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U.S. District Courts in Eastern and Western Missouri Announce Joint Training on Domestic Violence Issues and Pro Bono Representation in Domestic Violence Cases

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

In September 2018, the President signed S. 717, the “Pro bono Work to Empower and Represent (POWER) Act of 2018” (P.L. 115-237) into law. The POWER Act requires the chief judge of each judicial district to hold annual empowerment events to encourage lawyers to provide pro bono services to survivors of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

For many survivors, becoming a victim of intimate partner violence may be their first introduction to the legal system. This experience can be complicated, frustrating, intimidating and often insulting. People often think of domestic violence only in terms of black eyes and visible bruises. In reality, domestic violence is a pattern of assaultive behaviors that abusers use to control their intimate partners. While domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking have similarities to other forms of violence, this type of violence has certain unique characteristics. This course will address these characteristics as well as the dynamics of power and control and the need survivors have for pro bono representation. In support of the POWER Act, a free training program will be offered at the following federal courthouses:

Eastern District of Missouri
Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
Thursday, August 22th
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Western District of Missouri
Charles Evans Whittaker Courthouse
Thursday, August 29th
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This program has been approved for 3.1 MCLE hours plus .5 of Ethics.  Registration for the program is via the links below and is limited to 80 attendees per location. The registration deadline for the Eastern District of Missouri is Friday, August 16th.  The registration deadline for the Western District of Missouri is Friday, August 9th.

This training includes:

  • The examination of the nature and dynamics of domestic violence
  • Common abuse tactics
  • Importance of pro-bono representation for survivors of violence
  • How the legal system can become an extension of abusers’ tactics
  • Resources and information to better identify and respond to the needs of survivors


  • The Honorable Kelly Broniec, Associate Circuit Judge Montgomery County, MO
  • Kelly Martinez, Legal Director, MCADSV (Missouri Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence)
  • Samantha Ghormley, Legal Resources Specialist, MCADSV

Eastern District of Missouri:
Western District of Missouri:

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