February 16, 2006

Media Advisory – Judicial Independence Seminar

by Tom Woolf

St. Louis-area and Metro East reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover a program focusing on judicial independence set for Friday, Feb. 17, in downtown St. Louis.

A panel of experts will discuss the threat to judicial independence posed by the political polarization of the process in choosing judges at the federal and state levels. The luncheon event, sponsored by Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, is set for 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Lawyer’s Club, run by the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, which is on the 30th floor of the Laclede Gas Building.

William Freivogel, who is a visiting professor with the institute, will present opening remarks. Formerly deputy editorial page editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Freivogel holds a law degree from Washington University. He also spent 12 years in the Post-Dispatch’s Washington bureau, focusing on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Former U.S. Sen. Thomas F. Eagleton, a partner at Thompson Coburn, will introduce Freivogel.

Freivogel also will moderate a panel that will include: Michael A. Wolff, Missouri Supreme Court chief justice; Doreen Dodson, a partner at the Stolar Partnership and chair of the American Bar Association’s Committee on Judicial Independence; Ann Covington, former Missouri Supreme Court judge, a partner at Bryan Cave and co-chair of the Missouri Bar committee studying how to respond to attacks on the state’s nonpartisan court plan; and Laninya Cason, St. Clair County associate circuit judge.

For more information, contact Matt Baughman, assistant director at the institute, at 618/201-0082.