In my last blog post I discussed what the United States Constitution says about the Right to Bear Arms.  Justice Scalia in the District of Columbia v Heller case, traced these rights back to the “English Declaration of Rights” of 1688 which guarantee the rights of Englishmen to bear arms as protection from the tyranny of the English government.   Heller discusses the right of self-defense and other reasons for the 2nd Amendment.  This time I will discuss the laws on this subject if you reside in Missouri.  First of all, we must recognize that the rights of anyone in Missouri or any other state relatingRead More →

About four out of ten Americans live in a home with a gun owned by them or another of the occupants.  In rural America 46% of the adult say they own a gun.    Yet, a substantial portion of our American citizens question the propriety and wisdom of allowing average citizens to possess and own firearms.  I have decided to write several blog posts over the next few months about gun ownership.  In this first installment, I will analyze what the U.S. Constitutions says about the this subject.  In later installments, I will discuss specifically what the laws are in Missouri and certain cities in MissouriRead More →

Supreme Court

Conflict has occurred among the members of every society in history.  In ancient time the absolute ruler and his appointed subordinates often served to resolve conflicts that they believed needed to be dealt with.  The Constitution of the United States sets forth three separate branches of government.  Similarly the fifty States constitutions have established this same division of authority into three separate branches.   These various constitutions also provided “checks and balances” among the three branches of government to keep each branch in line. A primary role of the most representative branch, the legislature, is to enact legislation.  The role of the executive is to carryRead More →

Until about 20 years ago, in Missouri domestic court proceedings such as Dissolution of Marriage and Paternity cases, only the natural parents of a child could be awarded the custody of a child when that issue comes before a judge.  Up until the year 2000 the only exception that existed was the circumstance where both parents were determined to be “unfit” or “unwilling” to provide care for the child.  For example if both parents were abusing  or neglecting the child.  Under the historic rules up until less than 20 years ago in these type of proceedings, domestic relation courts were governed by the same rulesRead More →

Legal obligations owed to others do not last forever under our civil law.  Under civil law contracts and promises to pay money expire after a certain period of time.  Each state adopts its own “statute of limitations” relating to contracts and promises to pay money.  Once the statute of limitations passes, the creditor can no longer bring a successful lawsuit to collect the money.  If someone claims that you owe them some money, one of the first things you need to find out is whether this debt has expired or not under the applicable law. For claims brought under Missouri law, the period of theRead More →

You have worked hard all of you life and accumulated certain assets.  Even if you are not wealthy, it is natural for you to desire to have some control over what happens to you assets when you die.  What options do you have?  Do I need a will?  Do I need a trust?  Are there other options? Primarily, what instruments you need for an estate plan can vary depending on your situation.   The first consideration is your individual situation and your desires as to what happens to your assets upon death.  Other factors can include the value of you assets, whether you have young children,Read More →