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Richard A. Gartner

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Richard Gartner has been actively practicing law for the last 38 years, garnering the highest honors alongside countless trials in and around St. Char... (more)

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Carla J. Zolman

Adoption, Alimony & Spousal Support, Dispute Resolution, Child Support
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Alisse C. Camazine

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Adoption, Children's Rights
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Susan E. Block

Dispute Resolution, Arbitration, Alimony & Spousal Support, Adoption
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Gregory M. Gantz

Administrative Law, Adoption, Alimony & Spousal Support, Animal Bite
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Joan A. Coulter

Family Law, Divorce, Child Support, Adoption
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Robert A. Ciuffa

Administrative Law, Adoption, Agriculture, Dispute Resolution
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M. Margaret O'Hare

Family Law, Immigration, DUI-DWI, Adoption
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Henry Gerhardt

Farms, Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Adoption
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Edie Hope Jansson

Alimony & Spousal Support, Child Support, Adoption, Children's Rights
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LEGAL TERMS

DEPENDENTS BENEFITS

A type of Social Security benefit available to spouses and minor or disabled children of retired or disabled workers who qualify for either retirement or disabi... (more...)
A type of Social Security benefit available to spouses and minor or disabled children of retired or disabled workers who qualify for either retirement or disability benefits under the program's rigorous qualification guidelines.

ADOPT

(1) To assume the legal relationship of parent to another person's child. See also adoption. (2) To approve or accept something -- for example, a legislative bo... (more...)
(1) To assume the legal relationship of parent to another person's child. See also adoption. (2) To approve or accept something -- for example, a legislative body may adopt a law or an amendment, a government agency may adopt a regulation or a party to a lawsuit may adopt a particular argument.

PETITION (IMMIGRATION)

A formal request for a green card or a specific nonimmigrant (temporary) visa. In many cases, the petition must be filed by someone sponsoring the immigrant, su... (more...)
A formal request for a green card or a specific nonimmigrant (temporary) visa. In many cases, the petition must be filed by someone sponsoring the immigrant, such as a family member or employer. After the petition is approved, the immigrant may submit the actual visa or green card application.

PHYSICAL INCAPACITY

The inability of a spouse to engage in sexual intercourse with the other spouse. In some states, physical incapacity is a ground for an annulment or fault divor... (more...)
The inability of a spouse to engage in sexual intercourse with the other spouse. In some states, physical incapacity is a ground for an annulment or fault divorce, assuming the incapacity was not disclosed to the other spouse before the marriage.

DESERTION

The voluntary abandonment of one spouse by the other, without the abandoned spouse's consent. Commonly, desertion occurs when a spouse leaves the marital home f... (more...)
The voluntary abandonment of one spouse by the other, without the abandoned spouse's consent. Commonly, desertion occurs when a spouse leaves the marital home for a specified length of time. Desertion is a grounds for divorce in states with fault divorce.

AGE OF MAJORITY

Adulthood in the eyes of the law. After reaching the age of majority, a person is permitted to vote, make a valid will, enter into binding contracts, enlist in ... (more...)
Adulthood in the eyes of the law. After reaching the age of majority, a person is permitted to vote, make a valid will, enter into binding contracts, enlist in the armed forces and purchase alcohol. Also, parents may stop making child support payments when a child reaches the age of majority. In most states the age of majority is 18, but this varies depending on the activity. For example, in some states people are allowed to vote when they reach the age of eighteen, but can't purchase alcohol until they're 21.

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

An order from a judge that directs a party to come to court and convince the judge why she shouldn't grant an action proposed by the other side or by the judge ... (more...)
An order from a judge that directs a party to come to court and convince the judge why she shouldn't grant an action proposed by the other side or by the judge on her own (sua sponte). For example, in a divorce, at the request of one parent a judge might issue an order directing the other parent to appear in court on a particular date and time to show cause why the first parent should not be given sole physical custody of the children. Although it would seem that the person receiving an order to show cause is at a procedural disadvantage--she, after all, is the one who is told to come up with a convincing reason why the judge shouldn't order something--both sides normally have an equal chance to convince the judge to rule in their favor.

EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION

A legal principle, followed by most states, under which assets and earnings acquired during marriage are divided equitably (fairly) at divorce. In theory, equit... (more...)
A legal principle, followed by most states, under which assets and earnings acquired during marriage are divided equitably (fairly) at divorce. In theory, equitable means equal, but in practice it often means that the higher wage earner gets two-thirds to the lower wage earner's one-third. If a spouse obtains a fault divorce, the 'guilty' spouse may receive less than his equitable share upon divorce.

IN CAMERA

Latin for 'in chambers.' A legal proceeding is 'in camera' when a hearing is held before the judge in her private chambers or when the public is excluded from t... (more...)
Latin for 'in chambers.' A legal proceeding is 'in camera' when a hearing is held before the judge in her private chambers or when the public is excluded from the courtroom. Proceedings are often held in camera to protect victims and witnesses from public exposure, especially if the victim or witness is a child. There is still, however, a record made of the proceeding, typically by a court stenographer. The judge may decide to seal this record if the material is extremely sensitive or likely to prejudice one side or the other.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

In re Adoption of CMBR

800 Christopher M. Huck of Peterson Young Putra PS, R. Omar Riojas of DLA Piper LLP in Seattle, WA, William J. Fleischaker of Fleischaker & Williams LC, Joplin, for the mother. ... Richard L. Schnake of Neale & Newman LLP, Springfield, Joseph L. Hensley of Hensley & ...

In re Adoption of NLB

This case is a tragic reminder of how difficult it is to balance the best interests of a prospective adoptive child and the rights of a natural parent who opposes termination of his or her parental rights. NLB was born on December 12, 2004, and is now four years old. This termination/ ...

Great Rivers Habitat Alliance v. City of St. Peters

... RONALD R. HOLLIGER, Judge. This appeal challenges the City's adoption of tax increment financing ("TIF") for a 1,640-acre tract of farmland in the Northeast corner of the City (the "Area"). The circuit court granted summary judgment in favor of the City of St. ...