Lueker v. Missouri Western State University, No. WD 67501.

CourtMissouri Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtVictor C. Howard
Citation241 S.W.3d 865
PartiesErin LUEKER, Appellant, v. MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY, et al., Respondents.
Decision Date02 January 2008
Docket NumberNo. WD 67501.
241 S.W.3d 865
Erin LUEKER, Appellant,
v.
MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY, et al., Respondents.
No. WD 67501.
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District.
January 2, 2008.

[241 S.W.3d 866]

Jeffrey K. Suess, Heather J. Hays, Co-Counsel, St. Louis, for Respondents.

D. Todd Mathews, St. Louis, for Appellant.

Before HOWARD, C.J., and BRECKENRIDGE and ELLIS, JJ.1

VICTOR C. HOWARD, Chief Judge.


Erin Lueker appeals the summary judgments of the trial court in favor of Board of Regents of Missouri Western State University and Sports Leisure Entertainment RPG d/b/a Tom Smith Basketball Camp. She also appeals the judgment of the trial court dismissing with prejudice her action against Tom Smith. Because of her failure to comply with the briefing requirements of Rule 84.04, the appeal is dismissed.

Ms. Lueker's first amended petition sought compensatory damages from the defendants under several theories: negligent supervision, negligence, respondeat superior, res ipsa loquitur, and premises liability. She alleged that she sustained permanent personal injuries while attending a basketball camp on the campus of Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph in June 2000. Under her various theories for recovery, Ms. Lueker claimed that the defendants were negligent in the conduct of the camp. The trial court entered summary judgments in favor of the Board of Regents and Sports Leisure and

241 S.W.3d 867

dismissed with prejudice the claim against Tom Smith. This appeal by Ms. Lueker followed.

Ms. Lueker, through counsel, attempted to file her first brief on appeal on April 10, 2007. The brief was struck because it lacked a jurisdictional statement in violation of Rule 84.04(b); it lacked a statement of facts in violation of Rule 84.04(c); the points relied on did not comply with the specific requirements of Rule 84.04(d) and did not include a list of cases or other authority upon which Ms. Lueker relied in violation of Rule 84.04(d)(5); and the argument did not include a concise statement of the applicable standard of review for each claim of error in violation of Rule 84.04(e). Ms. Lueker filed her amended brief on April 27, 2007, This brief also fails to substantially comply with Rule 84.04.

The adversarial process clearly defines and distinguishes the roles of advocates and judges. Kimble v. Muth, 221 S.W.3d 419, 421 (Mo.App. W.D.2006). Judges must not be advocates but instead must be free to impartially evaluate the arguments of the parties. Id. Compliance with the briefing requirements of Rule 84.04 is mandatory to ensure that appellate courts do not become advocates by speculating on facts and arguments that have not been asserted. Brown v. Ameristar Casino Kansas City, Inc., 211 S.W.3d 145, 147 (Mo.App. W.D.2007). Compliance with the rule also provides the reviewing court with a more complete understanding of the relevant issues and allows the opposing party to develop counter arguments. Kimble, 221 S.W.3d at 421 (citing Thummel v. King, 570 S.W.2d 679, 686 (Mo. banc 1978)). Enforcement of the briefing requirements reduces instances where the court is required to create precedent based upon incomplete and unsupported arguments. Id. at 422.

An appellate court prefers to dispose of a case on the merits rather than to dismiss an...

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44 practice notes
  • Branch v. Cassady (In re Re), WD77788
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • January 13, 2015
    ...(Mo. banc 2001); are defectively unaccompanied by corresponding precedent in support of such assertions, Lueker v. Mo. W. State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 868 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008); and ignore Missouri Supreme Court precedent on the issue of waiver of jury sentencing rights, State ex rel. Taylor......
  • O'Gorman & Sandroni, P.C. v. Dodson, No. ED 102312
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 22, 2015
    ...a brief must identify the applicable standard of review relevant to the corresponding subpoint); Lueker v. Mo. Western State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 868 (Mo.App.W.D. 2008) (dismissing point for deficient argument that fails to cite to any authority and explain how the principles of law and t......
  • Curtis v. James, No. ED 101485
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 2015
    ...However, we prefer to dispose of a case on its merits rather than to dismiss for deficiencies in the brief. Lueker v. Mo. W. State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 867 (Mo.App.W.D.2008). Although Appellant's brief contains some deficiencies, it is not so deficient that it precludes our review.4 There......
  • B.N.A. v. Ready, WD 83447
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 15, 2020
    ...comply with Rule 84.04 preserves nothing for review and is a proper ground for dismissing an appeal." Lueker v. Mo. W. State Univ. , 241 S.W.3d 865, 867 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008). "Occasionally, we review non-compliant briefs from pro se appellants ex gratia" provided the abandoned claim is read......
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44 cases
  • Branch v. Cassady (In re Re), WD77788
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • January 13, 2015
    ...(Mo. banc 2001); are defectively unaccompanied by corresponding precedent in support of such assertions, Lueker v. Mo. W. State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 868 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008); and ignore Missouri Supreme Court precedent on the issue of waiver of jury sentencing rights, State ex rel. Taylor......
  • O'Gorman & Sandroni, P.C. v. Dodson, No. ED 102312
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • December 22, 2015
    ...a brief must identify the applicable standard of review relevant to the corresponding subpoint); Lueker v. Mo. Western State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 868 (Mo.App.W.D. 2008) (dismissing point for deficient argument that fails to cite to any authority and explain how the principles of law and t......
  • Curtis v. James, No. ED 101485
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • March 31, 2015
    ...However, we prefer to dispose of a case on its merits rather than to dismiss for deficiencies in the brief. Lueker v. Mo. W. State Univ., 241 S.W.3d 865, 867 (Mo.App.W.D.2008). Although Appellant's brief contains some deficiencies, it is not so deficient that it precludes our review.4 There......
  • B.N.A. v. Ready, WD 83447
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • September 15, 2020
    ...comply with Rule 84.04 preserves nothing for review and is a proper ground for dismissing an appeal." Lueker v. Mo. W. State Univ. , 241 S.W.3d 865, 867 (Mo. App. W.D. 2008). "Occasionally, we review non-compliant briefs from pro se appellants ex gratia" provided the abandoned claim is read......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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