Over the summer I interned with the Governmental Affairs Division (“GA”)of the Office of the Missouri Attorney General. GA is the administrative law arm of the AG’s office and handles inter alia the licensing discipline and certification cases. For the most part, I worked on Police Officer Service and Training (POST) cases which are basically police officer misconduct cases where the AG represents their client, the Department of Public Safety, in disciplining police officers for misconduct. The police officers can be disciplined for anything from conduct that involves moral turpitude, to committing a crime under the color of law. In these cases I drafted complaints, voluntary surrender documents, participated in depositions and was able to try a case in front of the Administrative Hearing Commission pursuant to Rule 13 certification. I am currently in the process of drafting a Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law for a case that I assisted with.
In addition to the POST cases, I also worked on licensing misconduct for the Missouri Real Estate Commission (MREC), the Missouri Appraisers Commission and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). For the MREC, I tried a discipline case in front of the MREC board. This hearing was not to determine if there was cause for discipline, as is the aim in front of the Administrative Hearing Commission, but to impose specific discipline on a licensee. For the most part, I drafted settlement agreements and complaints for the MREC and the Appraisers commission.
My efforts with DESE cases involved sexual misconduct between teachers and students which required victim identification, offender depositions, and communication with police investigatory units. I also drafted complaints and participated in a couple of discipline hearings in front of the DESE board.
In addition to my experience in GA, I was allowed to return to the public safety division for two cases; 1) a sexually violent predator (SVP) case and 2) a shaking baby case. I was able to attend my first SVP probable cause hearing which involved the courts determination that there was probable cause to hold the offender in jail pursuant to the Missouri SVP statutes. During this hearing the State’s expert witness essentially testifies that he/she believes that the offender has committed more than one sexually violent offense (child molestation, sodomy, rape), has a mental abnormality (like pedophilia, psychopathy, sociopathy) that makes him more likely than not to re-offend. In addition, I was also able to attend the deposition of the State’s expert witness in a shaken baby case.
Overall, this was a great experience. The MOAG went to great lengths to provide me with practical experience and opportunities to better understand the legal profession. My supervising attorneys were dedicated, and very open to allowing me to practice being an attorney as much as possible. I would recommend this placement for anyone interested in public service.