chief Justice Paul C. Wilson noted during his recent State of the Judiciary address, the work clerks, court staff, and local judges do “is difficult, often taxing, and it requires them to handle a high volume of work without ever losing the compassion needed to serve their communities one case at a time.” 

Your Missouri Bar staff is committed to keeping you prepared for whatever changes come our way. This is reflected in our work keeping members up to date on legislative proposals that impact the legal practice; developing timely and relevant CLE content to keep you informed; offering practice management resources and discounts to help remove stress from your day; and so much more.

If you have questions about changes in the practice or suggestions about how we can best help you adapt to them, we want to hear about it. We look forward to hearing from you.

- Mischa