For the fourth time in five years, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, will convene at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.
The office of Chief Judge James Welsh issued a release Friday saying that a three-judge panel consisting of Western District judges Joseph M. Ellis and Gary Witt and Missouri Supreme Court Judge Zel Fischer will hear oral arguments in three cases in the J.W. Jones Student Union beginning at 1 p.m. Monday, March 11.
All of the cases are appeals from trials held in area circuit courts. Judges will hear attorney arguments over whether the cases should be retried or their judgments reversed.
Appeals judges will read written arguments beforehand and may interrupt attorneys' arguments with questions. The judges will take breaks between cases and remain after the session to discuss the court system and explain proceedings.
The Western District convenes regularly in Kansas City. Its jurisdiction is appeals from trial courts in 45 counties, which include all of northwest Missouri and most of central Missouri.
Ellis, senior judge in the Western District, will preside over the proceedings at Northwest. Appointed to the bench in 1993, he practiced law in Macon for 21 years.
Witt is the newest member of the Western District, having been appointed in 2010. A former associate circuit judge in Platte County, he practiced law in Platte County and served in the Missouri House of Representatives.
Fischer is a native of Rockport and was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court in 2008. He is a former associate circuit judge for Atchison County and has practiced law in Atchison, Holt, Nodaway and Platte counties.
"It is important for the court to convene oral arguments outside of Kansas City," Ellis said. "This gives individuals an opportunity to observe a part of the judicial system they normally do not see. We hope those attending will gain a better understanding of the Court's function."