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Jury Trials in the COVID-19 Pandemic

Total Credits: 1.8 MCLE, 1.5 Kansas Credit

Practice Area:
General Practice |  Litigation / Trial Practice |  Appellate |  Bankruptcy |  Civil Practice & Procedure |  Criminal |  Family |  Government Practice |  Insurance |  Juvenile |  Labor / Employment |  Tort |  Workers' Comp
Audio and Video
Access for 1 year(s) after program date.



This program will address how the state circuit courts are handling jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists will discuss what is involved in a jury trial and how an in-person jury trial can be held in a safe way and in a manner that complies with the Supreme Court of Missouri directives. These critically important issues, along with others, will be examined and your questions answered by a panel of judges who have held in-person jury trials in ways that complied with public health concerns along with seasoned trial lawyers who have tried the first criminal and civil jury trials since the start of the pandemic in Missouri state courts. 

Moderator: Joan M. Lockwood, Gray, Ritter & Graham, PC, St. Louis

Judge Michael J. Cordonnier, 31st Judicial Circuit, Springfield
Judge William B. Collins, 17th Judicial Circuit, Harrisonville
Judge Laura J. Johnson, 38th Judicial Circuit, Ozark 
Morry S. Cole, Gray Ritter & Graham, PC, St. Louis
Kenneth C. Hensley, Hensley Law Office, Raymore
Jacob A. Lewis, Strong-Garner-Bauer Law, Springfield



Speaker Bio

Morry Cole's Profile

Morry Cole Related seminars and products

Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C.

Morry S. Cole practices primarily in the areas of wrongful death, aviation, products liability, professional negligence, and corporate litigation. He received a B.B.A. in finance from Baylor University in 1993 and a J.D. from the University of Missouri in 1997. While at the University of Missouri, he served as an editor of the Missouri Law Review, a research assistant to Professor Martha Dragich, an intern to Judge Duane Benton, Supreme Court of Missouri and a part-time law clerk to Judge Edward D. Robertson, Jr., Supreme Court of Missouri. After graduation, he served a year as a full-time research attorney and law clerk for Judge Robertson. 
Since joining Gray, Ritter and Graham, P.C., Mr. Cole has practiced before the Missouri Courts of Appeal for the Eastern, Western and Southern Districts of Missouri and the Supreme Court of Missouri, and he has tried cases in many Missouri counties and the Eastern and Western District federal courts. He is a past president of The Missouri Bar and is an adjunct law professor at Washington University.

Hon. William Collins's Profile

Hon. William Collins Related seminars and products

Presiding Judge

17th Judicial Circuit

Judge Collins is presiding judge for the 17th Judicial Circuit Court. He was first elected as associate circuit judge in 1994, and he was elected circuit judge in 2012.

Judge Collins received a B.S. and B.A. in accounting from Rockhurst College in 1979 and his J.D. from the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law in 1982. Before serving as an associate circuit judge, he was in private practice from 1982-1994. 

Judge Collins resides in Harrisonville and is a member of the Missouri Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges and the Missouri Municipal and Associate Circuit Judges Association.

Hon. Michael J. Cordonnier's Profile

Hon. Michael J. Cordonnier Related seminars and products

Presiding Judge

Judicial Center

Judge Michael Cordonnier has served as presiding judge of the 31st Judicial Circuit Court since 2018.  He was appointed to the bench in 2008.

Judge Cordonnier received his J.D. at the University of Tulsa College of Law in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1982.  He received his B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Missouri - Columbia in1979.

Judge Cordonnier was engaged in private practice as a partner in the firm of Cunningham, Harpool & Cordonnier L.C. and became a partner with Lathrop & Gage, L.C., in 2004. His private practice focused on medical and professional negligence, product liability, and health care contracting.

Judge Cordonnier has been a past and present board member of Discovery Center of the Ozarks, Friends of the Zoo, Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, Christ Episcopal Church Foundation, The Kitchen (recipient of the Excellence Award), Boy Scouts of America, and Ozark Trails Council.

Kenneth Hensley Related seminars and products

Hensley Law Office

Kenneth C. Hensley was born in Bethany, Missouri. He attended Albany High School where he graduated in 1973. A graduate of William Jewell College, he went on to attend law school at UMKC where he graduated in 1979. He attended graduate school at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.

Mr. Hensley served as assistant prosecuting attorney in Clay County from 1979-1981 and again in 1984-1985. Over the course of his career he has served as special prosecutor in Caldwell County, Livingston County and Jackson County.

He appears frequently in the counties in Northern Missouri such as Gentry, Harrison, DeKalb, Daviess, Worth, Clay, Platte and Jackson County. He has successfully tried jury trials in federal court.

Mr.Hensley has devoted his practice to all areas of criminal defense, from traffic offenses to violent crimes. He has successfully represented clients in municipal courts, Missouri state courts, federal courts, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Supreme Court of Missouri.

Mr. Hensley is a member of The Missouri Bar and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He served as adjunct professor at William Jewell College from 1981-2008. He is admitted to practice law in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri and the Federal District Court in Kansas.

Jacob Lewis's Profile

Jacob Lewis Related seminars and products

Strong, Garner, Bauer P.C.

Mr. Lewis joined Strong-Garner-Bauer, PC as an associate in 2017, after clerking at the Supreme Court of Missouri for the Honorable Zel M. Fischer.

Hereceived his law degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law in 2014, where he received the Wilbur L. Pollard Law Review Honor Award and was one of ten graduating law students selected to be inducted into the Order of the Barristers.

During law school, Mr. Lewis was the managing editor of the UMKC Law Review, a member of the National Mock Trial Team, and interned with the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri, Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and the Jackson County Public Defender's Office.

Prior to law school, Mr. Lewis received his B.S. in criminology, with minors in psychology and sociology, and a M.S. in criminology from Missouri State University.

Joan M. Lockwood's Profile

Joan M. Lockwood Related seminars and products

Gray, Ritter & Graham, PC

Joan Lockwood, Director with Gray, Ritter & Graham handles a broad range of litigation, including automobile and trucking accidents, products liability, medical negligence, and wrongful death. She was appointed to the Missouri Supreme Court Committee on Civil Jury Instructions in 2003 serving as Reporter from 2009-2019 and Chair from 2020-present.


Hon. Laura Johnson's Profile

Hon. Laura Johnson Related seminars and products

Presiding Judge

38th Judicial Circuit

Judge Johnson graduated from Missouri State University with a B.S. in finance magna cum laude, in 1985 and from Southern Methodist University School of Law, J.D. cum laude in 1988. She clerked from 1988-1990 for Judge Elmo B. Hunter, federal district judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. 

After a brief stint with Stinson, Mag & Fizzell in Kansas City, Judge Johnson practiced at Ellis, Ellis, Hammons & Johnson, PC in Springfield, Missouri from 1991-2014.  She took the bench on Jan. 1, 2015 and oversees the drug, DWI and veterans treatment courts in addition to a full civil, criminal and family law docket. 

Judge Johnson is vice-president of the Circuit Judges’ Association, chair of the Remote Proceedings Workgroup, a member of the Commission for the Retirement, Removal and Discipline of Judges, and serves on the State Judicial Records Committee, the Civic Education Committee, and the Board of Examiners for Certified Court Reporters.    

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