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Supreme Court Rules
55.03 SIGNING OF PLEADINGS, MOTIONS AND OTHER PAPERS; APPEARANCE AND WITHDRAWAL OF COUNSEL; REPRESENTATIONS TO COURT; SANCTIONS

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(c) Representation to the Court. By presenting and maintaining a claim, defense, request, demand, objection, contention, or argument in a pleading, motion, or other paper filed with or submitted to the court, an attorney or party is certifying that to the best of the person’s knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances, that:
(1) The claim, defense, request, demand, objection, contention, or argument is not presented or maintained for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation;
(2) The claims, defenses, and other legal contentions therein are warranted by existing law or by a nonfrivolous argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;
(3) The allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery. An attorney providing drafting assistance may rely on the otherwise self-represented person’s representation of facts, unless the attorney knows that such representations are false; and
(4) The denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief.

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On Wednesday evening The Committee for County Progress in Jackson County hosted a public debate [a forum, really] between Teresa Hensley and Jake Zimmerman, the two Democratic candidates for Attorney General in Missouri, at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law courtroom. Mary Sanchez of the Kansas City Star was the moderator.

Teresa Hensley (D) [left] and Jake Zimmerman (D) [right] at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law, April 20, 2016.

Teresa Hensley (D) [left] and Jake Zimmerman (D) [right] at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, April 20, 2016.

The two Democratic Party candidates made opening and closing statements, answered questions from the moderator, and answered questions submitted by the audience in the forum which lasted about an hour and a half. The discussions ranged from the administrative demands of the office of Attorney General, the role of the office, the death penalty, consumer fraud, assistance for local law enforcement and county prosecutors, the assault on Planned Parenthood (including the bogus and debunked charges of selling fetal tissue), and on. At several points the issue under discussion included addressing the radical views of the two republican candidates for the office.

Teresa Hensley (D) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

Teresa Hensley (D) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

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Teresa Hensley (D): ….Both [Josh] Hawley and Senator Kurt Schaefer are actually my favorite topics lately. [laughter] And you know, Josh Hawley actually said he would give an Attorney General’s opinion, as if the Attorney General’s opinion was his personal opinion that someone wouldn’t have to follow the law, uh, and that they could follow their religious beliefs as he set out and as Kim Davis set out.

Uh, Senator Kurt Schaefer is showing his colors as well. Let’s talk about Planned Parenthood and his, uh, attack on them. When you look at a man who has a law degree, he claims he’s practiced law, and yet he knows, as an attorney and as the Attorney General, uh, under Supreme Court Rule 55[.]03 he would be prevented from issuing that subpoena to Planned Parenthood, uh, because he has no reasonable basis. Not only was the [grounds for the] investigation, uh, found to not exist, the very people who initiated that fraud have been charged with a crime. And so here we have a man, who is a senator, who claims to want to be the top law enforcement officer of the State of Missouri, knows that what he’s issuing is a subpoena is just basically with no basis, uh, there’s no theory for what he’s doing. He’s showing us what he would do as Attorney General. He would be someone that we would have to be concerned about in his politics, his politicizing, uh, he’s wholly political. This is a law office first. It’s an office of over a hundred and eighty attorneys which enforces the law. And so, to have someone like Josh Hawley or Senator Kurt Schaefer in that position ought to be frightening to all of us.

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Jake Zimmerman (D) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

Jake Zimmerman (D) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

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Jake Zimmerman: ….Let’s talk about the kind of behavior Senator Schaefer has engaged in here, because it maybe even goes a little bit worse than you might think. Uh, as part and parcel of the politicization of this issue, trying to score some points in a Republican primary, you know what he did? He threatened the budget of the University of Missouri as retribution if they did not deny privileges to a doctor practicing at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Columbia. So I want you to think about that. He wanted to hurt higher education in this state, including the very citizens that he himself represents, to score some political points and to make sure that women in mid-Missouri didn’t have access to health care. And you know what? He succeeded. The university caved to his pressure under very real fear of what the Senate appropriations chair would do to their budget….

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