The Missouri Supreme Court has issued two decisions in April 2022 so far.
State of Missouri vs. Shawn W. Yount was argued on Feb. 1, 2022, and the opinion was issued on April 5. In this case, the defendant appealed the decision of the circuit court that he was a dangerous offender, which increased the severity of his sentence. The Supreme Court ruled that the defendent’s case should be sent back to the circuit court for resetencing as it did not find that the defendent met the requirements to be considered a dangerous offender. It was a 6-1 decision written by Justice Robin Ransom with Justice George W. Draper III dissenting.
All Star Awards & Ad Specialties, Inc. vs. HALO Branded Solutions, Inc. was argued on Dec. 8, 2021, and the opinion was issued on April 5, 2022. In this case, an employee from All Star began working for HALO (a direct competitor) simultaneously and providing client information to HALO. All Star fired the employee and sued HALO for tortious interference with a business and conspiracy to breach the duty of loyalty. A jury awarded All Star $5.5 million in punitive damages which the circuit court then reduced to $2.6 million after a motion from HALO. The Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the circuit court ruling in a 6-1 decision. The opion was written by Justice W. Brent Powell with Justice George W. Draper III dissenting.
The Missouri Supreme Court has heard arguments in 17 cases so far in 2022. The Court does not have any cases on the docket for April.
Founded in 1820, the Missouri Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort and has seven justices. Justices are are appointed to 12-year terms by the governor from a list provided by the Missouri Appellete Judicial Comission. As of Sept. 2021, three judges were appointed by a Democratic governor and four by a Republican governor.
The jurisdiction of the Missouri Supreme Court includes appeals concerning the validity of federal statutes and treaties in addition to state statues, state revenue laws, the right of a state elected official to hold office, and the imposition of the death penalty. The Missouri Supreme Court also has the discretion to hear appeals on questions of general interest and if a lower court’s decision is in conflict with a previous appellate decision.