Mini Law School for the Public: Your Missouri Courts and the Missouri Non-Partisan Court Plan

The more you know about the laws that affect you, the easier it is to make good decisions about your life, your family and your finances. Each year, The Missouri Bar collaborates with law schools and legal professionals from across the state to deliver Mini Law School for the Public courses. During these sessions, attendees can hear in-depth discussions about various law-related topics. This video is an opportunity to view programming from the 2016 fall lecture series.

Missouri made history when it established The Non-Partisan Court Plan (The Missouri Plan) in 1940. Before its implementation, corruption was deeply engrained in the state’s judicial selection process. Campaigns were influenced by party bosses and their political machines, and judges were not always impartial.

In this video, recorded Sept. 28, 2016, during Mini Law School for the Public in St. Louis, Hon. Lisa VanAmburg of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and St. Louis lawyer and past Appellate Judicial Commission member Nancy Mogab discuss Missouri’s court system, including what sets The Missouri Plan apart from other judicial selection processes—and why it is used as a model for other states across the nation.

“The Missouri Plan was the first plan of its nature to work into the constitution the participation of the voters,” VanAmburg. “The idea was to make the judges accountable to the voters and primarily to the rule of law, which should determine the outcome in any courtroom. As opposed to campaign contributions. As opposed to political connections.”

Other points in the lecture include:

  • How judicial retention elections work
  • The difference between various court levels
  • The role of judges
  • and much more

Watch the lecture here:

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