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Support for equal justice for all and new court guidance for jury proceedings

Message from Missouri Bar President Tom Bender

Recent events have been both heartbreaking and uplifting. As we work together as lawyers to heal our communities as well as recover from the global pandemic, The Missouri Bar is here to help.

The Missouri Bar supports the rule of law and equal justice for all 

There is no place in our society for racism or systemic discrimination. During these critical times, The Missouri Bar will continue to promote equal justice and support the rule of law. The Missouri Bar remains committed to do our part to encourage, assist, and support lawyers in working towards the fair and impartial administration of justice. Read more about how you can help.

New guidance for courts to begin resuming jury proceedings 

The Supreme Court of Missouri issued an order and procedures June 5, noting "the safety of jurors, visitors, court personnel, parties and attorneys is paramount, and no jurisdiction can resume jury proceedings until after sufficient planning and preparation have occurred." The order provides a series of recommendations for trial courts. The new order supplements the order here and operational directives the court issued last month to begin resuming court activities through specified phases.

Work of the COVID-19 Response Task Force 

Under the leadership of Judges Lisa Van Amburg and James Welsh, our COVID-19 Response Task Force continues to work, identifying challenges lawyers and courts face in providing the public with access to justice and proposing potential responses, including a request to come up with best practices for in-person proceedings so that all members of the public can be protected. Their input to bar leadership and the Supreme Court of Missouri is important in efforts to keep the courts open while preserving everyone's health and well-being. Hundreds of volunteer hours have been donated by the members of the COVID-19 Response Task Force and its subcommittees. 

5/19/2020 - Task Force Report to the Supreme Court of Missouri on Proposed Operational Directives on Conducting Jury Proceedings

5/4/2020 - Governor's Executive Order 20 -10, extending emergency electronic notary to Jun. 15

5/4/2020 - Supreme Court of Missouri issues operational directives to help courts statewide begin resuming court activities through specified phases

4/17/2020 - Supreme Court of Missouri order re: response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, extends precautionary measures through May 15

4/6/2020 - Governor issues executive order authorizing notarization via audio-visual technology, suspends the personal appearance requirement for notarization

As always, please contact me with your suggestions or ideas when it comes to improving the law and our profession.

Stay well,



Tom Bender, 2019-20 Missouri Bar President