News Reporter's Handbook on Law and Courts

The Missouri Press-Bar Commission
2017 Revised Edition

(PDF of Complete Handbook - 127 pages)

This Revised Edition of the News Reporter's Handbook on Law and the Courts is published by the Missouri Press-Bar Commission . It updates the 2006 edition. 

Most of the work revising the information in this edition was completed by Mallory McDonald, now a Missouri attorney and graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. The Missouri Bar coordinated the online publishing of this handbook.

Special acknowledgement must also be made to those who conceived and wrote the original version of this book in 1981: John R. Gibson, Judge Forest Hanna, Bob Priddy, Steve Shannon, Robert Sigman, Joseph Snyder, Dale Spencer, Jerry W. Venters and E. A. Richter. Further thanks should be attributed to Daniel G. Curry, a Missouri lawyer and former journalist, who updated the handbook in 2006.

Without the efforts of these judges, lawyers and journalists, this project would not have been completed.

Finally, to those working reporters who use this handbook, we extend an invitation to comment on it and to offer suggestions for improvements, which can be made as the handbook is revised from time to time.

Send comments and suggestions to The Missouri Press-Bar Commission, c/o The Missouri Bar via email at