Firm Recognized as 50 Year Charter Member of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce

Four years before the Chamber was established, K.B. Wallace entered law practice with Frank Saunders, Jr., occupying a small office above the John Francis Restaurant in downtown Overland Park. They represented six insurance companies in Johnson County and went into competition with 141 active Johnson County attorneys.

Over the years, the firm evolved into Walllace, Saunders, Austin, Brown & Enochs, Chartered. Today, it is simply Wallace Saunders with offices in Overland Park, Kansas City, Wichita and Springfield, Mo.

Saunders was a Chamber Chairman in 1977. Managing Partner Mark McKinzie was Chamber Chairman in 1997 and he continues to lead the Chamber Foundation.

Insurance Practice Group presents continuing education seminar

Claims involving incendiary fire and fraud, as well as third-party bad faith are some of today’s hottest topics in the insurance industry. IPG partners Mike Brown and Nathan Dulle are approved to provide continuing education and have recently provided CE for claims professionals, including presentations on fire origin and cause reports, recorded statements, EUOs, policyholder claims predicated on alleged ”bad faith”, and strategies for minimizing the risk of a “bad faith” set-up. Click here to contact Mike, Nathan or another member of our IPG group—they’d welcome an opportunity to Partner with You.

Is Missouri’s “no pay, no play” law on its way out?

The Jackson County Circuit Court recently found that Missouri’s “no pay, no play” law is unconstitutional as applied to common law damages claims based on negligence. Under § 303.390, uninsured motorists waive the ability to collect for non-economic loss against an insured motorist due to a motor vehicle accident in which the insured driver is alleged to be at fault.

In striking down defendant’s affirmative defense based on § 303.390 RSMo., the trial court applied Watts v. Lester E. Cox Medical Centers, 376 S.W.3d 633, 637 (Mo. banc 2012), finding that the 1820 Missouri Constitution permitted recovery of non-economic damages without restriction. Thus, the Circuit Court concluded that § 303.390 amounts to an unconstitutional infringement on the right to trial by jury. An appeal seems likely.

For more information on this or other insurance matters click here. And if you’d like to speak with a member of our insurance practice group today, contact Kelvin Fisher.

Missouri Motions for Summary Judgment - More “Elementary” Than Ever Now

Recently, a Missouri court sent a slip and fall case to trial because defense counsel did not set out “elements facts” in their summary judgment motion. Custer v. Wal-Mart Stores East I, LP, 492 S.W.3d 212, 215 (Mo. Ct. App. S.D. 2016). The plaintiff testified she felt an onion or lettuce leaf under her foot, which caused her to slip. In response, defense counsel pointed out plaintiff testified in her deposition she had not actually seen the offending produce. Unfortunately for the defendant, the court ruled this was not enough.

Thomson Recognizes Top-Notch Twelve

Super Lawyers®, part of Thomson Reuters, rates lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Ten of our lawyers have hit the mark this year—Rod Richardson, Jim Sanders, Tim Finnerty, Mike Brown, Cara Rose, Schalie Johnson, Nathan DulleBrian Boos, Ryan Weltz, Aaron Schwartz, Kelvin Fisher, and Leo Logan.

But we think all our lawyers are pretty super and, more importantly, we know our clients are. That’s why every day; every one of our 46 lawyers strives to build a “Partnership that goes farther.” Call or click here and let Wallace Saunders show you what we can do together today.

Good Things Come in Threes

Litigation has long been a cornerstone of our law firm, and we’ve recently joined forces with three of the best litigators we know—Bill Coates, Leo Logan, and Trey Windham.

Formerly Coates & Logan, Bill and Leo bring unparalleled legal talent and depth of experience to the firm’s already solid roster of over 30 lawyers whose practice emphasizes civil litigation. But that’s not all. In Trey, we’ve gained a lawyer whose fresh perspective inspires confidence in colleagues and clients alike.

Click here to contact our Overland Park office or, better yet, call Trey, Leo, or Bill to learn how they can become “Partners with you.”

Kansas Increases Minimum PD Liability Limits, Requires Future Studies

The Governor recently approved H.B. 2446, increasing the required minimum motor vehicle insurance liability limit for property damage. Effective January 1, 2017, every policy of motor vehicle liability insurance issued or renewed in Kansas must contain stated limits of liability, exclusive of interest and costs, not less than $25,000 because of harm to or destruction of property of others in any one accident.

This new law also requires, beginning in 2026 and not less than every 10 years afterwards, a legislative interim study committee to study the issue whether the minimum per person-per accident limits of liability for bodily injury or death should be adjusted.

Whether you’re confronted with a personal auto liability matter, or a complex commercial auto or common carrier claim, John Ross and the trucking and transportation practice group are here for you.

Transportation + Employment + Product Liability Practice Groups Expand

Sparked by recent business trends, we’re pleased to announce the addition of five lawyers:

Jason Janoski—formerly with an LA-based Am Law 50 law firm—joins the Wallace Saunders employment law practice group in Wichita

Tad Kardis and Kelvin Fisher bring 30 years of combined experience to the firm’s transportation and trucking practice group in Overland Park.

And if your matter involves products liability or requires deep litigation experience, you can count on Katie O’Shea and Russ Peterson to handle your needs throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area and beyond.

Contact any one of these or our nearly 50 other lawyers today, and let us show you how Wallace Saunders can “Partner with You.”

July 1 Brings Change in Kansas Comp Rates

In Missouri, the State Average Weekly Wage used to determine maximum workers’ compensation benefits between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 is $867.88. This SAWW produces a maximum weekly benefit rate of $911.27 for temporary total/permanent total disability and $477.33 for permanent partial disability. Also, as of July 1, 2016, the mileage allowance for travel expenses is 51 cents per mile.

In Kansas, the maximum rate will be $627.00 for temporary total/permanent total disability and permanent partial disability on injuries occurring July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017.

Whether it’s Kansas or Missouri, we have one of the largest and most experienced groups of full-time workers’ comp defense attorneys in the Midwest. A member of the firm’s Workers’ Compensation group is standing by to answer your questions today.

New Rules On Overtime Eligibility

Employees formerly exempt from the FLSA’s overtime pay requirements may become non-exempt after new regulations become effective later this year. The new regulations were drafted in an effort to increase the number of employees eligible for mandatory time-and-a half overtime pay.

Merker Refocuses Practice on Mediations/Arbitrations

Rick has a very good track record as a mediator and has been chosen by Plaintiff’s and Defense counsel because of his extensive trial practice of over 45 years. He is thorough and complete in the review of materials in advance of the mediation which is very helpful in creating an atmosphere which is comfortable for the parties and counsel. It is not uncommon for Judges to suggest him or appoint him in difficult cases. The rare combination of experience in court and a helpful demeanor is what is needed and successful. His rates are very reasonable.

Texas’ New Certificate of Interested Parties (Form 1295) – How do you comply?

Does your Firm enter into contracts with governmental entities or state agencies in the state of Texas?  If so, then be prepared to determine if you must complete and file a Form 1295 the next time your Firm submits a contract for professional services to be signed by a governmental entity or state agency in the state of Texas.  If required to be filed, your contract cannot be approved until it is filed.

There Should be a Law Against Being This Good

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Look around. It’s hard to miss.  Kansas City has a truly remarkable group of talented designers.  They’re so good, in fact, that it might be a little unfair to all the other cities. 

As a part of its continued partnership with the Design Community, Wallace Saunders was privileged to again support the AIA’s Design Excellence Kansas City Awards. Congratulations to the 2015 Award Recipients.

$urefire Po₵ket Prote₵tor

Interested in protecting the dollars and cents your firm works so hard to earn? Then, read “$urefire Po₵ket Prote₵tor” presented by our Design Professionals Practice Group. We will share with you the risk management of “actual” contract provisions we often encounter. We think many of the contract provisions we will explore will leave you, as they did us, perplexed, dumbfounded and/or scratching your collective heads as to the purpose of the contract provision and/or the effect of the contract provision. Our goal with “$urefire Po₵ket Prote₵tor” is to help identify contract provisions that can reduce your firm’s bottom-line, offer ways to protect your firm’s pocketbook and, most of all, provide some thought-provoking and hopefully entertaining content. So, without further ado, here is this edition of “$urefire Po₵ket Prote₵tor”.

2015 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Super Lawyers Magazine announced yesterday that nine attorneys from Wallace Saunders have been recognized as Super Lawyers and Rising Stars in Missouri and Kansas.

Rose Honored with Lon O. Hocker Award

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Missouri Bar Foundation has announced that Cara Rose has been awarded the 2015 Lon O. Hocker Award.

Annually, this prestigious award is presented to three trial attorneys in Missouri under the age of 40. The recipients of the award are chosen based on their passion, strength, and confidence as demonstrated through their proficiency and excellence in trial advocacy.

New Associates Join Firm in Overland Park and Springfield

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wallace Saunders is pleased to announce the addition of Casey Crawford as an associate in our Overland Park office and Matthew Williams as an associate in our Springfield office.  All three new attorneys are 2015 graduates of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. 

Leighton Completes Pillars Leadership Program

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wallace Saunders Associate Leilani Leighton recently graduated from the American Institute of Architects Kansas City’s Pillars Program, which prepares the chapter’s emerging leaders for their role in shaping the future of the architectural profession and the greater Kansas City area. 

Locations

Overland Park, KS

10111 West 87th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212

P: 913.888.1000

F: 913.888.1065

Wichita, KS

200 West Douglas Suite 400
Wichita, KS 67202

P: 316.269.2100

F: 316.269.2479

Springfield, MO

844 E. Primrose Street
Springfield, MO 65807

P: 417.866.2300

F: 417.866.2444

Kansas City, MO

By Appointment Only
2300 Main Street Suite 900
Kansas City, MO 64108

P: 816.448.3154

F: 913.888.1065