Blog

I’m Being Pulled Over – What Should I Do?
First of all, remain calm. Commuting can be hectic and seeing those flashing lights behind you in that hectic moment could trigger a slight panic attack. Our clients ask us all the time: What should I do...
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Second Historically Black Church Vandalized in Callaway County
Callaway County, Missouri is a quiet Mid-Missouri county that shares a border with Boone County. The county is home to rural communities like Fulton, Holts Summit, Kingdom City, and Auxvasse.  These small towns offer a sense of...
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A Second Chance for Felons
Two house bills were passed through the Missouri House of Representatives last year that would give felons a second chance at rehabilitation outside of a prison facility. The bills were introduced to the legislature in an effort...
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458 Crashes on Missouri Roadways over New Year’s Weekend
In Missouri, traffic crashes increase every year around the holiday season. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are some of the most dangerous times to travel in Missouri. Tons of families take to the roads to visit loved...
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Terrorist Threat in Fulton: The Criminal Consequences of the Things We Say
Gene McGrath was arrested in Fulton, Missouri for making terrorist threats at a bar. According to KOMU, McGrath threatened to “get his gun and shoot the place up.” Employees of the bar safely evacuated all patrons after...
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The Plan for Vaccines in Missouri 
As the Pfizer vaccine is being distributed to states across the U.S., states are having to decide how to allocate the vaccine to citizens.  Most states plan to vaccinate frontline workers first, followed by the elderly living...
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Missouri Highway Transportation Commission Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit
According to ABC 17, a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against the Missouri Highway Transportation Commission. The lawsuit is being brought by the family of Jessica Sage, who was killed in a crash off Highway 63...
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Wrapping Up 2020: What Changed in the Legal World?
Relax, 2020 is coming to an end.  But what does the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 spell for the legal world? Our firm looked at how the legal landscape changed in 2020: The Supreme...
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19 Missourians Indicted in $1.2 Million Insurance Fraud Conspiracy 
In the United States, insurance is used as a safety mechanism for unforeseen, and often expensive, circumstances such as car wrecks, medical conditions, and damages to other assets. People purchase insurance policies on their homes, cars, boats,...
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Thefts from Cars Increase by 25% in Columbia in 2020
The Columbia Police Department (CPD) released a report indicating that thefts from cars increased by 25% in Columbia over the 2020 calendar year. Theft from cars, also known as car hopping, is a criminal offense common among...
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Columbia’s Citizens Police Review Board Considers Chokehold Policy 
Columbia’s Citizen Police Review Board was established in the wake of protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. According to Columbia’s city website, the board “provides an external and independent process for review of actual or...
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Fatal Hit and Run Results in Manslaughter Charge
A Columbia man faces manslaughter charges after a fatal hit and run on Paris Road. The incident happened on October 18, 2020. According to KOMU, James M. Pittard III, 63, of Columbia, has been charged in connection...
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Fatal Car Crash in Cooper County
Nicholas A. Barbieri of Brooksville, Florida, was killed on September 25, 2020 in a car crash in Cooper County, Missouri. According to ABC 17, Barbieri was driving eastbound on I-70 when the car flipped near the 95.6...
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Bicyclist Rushed to the Hospital after Hit and Run
Two University of Missouri students were involved in a traffic incident in which a vehicle struck a bicyclist. The 19-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck the bicyclist ran from the scene, according to KOMU and MUPD...
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Missouri Law No Longer Requires Helmets on Motorcycles
Governor Mike Parson signed legislation into law that gives Missouri motorcyclists the option of riding without a helmet. Riding without a helmet, according to the provision in the law, is contingent upon being over the age of...
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Election Results: Medicaid in Missouri and the Legal Implications that Follow
Missourians went to the voting booths on Tuesday, August 4th to vote in their party’s gubernatorial primary and weigh their voices on Amendment 2, which would expand Medicaid. Missouri voters selected Governor Mike Parson as the GOP...
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Family Sues on Behalf of Worker Killed in 2018 Tower Collapse
The family of Steve Lemay, a 56-year-old tower repairman from Blaine, Washington, is suing Missouri State University for wrongful death. Lemay was killed on April 19, 2018 when a 2,000-foot tall TV tower collapsed while under repair....
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What You Need to Know If You are Arrested for MIP or a Fake ID in College
After practicing law in and around a college town like Columbia, we have seen this situation time and time again. We get it; you are not 21 years old and you did not want to be left...
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Self-Defense Laws in Missouri: What You Need to Know After the Kenosha Protests
Protests erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake was shot on Sunday, August 23 after police responded to calls of a domestic incident. A video showing Blake walking away from the police...
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Prison for Pot? Man Serving 7.5 Years on Marijuana Charges Says Kansas’ Sentencing Laws are Unjust
The United States has a long, tumultuous history with the prohibition of illegal substances. Prohibition, for people living in the United States, is understood to be the period in United States’ history in which sales on alcohol...
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Student Life in Columbia as the Pandemic Continues to Loom
It was no secret to anyone that the 2020 academic year would be a mess—we just did not know what the mess would look like. The students are back, and this year looks different than any other...
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How Will the Pandemic Affect My Case?
The effects of the pandemic have permeated every aspect of our lives. We have had to reorganize how we work, go to school, interact with each other, and everything in-between. The pandemic left a lot of our...
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Toe Amputation on a Front Porch: Medical Malpractice in Rural Missouri
The Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts revoked the physician and surgeon license of John Ure of Deepwater, Missouri. According to KOMU, Ure lost his license after amputating a patient’s gangrenous toe on the...
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Boat Accident Leaves Three People Injured at Lake of the Ozarks
Boating at the Lake of the Ozarks is nothing short of a Missouri pastime. We spend our hot summer days down at the Lake, beer in-hand (not the driver, of course), kids in-tow behind the boat on...
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What to Do If You Are Injured on Vacation: 2 Years Since the Branson, Missouri Duck Boat Tragedy
This summer marks two years since the Branson, Missouri duck boat tragedy that claimed the lives of 17 people. The boat sank on July 19, 2018, during a severe storm. The captain of the duck boat, Kenneth...
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Jefferson City Landscaper Dies at Construction Site: OSHA Levies Fines Against Company 
Jacob Schrimpf, 31, was killed while working on a construction site in Jefferson City in January of 2020. Schrimpf was a landscaper at Schrimpf Landscaping and was working the construction site for the Old St. Mary’s Hospital...
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American Disabilities Act Celebrates 30th Anniversary
The Missouri Governor’s Council on Disability held a celebration on Tuesday, July 28 for the 30th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act. The celebration took place in the Capitol Rotunda and featured Governor Parson as a speaker....
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Reasons to Review Your Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Missouri ranks 18th among states with the most uninsured motorists. In 1999, it was estimated by the Missouri Department of Insurance that 28 percent of drivers within the municipality of St. Louis were uninsured—one of the highest...
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Motorcyclist Killed After Hitting Back of a MODOT Truck on I-70
Construction and maintenance sites on the highway are very dangerous. We’re asked to reduce our speeds, watch out for workers, and stay off our phones when traveling through these areas—and for good reason! Traveling on the highway...
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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Assaults/Domestic Assaults
What is Assault in the First Degree? Unless the actor inflicts serious physical injury upon the victim, assault in the first degree is a class B felony upon which a person attempts to kill or knowingly cause...
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Governor Parson’s Special Session on Violent Crime: Reform Under SB 600
Governor Mike Parson is set to begin his special session on violent crime on Monday, July 27. The special session is to be held in the wake of the passage of Missouri’s controversial crime reform bill, SB...
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Backover Accidents: Child Dies After Being Hit by SUV in Columbia
A three-year-old boy died in Columbia on Wednesday, July 22 after being struck by an SUV in a backover accident. Backover accidents typically occur when a vehicle is pulling out of a driveway or parking space and...
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Study Finds Racial Discrimination May Harm Black People’s Cognitive Health
Chronic stress can change the way our brain functions. Stress affects everything from our sleeping and eating habits, our ability to think clearly, and the way we interact with people. A study published in the journal Alzheimer’s...
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Firm Update August 1, 2020: The Law Office of Chris Miller is Opening a New Location
As the world seemingly descends into chaos, The Law Office of Chris Miller has some exciting new announcements! Throughout the pandemic, our team has been hard at work piecing together our new office space. The team is...
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Columbia Police Officer Charged for Child’s Death – Distracted Driving and Personal Injuries
What Happened? Andria Heese, a police officer with the Columbia Police Department, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter after the death of four-year-old Gabriella Curry. Curry was struck and killed by a police vehicle at Battle High School...
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How Your Online Information May Be Being Used Against You
Considering your cybersecurity in this day and age is imperative to maintaining safety in both your personal and financial realms of life. Your digital devices contain so much vital information. Family vacation pictures, social media accounts, and...
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Columbia Man Charged with Child Porn in Federal Court
Andrew Capps, 20, was arrested by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cybersecurity Task Force for sharing sexually explicit images of children via Facebook Messenger. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children warned the Cybersecurity Task Force...
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Distracted Driving in Missouri
In 2017, distracted driving in Missouri caused more vehicular wrecks than drunk driving and speeding. Distracted driving resulted in 21,058 car wrecks, while speeding-related and drunk driving accidents were numbered at 19,535 and 5,321, respectively. Here are...
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Mask Ordinances in Columbia: What You Need to Know
On Friday, July 10th at 5:00 PM, Columbia began enforcing a city-wide mask ordinance. The ordinance requires that people wear a mask outside their households in situations in which an individual cannot keep at least six feet...
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June 15, 2020 LGBTQ Supreme Court Decision
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into legislation to counteract and provide legal standing against the rampant discrimination found within the United States in the 1960s. Most people in the United States understand the Civil...
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What happened in the Jussie Smollett case?
If you have been living under a rock for the last couple of months, and more importantly the last couple of days, you may have missed a couple of things. First, you may have missed that actor...
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Missouri “REAL ID” – What you need to know
“REAL ID” is a piece of federal legislation that was passed by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush in 2005. The Act sets forth stricter and uniform standards in documentation required to obtain a compliant...
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What’s the difference between a Felony and a Misdemeanor?
Knowing what crime you or a loved one have been charged with is important but can be difficult to understand.  Navigating your way through understanding the difference between a misdemeanor, felony, and the different classes of each...
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Can I Be Released From Probation Early?
In Missouri, if you are on probation you could be released early depending upon the charge you are currently serving a term of probation for and how well you are doing on your probation.  In 2012, Governor...
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Can My Employer Drug Test Me After An Accident?
If you are injured at work, your employer can require you to take a drug test to enforce its drug-free workplace policies.  A positive test result could result in a reduction of your workers' compensation benefits. If...
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Can I Move With My Kids?
Under Missouri law, there are very strict requirements that you must follow in order to move your children after a custody order has been entered.  At least sixty (60) days in advance of the move, you must...
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How Do I Expunge My Criminal Record?
We've previously blogged about Missouri's new expungement law which opened up the opportunity to have more than 1,900 criminal offenses expunged from the records of criminal defendants.  If you are considering expunging of your criminal record, you...
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How Much Time Will I Do For A Misdemeanor Or Felony?
If you are charged with a crime in Missouri, chances are you could be facing serious time in jail and/or fines.  The amount of time behind bars and/or fine you are facing depends on the the type...
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How Do I File A Workers’ Compensation Claim In Missouri?
If you are injured at work, chances are that you will want to file a workers' compensation Claim for Compensation.  We've previously discussed the types of benefits that are available to you in all workplace injuries.  In order...
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Am I Eligible For Probation?
The short answer is, yes, you are always eligible for probation.  The question is whether or not the court will order that you be placed on probation.  In Missouri, there are two types of probation and whichever...
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The Missouri 2018 New Years Resolution – Clean Your Criminal Record
It's a new year.  Time to change bad habits.  Time to learn something new.  Time to clean your criminal record.  For 2018 in Missouri, there's a little secret that could completely reshape your goals for the new year. ...
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The Biggest Mistake Divorcing Parents Make
We've seen various "Top 10 or Top 5" lists educating parents either contemplating or going through divorce about mistakes they can make going through the process.  There is one element that permeates through each item on any...
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What workers’ compensation benefits are available to me?
If you are injured at work, there are three basic types of benefits that are available to you.  The fact that you are receiving one type of benefit does not preclude you from receiving the other two...
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Can My Employer Fire Me For Filing A Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Missouri law provides safeguards and protections to prevent employers from firing an employee merely because they have filed a workers' compensation claim.  Under Section 287.780, RSMo, "[n]o employer or agent shall discharge or discriminate against any employee for...
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‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving…
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when all thro’ the town, All the creatures were stirring, even the clowns; The beer specials were all posted by the bar with care, In hopes that old friends would soon be...
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Firm Update 11/17/17
Fall is probably my favorite season, especially in mid-Missouri.  Since our last update we've been traveling across Missouri and enjoying the views that the season change provides from the road.  Our travels also allow us to meet...
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What is Drug Court?
Some Missouri courts have established what have become known as "Drug Courts" (or "Treatment Courts") which provide alternative sentence options for eligible defendants who have clear problems with controlled substances or alcohol addiction.  If you are charged...
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Divorce – What It Will Cost And How Long It Will Take
When it comes to getting a divorce, each client asks different questions which are unique to their situation but the most common question I get is, "what will it cost and how long will it take?"  The...
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Top 5 Reasons You Should Be More Aware of Information in Your Phone
Any criminal and family law attorney knows one true fact:  our client's cell phones contain a ton of information that is either really helpful or really bad evidence.  The iPhone, and other smartphones like it, have created...
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Firm Update 10/20/17
A lot of family and friends often ask me how the firm is going so we thought we would provide periodic updates on what we're up to.  Right now we're looking to be a little more aggressive...
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Am I an Independent Contractor?
It happens like this:  a worker is going about their daily routine on the job.  Something goes wrong and he or she is hurt.  The worker then properly notifies the boss that he or she has been hurt on...
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Minor in Possession – Serious Consequences
It was August, 2005.  I was just arriving to freshman orientation at Truman State University and the RA for my floor told everyone of a recent law change that was taking effect within days.  The Missouri legislature...
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How can I get workers’ compensation benefits?
A workplace injury is an all too common occurrence.  When you are injured at work there are very specific technical and legal requirements that you must follow to ensure that workers' compensation benefits are available to you....
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The Missouri legislature recently weakened employment protections. Here is what you need to know
During the 2017 Regular Session, the Missouri legislature passed SB 43 which will drastically undermine safeguards against discrimination in the workplace.  The bill, which was sponsored by a legislator who owns and operates businesses currently being sued for workplace discrimination,...
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Missouri’s New Form 14 – Do you need a child support modification?
Recently the Missouri Supreme Court issued changes to the way Missouri Courts determine presumed amounts of child support based on Missouri's Form 14.  These changes went into effect on July 1, 2017 and could have a potential impact...
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Will I Get Points On My Driving Record?
Read the following statement carefully:  driving in Missouri is a privilege.  It can be easy to take that privilege for granted and not pay attention to what happens to your driving record when you receive a traffic ticket....
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Fake ID – Abuse and Lose
My summers before an upcoming Fall semester were tons of fun.  I would be able to catch up with old friends, enjoy good weather, and decompress from the life of all-nighters before the big exam.  In all...
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Summer Boating Safety Tips
Missouri is home to several manmade lakes and waterways throughout the state which are popular spots for boating, fishing and other water sport activities. One of the biggest, and busiest, is the Lake of the Ozarks in...
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