This past year Rick Merker celebrated his 45th year at Wallace Saunders. He took time to reflect on his 45 years at the firm ~ a career that began as a law clerk the second semester of his first year of law school. Rick’s introduction to the legal field occurred much earlier, however. At age 18, while in undergraduate school, Rick took his first job in the legal field as a runner for a downtown law firm for $1.10 an hour to help his family financially after his father had passed away. The same sense of dedication, integrity, and passion has remained the hallmark of Rick’s practice at Wallace Saunders.
The Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, recently issued an opinion in Rider v. Young Men's Christian Association of Greater Kansas City, Case No. WD76680 (Mo. App. W.D. Jan. 13, 2015), which addresses the burden of proof for a defendant to assert a comparative fault defense in slip-and-fall cases. The Missouri Court of Appeals also refused to apply the Kansas cap on non-economic damages even though the incident giving rise to the litigation occurred in Kansas.
Wallace Saunders is pleased to announce that Aaron E. Schwartz has been promoted to Partner.
After completing a two year clerkship with the Missouri Court of Appeals, Aaron began practicing law with Wallace Saunders as an associate attorney in 2009. His clients can expect more than mere skill in the mechanics of litigation from Aaron. His clients are accustomed to a level of written scholarship, empathy, and advocacy specifically directed to their needs.
On December 9, 2014, the Missouri Supreme Court rendered its decision in Scottsdale Insurance Company v. Addison Insurance Company, finding an excess insurer may pursue a claim against a primary insurer for bad faith refusal to settle under multiple theories of liability.
Wallace Saunders is pleased to announce the addition of Emily Shook as Of Counsel in our Springfield, Missouri office.
Emily is a 2007 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law. She joins the firm with practice experience in the areas of insurance defense and governmental liability litigation. Emily has substantial federal civil litigation experience, and has won summary judgment and dismissal in several significant federal cases. She has also worked on multiple complex litigation matters that involved constitutional issues, numerous parties and allegations of damages in the tens of millions. She is a member of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group, with a concentration on insurance defense litigation.
On February 3, 2015, the Missouri Supreme Court handed down an important decision that helps limit the risks faced by automobile insurers issuing multiple policies to their insureds. In the Missouri Supreme Court’s decision, Adam Dutton v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., Case No. SC94075 (Mo. banc February 3, 2015), the Court emphasized the distinction between owner’s policies and operator’s policies under Missouri’s Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law.
Wallace Saunders attorneys Kevin Weakley, Brian Boos, Robyn Butler, and Aaron Schwartz recently volunteered as judges at the UMKC City of Fountains Regional Undergraduate Mock Trial Competition. The American Mock Trial Association (AMTA) sponsors the event. Undergraduate students from across the country compete at regional centers for one of eight spots in the national-level competition. Approximately 26 teams from the Midwest region gathered in Kansas City to present a case to a panel of judges over a two-day period.
Ingram's, Kansas City's Business Magazine, has published the annual list of Top Area Law Firms, and Wallace Saunders is proud to be number 10 on the list.
We are proud of our 40 local attorneys and our over 50 years of service to the Kansas City community.
The Kansas legislature added subsection (h) to K.S.A 60-256 effective July 1, 2014. This provision, which lacks a federal analogue, sets a fee, currently $195, in order to file a motion for summary judgment. Previously, there was no fee for filing a summary judgment motion in Kansas.
Last March, we reported on the Wallace Saunders Design Professionals Practice Group’s work with the Kansas University School of Architecture, Design & Planning’s Dirt Works Studio on the construction of the rammed earth dining pavilion addition to the Armitage Center at the KU Field Station located just north of Lawrence.
Overland Park, KS (October 22, 2014) – Wallace Saunders is pleased to announce the addition of Robyn Butler as an associate in our Overland Park office.
Robyn is a 1993 graduate of the University of Kansas School of Law. Her past legal experience includes taking multiple cases to jury verdicts, and she has argued before both the Kansas and Missouri Courts of Appeals.
Overland Park, KS (October 8, 2014) – Super Lawyers magazine announced today that 11 attorneys from Wallace Saunders have been recognized as Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers for 2014.
Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters organization, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process is multi-phased and includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. More information is available at www.superlawyers.com.
Overland Park, KS (July 9, 2014) - Check your employee handbooks. A common problem we see when reviewing employee policy books are generalized statements forbidding employees from discussing their compensation and other employee benefits with one another.
Overland Park, KS (June 11, 2014) - The Wallace Saunders Insurance Practice Group will help lead a June 18 seminar for Kansas City area attorneys and claims professionals. One of the topics which will be covered at the seminar is the special choice-of-law considerations which accompany “bad faith” claims.
Overland Park, KS (May 28, 2014) - The Kansas Legislature, with the passage of Senate Bill 187, heralded the State’s transition from the Fourth Edition to the Sixth Edition of The AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, which brings significant changes to the process of determining permanent impairment of function in Kansas Workers Compensation cases. Wallace Saunders attorney Ryan Weltz is scheduled to give a presentation on this topic at the Annual Kansas Workers Compensation Seminar in October.
Overland Park, KS (April 16, 2014) - Architects must take care to manage client expectations to avoid contract disputes and litigation. A clear statement of the scope of work in the contract and mindful adherence to the scope of work are important risk management principles for design professionals.
Wichita, Kansas (April 2, 2014) – A business community will thrive when its leaders find ways to open new doors. Wallace Saunders wants to congratulate Envision for its inclusion as a 2014 Finalist in the Wichita Business Journal’s Best in Business program. This recognition validates Envision’s outcome-driven strategic plan. We wish Envision luck at the upcoming Best in Business Luncheon on April 17, 2014.