As coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be an extremely dynamic event, Wallace Saunders is actively monitoring the situation to minimize the impact on its employees, clients, and our local communities. Currently, we have not experienced any significant disruption of our essential operations, but rest assured that we are taking appropriate steps to ensure that our resources and technology are in place to support our critical processes so we may continue providing excellent service to our clients.
Currently, the United States is experiencing more and more individuals testing positive for the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. One question an employer might have is whether or not they may be liable under workers’ compensation if one of their employees contracts the virus. Our firm has reviewed Missouri and Kansas law to determine possible defenses that could be raised should a claim be brought regarding COVID-19.
Wallace Saunders is excited for the addition of these skilled and respectable attorneys and the firm looks forward to the years ahead.
Together with Thomson Reuters—a global analyst of legal talent—we congratulate eight of our lawyers selected for inclusion in 2019 Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyers: James Sanders, Brian Boos, Tim Finnerty, Schalie Johnson, Bryan Kelly, Rod Richardson, Mark Ware, and Ryan Weltz. We especially recognize Mr. Sanders, Mr. Finnerty, and Mr. Richardson, each of whom has received this honor for 10 or more consecutive years.
Wallace Saunders attorneys Mike Brown and Bryan Kelly recently attended the AIA Design Excellence Awards Ceremony in Kansas City, Missouri. Wallace Saunders is an AIA Cornerstone Partner, and our attorneys represent architects, engineers, and other design professionals from the corporate formation process, through contracts and project planning, and in any litigation which may arise in the construction and design fields. We were delighted to celebrate the best the Kansas City area design community had to offer in 2019, in categories spanning interior design, engineering, and architecture projects in commercial, public, and residential spaces.
Partner Ryan Weltz seized victory for his client, a California-based workers’ compensation case manager, when the Kansas Supreme Court recently reversed the below court’s decision ordering it to pay a claimant’s $730,000 hospital bill. They key issue—as reported by Law360, which has been following the case—was if the courts could rewrite a 2011 state regulation dealing with the amount payable under the Kansas Fee Schedule. The state’s high court found that judges could not nullify legislatively approved regulations even if following them produces an arguably unintended consequence. The ruling protects the client from making any additional payment in the case.
Wallace Saunders attorneys Karl Kuckelman and Charles “Trey” Windham successfully bring home a defense verdict for a general contractor in an alleged bad house construction case. Plaintiffs, the home owners, filed suit in the District Court of Osage County, Kansas. On the eve of trial, the Court dismissed all sub-contractors in response to dispositive motions, leaving only the general contractor to face trial. After 5 days in trial, plaintiffs requested over $586,000 from the jury. After deliberating 4.5 hours, the jury awarded less than 20% of the amount plaintiffs sought.
Bryan is the second attorney from Wallace Saunders to be accepted into this prestigious leadership program. Bryan is an important member of Wallace Saunders’ Design Professional and Construction Groups.
Congratulations to our Law Partner, Kevin Johnson, on being named Chair of the Workers' Compensation Law Committee for the Missouri Bar!
On July 10, 2019, Governor Parson signed Missouri Senate Bill 7 into law. Missouri joinder rules previously allowed non-resident plaintiffs to bring claims by joining a single resident in the lawsuit. However, the new Rules will significantly limit that opportunity.
On July 10, 2019, Governor Parson signed Missouri Senate Bill 224 into law. Effective August 28, 2019, this Bill will change the Missouri Supreme Court Rules, specifically in relation to discovery. These new Rules have been adjusted to more closely resemble the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The following is a brief summary highlighting the most important additions.
Effective July 29, 2019, e-filers in Kansas must select a checkbox next to a “Certificate of Compliance”. The document will not be filed unless this checkbox is selected. Selecting this box means you are in compliance with rules governing the e-filing system used by that court.
A press release has been published announcing the selection of Brian Boos as one of America's Top 100 High Stakes Litigators. The top 100 qualifying high stakes litigation attorneys from each state are considered, meaning less than one-half percent of active attorneys will receive this honor. Congratulations, Brian!
Tim Finnerty was published in the KADC 2019 Kansas Defense Journal Volume 2. His article, “Hilburn: An Analysis of the Case and a Prediction for Further Erosion of the Caps,” explores the outcome of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision to strike down longstanding caps on non-economic damages. Finnerty offers background as to why this issue is important and what this change could imply for the future.
Robyn Butler and Kelvin Fisher had the opportunity to attend DRI’s Diversity for Success Seminar June 19-21, 2019 in New Orleans, LA.
Wallace Saunders joins the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and participates in the Sixth Annual LCLD Summit
The Sixth Annual Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Summit was held June 24-25 at the Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass. Kevin Weakley, Managing Partner, attended this event, which included industry leading speakers and group breakout sessions with other legal professionals.
Eric Van Beber to present at Harmonie Group's 2019 Construction, NextGen, and Transportation Seminar
Eric Van Beber will speak at the Harmonie Group’s 2019 Construction, NextGen & Transportation Seminar in Oak Brook, IL on Thursday, July 18. He will present on the topic of “Waiver of Subrogation in Construction Contracts” at 10:10 a.m. For more information, please visit https://www.harmonie.org/seminar-2019.
Rick Merker, our colleague and friend, has retired from the firm after 50 years of superlative service to clients and the legal community. But retirement won’t last long—Merker Mediation begins July 1, 2019.