Jim Layton Seeks Missouri Supreme Court Review of Property Tax Assessment Decision

Nov 15, 2017

Tueth Keeney’s Jim Layton has filed an application for transfer in the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of the Cole County (Missouri) Assessor. The case, Union Electric (Ameren) v Estes (No. SC96781) is the lead appeal among those from 16 counties where Ameren sought lower assessments on natural gas distribution property. The amount ultimately at issue is significant to school districts and others who rely on property tax: the amount could be as much as $600,000 annually in Cole County alone.

The assessors prevailed at the Missouri State Tax Commission. Jim was brought into the case after Ameren prevailed in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District. Jim has extensive experience in the Missouri Supreme Court””including having argued there more than 90 times. The application he filed for the assessor points out that the ultimate question is the fair market value of the assets, but the limitation the Court of Appeals imposed on the State Tax Commission prevents the Commission from fairly answering that question.

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Tueth Keeney lawyers have briefed and argued hundreds of appeals, including appeals in all Missouri and Illinois state and federal appellate courts and in the U.S. Supreme Court. The Appellate Practice Group represents clients on a wide range of issues impacting businesses, individuals, government entities, and educational institutions. Tueth Keeney attorneys are also available to contribute their considerable experience (including more than 90 arguments before the Missouri Supreme Court) to appeals handled by others””strategizing, assisting with briefs, and preparing for oral argument.

James Layton leads the firm’s Appellate practice group and is a member of the firm’s Commercial Litigation, Labor, and Education groups. He assists clients with analysis and presentation of complex legal issues in Missouri and federal courts, both trial and appellate. In addition to handling cases himself and with other attorneys at Tueth Keeney, Jim consults with clients on appellate strategy and assists other counsel in high-stakes, complex appeals.

Jim has briefed and argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and before all Missouri appellate courts””including more than 90 cases before the Missouri Supreme Court. He has represented clients in U.S. district courts and in Missouri circuit courts from Jackson County to the City of St. Louis. He has extensive experience with government-related litigation and state taxation disputes. Jim is a fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, a past president of the Bar Association of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and a past chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. He is a frequent speaker in the areas of appellate practice and constitutional law, both state and federal.