Missouri Supreme Court Quarterly Report, October 2019 Part 3: Time to Resolve

Nov 7, 2019

By Jim Layton

On average, the Court handed down its opinion 156 days after oral argument, returning to a figure close to the first quarter’s 160-day turnaround.

The fastest resolutions after argument were SC97599, Macke v. Patton, and SC97591, Mo. Coalition v. Clean Water Cmsn.””both argued on May 14 and decided, unanimously, July 16 with opinions written by Judges Fischer and Powell. Macke v. Patton was also the appeal resolved most quickly since filing: just 133 days after it was filed in March.

Three opinions were handed down more than 300 days after argument: SC96977, Cedar Crest v. Grate, argued Sept. 11, 2018, with Judge Wilson’s opinion handed down July 16, 2019; SC96138, State v Barnett, argued Sept. 5, 2018, with Judge Wilson’s opinion handed down Sept. 5, 2019; and SC96973, Greene v. State, argued Sept. 6, 2018, with Judge Breckenridge’s opinion handed down Sept. 3, 2019. A future quarter will include a case that has been waiting even longer: SC96862, City of Chesterfield v. State was argued on Sept. 12, 2018.

State v. Barnett was the oldest pending case decided: it was filed Dec. 30, 2016. The longest pending case that I am aware of is SC96528, Tharp v. St. Luke’s Surgicenter, which has been pending since June 27, 2017″”but it was argued for the second time on Sept. 4, 2019.

When reviewed by authoring judge, the fastest resolutions after argument were those with the majority opinion written by Judge Fischer. His two opinions were issued on average 80 days after 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.