Mulling over the Missouri Plan -- A Review of State Judicial Selection and Retention Systems
Missouri Law Review Symposium 2009 -- February 27, 2009

Schedule

Friday, February 27

8:15 – 8:30

Introduction and Welcome — Dean Dessem

8:30 – 10:00

Panel I: Special Interest Influence: Balancing Independence and Accountability

  Panel I will discuss the ways special interest is manifested in the selection and election of state judges, whether through political parties, contributors, or other constituencies. Of particular importance to the discussion of this panel is how state judicial selection systems are structured to avoid undue influence while providing both judicial independence and a measure of accountability.

Location:
Courtroom in Hulston Hall (ground floor)
Presenters
  • Roy A. Schotland, Georgetown Law
  • Michael R. Dimino, Widener Law
  • Rafael Gely, University of Missouri Law
  • Michael Solimine, University of Cincinnati Law
Commentators
  • Anthony Champagne, University of Texas at Dallas
  • Lee Epstein, Northwestern University
Faculty Moderator
  • Professor Christina Wells
Student Facilitator
  • Jeffrey McCarther

10:30 – 11:30

2009 Earl F. Nelson Lecture

  Location:
Bush Auditorium in Cornell Hall (ground floor)
Presenter
  • Sandra Day O'Connor, Retired Justice, Supreme Court of the United States

Please note that the lecture is a ticketed event. Due to high interest in this event from law school students and faculty, there are no tickets available for seating in Bush Auditorium where Justice O'Connor will be delivering her speech. However, live video from the lecture will be shown in the overflow seating area located in Room 115 of Cornell Hall. Please Register if you plan to attend the live video presentation of Justice O'Connor's lecture from the overflow seating area.

1:45 – 3:15

Panel II: Retention Elections in a "Merit Selection" System: Balancing the Will of the Public with the Need for Judicial Independence and Accountability

  Panel II will discuss the measures taken and proposed to structure meaningful retention elections in "merit selection" systems under the influence of increasing advertising campaigns. Of importance to this panel are the meaningfulness of judicial performance evaluations and the effects of these elections on judicial independence, accountability, and free speech.

Location:
Courtroom in Hulston Hall
Presenters
  • Penny White, University of Tennessee Law
  • Rachel Paine Caufield, Drake University
  • G. Alan Tarr, Rutgers University - Camden
Commentators
  • Judge W. Duane Benton, United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
  • Mr. Charlie J. Harris, Past-President of the Missouri Bar
Faculty Moderator
  • Professor Martha Dragich
Student Facilitator
  • Jeffrey McCarther

3:30 – 5:00

Panel III: The Fallacies and Fixables of "Merit Selection" and the Constituencies that Support Missouri Plan Reform

  Panel III will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the Missouri Plan, including special interest influence on nominating committees, reform efforts and alternatives, and the constituencies involved in the "Missouri Plan" debate.

Location:
Courtroom in Hulston Hall (ground floor)
Presenters
  • Stephen J. Ware, University of Kansas Law
  • Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith, Missouri Supreme Court
  • Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Vanderbilt Law
Commentators
  • Michael E. DeBow, Cumberland Law
  • Mary L. Volcansek, Texas Christian University
Faculty Moderator
  • Professor Thom Lambert
Student Facilitator
  • Stephanie Bell