Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Anderson v. Durham D & M, L.L.C.[1]

Opinion handed down May 26, 2010
Link to Eighth Circuit Opinion

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a ruling of a United States Court for the Western District of Missouri, granting summary judgment for a bus company accused of maintaining a racially hostile work environment and of discriminating against an employee because of his age and race.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hayes v. Price[1]

Opinion handed down May 25, 2010.
Link to Mo. Sup. Ct. Opinion

The Supreme Court of Missouri held that the trial court erred in submitting a comparable fault instruction because the defendant in this motor vehicle accident suit did not present evidence that the plaintiff was able to take evasive measures to avoid the accident. Furthermore, the Court held that the trial court did not err in denying plaintiff’s request for prejudgment interest. The plaintiff’s offer of settlement did not comply with section 408.040.21 because it included a demand for production of documents and statements from third parties.

State v. Williams[1]

Opinion handed down May 25, 2010.
Link to Mo. Sup. Ct. Opinion

The Supreme Court of Missouri once again reinforced the standard that a defendant is entitled to a jury instruction on a lesser included offense when he may be acquitted of a more serious offense and convicted on the lesser offense. Further, the court reemphasized that affirmative evidence is not required on the defendant’s part for such an instruction and that the jury may make any inferences from the evidence, even if that means believing some parts and disbelieving other parts of the evidence presented by either side.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Public Water Supply District No. 3 of Laclede County v. City of Lebanon [1]

--> Opinion handed down May 14, 2010
Link to Eighth Circuit Opinion

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals examined 7 U.S.C. § 1926(b) which protects rural districts’ utilities financed by a federal loan from competition with surrounding municipalities by not allowing municipalities to extend service to coverage within the area covered by the district. The Eighth Circuit held that the City of Lebanon, Missouri did not violate § 1926 by continuing to provide sewer and water services to pre-existing customers within the District’s boundaries. The court limited the services protected under § 1926(b) to those that are financed by the federal loan. Additionally, the court held that even though a developer or customer may not want to receive services from a rural district, if those services are available at a reasonable cost, the rural district is entitled to the customers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Smith v. Pace[1]

Opinion handed down May 11, 2010.
Link to Mo. Sup. Ct. Opinion

Attorney Carl Smith petitioned the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, to quash a subpoena for a grand jury in Douglas County, accusing the prosecuting attorney and judge overseeing the grand jury of conspiring to conceal misconduct. Mr. Smith argued that his words were constitutionally protected speech, but a jury found him guilty of criminal contempt, and the judge sentenced him to 120 days in jail. The Supreme Court of Missouri issued a writ of habeas corpus to review the conviction. Ultimately, the court found that both the evidence and jury instructions issued in Mr. Smith’s trial were insufficient and discharged his sentence.