Practice Groups

Construction and Design

The world of construction is comprehensive, collaborative and highly detailed. The same can be said of our approach to construction law. Legal regulations, city and state codes, federal guidelines, environmental issues – there’s a litany of laws and parameters that seems never-ending.

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Corporate

The Wallace Saunders Corporate Practice group focuses on three primary areas: entity formation, operations guidance and assisting in the sale of your business.

Accurate entity formation can have a major impact on your liability exposure as well as substantial tax consequences. It’s important to have appropriate control features in the establishing documents for your entity to ensure your ability to run your company in the manner you see fit.     

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Design Professionals

Architects, engineers, construction managers, licensed site professionals and their firms have long relied on the Design Professionals Group at Wallace Saunders for comprehensive legal services. Our experienced team can handle any legal need that may arise, including regulatory and professional liability claims, advice concerning professional liability insurance, and representation in fee and contractual disputes with clients. Our highly experienced trial lawyers have represented clients in jury and nonjury cases, in both state and federal courts across the country.    

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Professional Liability

Most professionals regularly handle situations where they cannot guarantee specific results for their clients or patients. This makes them vulnerable to professional liability lawsuits. Choosing the right attorney to defend such lawsuits is critical. Additionally, the best defense against professional liability claims begins before a claim ever gets filed.

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Real Estate

Companies, municipalities, real estate developers and individuals have all called on Wallace Saunders for assistance with various types of commercial, residential, multifamily and land development projects.    

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Personal

Rod and his wife, Pam, live on a southern Johnson County, Kansas mini-ranch. Over the years they have raised Clydesdale draft horses and many other breeds. One of Rod’s favorite hobbies is talking to fellow ham radio operators around the world.

Erudite Involved Zealous

Education

  • University of Missouri – Kansas City, Juris Doctor
  • St. Edmund Hall College, Oxford, England, B.S., British Legal Systems Studies
  • University of Missouri – Kansas City, B.A., Political Science
    • Phi Kappa Phi National Scholastic Honor Society

Professional Practice

  • 1974-present: Wallace Saunders
  • 1979-present: Partner
    • Senior member: Construction and Design, Real Estate and Corporate Practice Groups

Professional Licensure

  •  Licensed to practice in and member of the bars of:
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals
    • U.S. District Court District of Kansas
    • U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
    • State of Kansas Trial and Appellate Courts
    • State of Missouri Trial and Appellate Courts

Professional Accomplishments

  • President: Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 2013
  • Management/Accountability Committees at Wallace Saunders
  • Practice Group Chair: Business and Construction Practice Groups at Wallace Saunders
  • KCMBA President’s Award for Service to the Kansas City Bar
  • Designations as: Super Lawyer, Top Attorney, Best of the Bar (current)
  • AV Preeminent Rating, Martindale-Hubbell®
  • Bar Foundation Boards: Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and Johnson Country Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar: Special Committee for Veterans Affairs
  • American Arbitration Association Arbitrator (Construction)
  • Contributing Author: Kansas Construction Law Handbook
  • Contributing Author: Kansas Americans with Disabilities Act Handbook

Civic Activities

  • Leadership Overland Park Graduate
  • Kansas City Area Economic Development Council
  • Overland Park Economic Development Council
  • Overland Park Chamber of Commerce
  • Shawnee Mission Medical Center Long-Range Planning Committee
  • Chair Johnson County Fire District #2
  • Chair Johnson County Planning Board
  • 1st Johnson County 20-year Strategic Vision Committee
  • 2nd Johnson County 20-year Strategic Vision Committee
  • Johnson County Charter Commission
  • Johnson County Charter Review Committee
  • Public Works Infrastructure Task Force
  • Bi-State Tax Task Force
  • Mid-America Regional Council Partnership Advisory Board (S. Metro)

News + Events + Alerts

Rick Merker Celebrates 45 Years

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.  

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Comparative Fault and Choice of Law - Rider v. YMCA

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. 

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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

901 St. Louis Street Suite 702
Springfield, MO 65806

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