Legal File Prep Goes Electronic in Missouri

Rule change automates the preparation of the legal file in appellate cases, potentially yielding a significant reduction in the cost of an appeal. Litigants seeking review of error at the trial court level had been required to pay for the cost of preparation of the legal file, often at a cost of several hundred, even thousands of dollars. For indigent litigants not entitled to appointed counsel or otherwise exempt, this represented an often insurmountable obstacle to appellate review. The new rules go into effect January 1, 2018. A free guide is here.

Tenants Entitled to Jury Trials in Rent Possession Cases

The Missouri Supreme Court recognized today a right to jury trials for tenants sued for failure to pay rent. This represents a powerful tool for tenants and may require landlords to rethink strategy in evictions. In evictions, scheduling a jury often takes months, affording tenants significant extra time in the leased property, often at landlord expense. Landlords should be prepared for significant additional time and expense in eviction cases; tenants should try to understand their rights.