"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

State Committees Come Out of Hibernation to Give Trial Lawyers Money to Fight Election Initiative

April 8th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

According to the 48-hour reports filed by the Missourians for Fair and Impartial Courts Action Fund, a group that opposes a petition that would replace the Missouri Plan with judicial elections, they have raised at least $197,500 for their efforts.

This includes $17,500 from Greene Countians for Fair and Impartial Judges, a long-dormant committee that was formed to push the adoption of the so-called “nonpartisan court plan” in Greene County. After a successful effort last year, they have been filing limited activity reports for months. Their last report from before the “limited activity” period indicated only a little over $1,700 in the bank – only enough to cover 10% of their contribution to the anti-reform group. How did they do it? The answer: a massive influx of funds from trial attorneys that was almost all (only $300 of the $17,800 contributed was left over) given to the anti-elections group.

Another big donor to the anti-petition effort was Citizens for Missouri’s Courts, a committee formed in 1993 that has long been a clearinghouse for trial attorney funds and has been sitting on a stockpile of over $100,000 since 2007. They stepped up to the plate and contributed $50,000 to the anti-petition group.

Other notable contributors include two 501(c)4 nonprofit organizations, Missourians for Fair & Impartial Courts ($45,000) and the Justice Institute of Missouri ($30,000). Four law firms, Strong Garner Bauer, Bryan Cave LLP, Davis Bethune & Jones, and Bartimus Frickleton Robertson & Gorny, each contributed $10,000 or more, and the heavy hitters were rounded out by a $7,500 contribution from DST Systems, an information technology company.

Related:

The 5 Myths of the Missouri Plan

EXCLUSIVE: Why Is Judge Patricia Cohen Seeking to Delay Announcement of Court Vacancy?

 CCP Blogger Sends Fundraising Appeal to Sitting Judges’ Official Email Accounts

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