Missouri Bar Committee Chairs - Available for Comment or Background

As the law has grown more complicated, reporting on the activities of our court system also has become more difficult.

What follows is a list of Missouri Bar committee representatives whose committees deal with specific areas of the law. These resources can provide background, insight and context into legal issues, and are available to help you. Also listed is a roster of telephone numbers for various courts around the state.

For the list of Missouri Bar Committee Representatives, click here.

The resources listed are provided solely for background information. Unless they so indicate, their statements do not necessarily reflect the position of The Missouri Bar in regard to the subject(s) being discussed. Only the Board of Governors of The Missouri Bar may formally take a position or establish bar policy related to or regarding any specific matter.

What will these contacts do?
Contact persons will answer questions about the law in the area of their listed subject. Except for the limitations listed in the next section, he or she will try to help reporters understand what is at issue, and what rules govern the transaction or proceeding that is the subject of the reporter's inquiry. If the contact is unable to answer the question, he or she will try to find another lawyer with experience in the specific area to furnish the information.

What will these contacts not do?
The role of these contacts is to furnish accurate and objective information about the legal aspects of transactions and proceedings. These contact persons will not:

  • Perform legal research
  • Conduct a factual investigation
  • Review pleadings or other documents
  • Give legal advice
  • Warrant or guarantee the accuracy of any information or explanation
  • Give an opinion as to the merits of a specific transaction or proceeding
  • Approve any story or specific statement in any story
  • Predict the likely outcome of any matter
  • Evaluate the skills or performance of any lawyer, judge or participant in any transaction or proceeding
  • Speculate about the motives, objectives or strategies of any person
  • Provide information regarding matters in which his or her clients are involved
  • Agree to establish an attorney-client relationship with the reporter or the news organization for purposes of the conversation
  • Charge a fee for the conversation

What will the contact need to be told?
The reporter is asked to give his or her name and the news organization represented, along with enough information about the story to enable the contact to answer the reporter's question(s). If the lawyer has reason to believe that the inquiry may involve a client, the reporter may also be asked to identify the persons or organizations involved in the story. In some cases, a lawyer's obligation to a client may prevent the lawyer even from giving factual background information on matters involving that client. In such instances, if the lawyer's clients are involved or if the reporter cannot disclose the identities of the persons involved, the contact will decline to answer the inquiry and will direct the reporter to a different source.

May the contact be quoted or identified?
The lawyer serving as a news contact may not be identified in a news story without his or her permission. If so identified, or if quoted or paraphrased, the lawyer should be described as the chair or member of the particular Missouri Bar committee listed.

What if no subject area listed covers the question you have?
If a question does not fall within the subject areas of the listed committees, please call the Communications Department of The Missouri Bar at (573) 635-4128. A Missouri Bar staff member will attempt to locate a knowledgeable source of information for any legitimate inquiry. Questions regarding a position The Missouri Bar may hold or a Missouri Bar policy may be referred to the bar's executive director or to the officers of the bar.

Who may make use of the listed contacts?
This service is available to: all professional newspaper, magazine, radio and television journalists and reporters; the staffs of college and high school publications and broadcasting stations; and persons engaged in the production of community-access programming for cable television stations throughout the state of Missouri.

In summary . . .
While these lists are not exhaustive, it is our hope that this directory will prove to be a significant source of assistance to members of Missouri's news media. If you are in need of information regarding a topic that is not listed in the guide, please call us. We also welcome your comments and suggestions for improving future issues of this directory.