Missouri

Review

Dispute resolution
Husch Blackwell

Husch Blackwell is a Midwest powerhouse firm headquartered in Missouri, with expansion offices in Arizona, Illinois, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. The team of 300-plus trial and appellate attorneys are known for achieving favorable results for clients inside and outside the courtroom. 

Omaha, Nebraska’s Marnie Jensen led the team that prevailed in August 2020 before the US Court of Appeals on behalf of Farmobile in trade secret litigation initiated by a competitor in 2016, leading to the Nebraska Firm of the Year award at the 2021 Benchmark Litigation Awards. She routinely handles breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract claims, trade secret claims, intellectual property issues, unfair competition allegations and shareholder disputes.  

Seasoned St. Louis trial counsel Joseph Orlet is active on toxic tort and mass tort litigation, as well as in product liability disputes. He serves as lead counsel to Bayer in an action alleging the defendant misappropriated confidential information in violation of company policies, employment agreement, and federal and state lawFellow partner JoAnn Sandifer focuses on real estate, commercial and appellate litigation. As lead partner to the St. Louis County Council, Sandifer secured a victory in expedited proceedings before a St. Louis County judge on behalf of three St. Louis County Council members sued by the St. Louis County Counselor in a dispute over leadership of the County Council for the 2021 calendar year. Christopher Smith is a skilled litigator who is recognized for his work in class actions and bet-the-company cases. Smith is lead counsel to Centene Corp. in an action that alleges the defendant made false and misleading statements and omissions in connection with the purchase or sale of the company's stock both by the company itself and by the defendant. The Court granted Centene’s motion to dismiss, which was dismissed with prejudice for plaintiffs’ failure to make a demand upon Centene's board of directors before pursuing this derivative action. Rudy Telscher is a revered intellectual property litigator whose expertise spans district and appellate courts across the country, including arguments before the US Supreme Court. A testament to Telscher’s success is the securing of a recent victory for Sotera Wireless before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) of the US Patent and Trademark Office resulting in PTAB precedent when the Board decided to institute an inter partes review of a patent that is the subject of a pending, parallel lawsuit in US District Court regarding an alarm system for medical monitoring equipment. The Board found Husch Blackwell’s arguments and methods so useful that it marked this decision precedential to help future IPR parties in navigating PTAB procedure. Jefferson City managing partner Lowell Pearson is a trusted litigator who is active in government actionsemployment, and constitutional cases. Pearson successfully intervened as lead counsel in two lawsuits, and secured placement on the August ballot for an initiative petition to expand eligibility of Medicaid in Missouri. 

Jeffrey Simon, the Kansas City managing partner, is an experienced litigator with a diverse practice. He is active in a host of business disputes, including prosecuting and defending intellectual property cases, antirust actions, securities fraud, class actions, breach of contract, among other areas. Simon represented Farm Journal in prosecuting a trade secrets claim against a former employee and defending counterclaims for advancement of legal fees. The matter recently settled on favorable terms. 

Chicago-based litigator Don Mizerk is a distinguished intellectual property advocate who was part of the lead counsel team that recently secured a victory for TruPharma in its federal court litigation brought by a competitor alleging false advertising and unjust enrichment, among other counts, in connection with the manufacture and sale of a medical cream. 

Polsinelli

Polsinelli has grown beyond its Kansas City roots to inhabit various strategic locations throughout the country, often attracting local talent in the surrounding area. The firm’s aggressive expansion over the years has equipped it with breadth and depth in many areas of litigation.  
     Bouncing between Seattle and Chicago, Gary Hood maintains an intellectual practice touches on all facets of patent, trademark and trade dress IP litigation. Chicago’s Mary Clare Bonaccorsi serves as Polsinelli’s Cross-Department Litigation Chair. She is entrusted to map the overall litigation strategy for the firm.  Bonaccorsi’s practice mainly focuses on the healthcare industry, routinely leading high-stakes corporate internal investigations for clients in healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, her casework often involves false claims act litigation before judges and juries in both state and federal courts throughout the country and she has several high-profile cases under her belt. New additions from the Chicago office include Thomas Gemmell and Daniel ReinbergGemmell’s practice mixes IP and business litigation. He leads several industry-specific practices, serving as lead of the unmanned systems and advanced robotics practice and co-lead of both the aviation practice and the transportation and logistics practice. Reinberg like Bonaccorsi concentrates his practice on the healthcare industry. He represents organizations, corporations, and providers in a variety of cases, including civil and criminal matters, healthcare and securities fraud, and lawsuits arising under the False Claims Act and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.  
     John Peterson, a new addition to this year’s rankings, bridges a geographic and practice divide. Based in Nashville but also operating out of Chattanooga as well as Los Angeles, Peterson is a commercial litigator with vast experience in securities as well as real estate, and he is yet another Polsinelli partner devoted to healthcare litigation, an industry essential to Tennessee's economy. In Atlanta, Brian McEvoys white-collar practice is dedicated to fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry.  Farah Nicol operates out of the firm’s Raleigh and Los Angeles offices and serves chair of the firm’s litigation department -- the first leader to not be based in Kansas City, the firm’s mainstay. Nicol’s primary focus is on product liability and toxic tort litigation.  

Labor and employment
Armstrong Teasdale

Armstrong Teasdale maintains one of the top-tier labor and employment groups operating out of Missouri, the full-service firm’s headquarters. Labor and employment lawyers at the firm mainly span the St. Louis and Kansas City offices at the firm. Tyson Ketchum is a labor and employment litigator out of Kansas City. He has recently worked on two separate matters that involve alleged discrimination. His practice involves mostly employment litigation, but additionally handles investigations as well.

The St. Louis office houses two leading labor and employment litigators as well. Daniel O’Toole has had an active practice over the last year. He successfully resolved a two-year-long matter earlier this year. The case involved a truck driver who filed alleged retaliation claims against the client Proffer Wholesale Produce. O’Toole settled the matter on confidential terms. O’Toole also successfully completed a matter representing UPS in a lawsuit filed by a high-ranking manager who alleged race discrimination and retaliation claims against the client. The case went up to the Eighth Circuit after O’Toole was granted a motion for summary judgment, which was affirmed last June. Robert Kaiser also practices out of the St. Louis office. His practice involves single-plaintiff and class- and collective-action litigation, as well as experience handling matters under the National Labor Relations Act. Kaiser recently defended client MACO in a multi-state class and collective action that asserted alleged violations of overtime laws and misclassification claims. The matter was settled favorably.

Polsinelli

Polsinelli is home to a skilled group of labor and employment trial lawyers who operate out of numerous offices across the country. Recognized for exclusively serving as management counsel, the team is no stranger to a wide variety of employment disputes and strategies, such as class and collective actions, labor relations disputes, restrictive covenants, retaliation and whistleblower claims, wrongful termination matters, discrimination cases, among others. The firm maintains an arsenal of clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to privately owned firms and businesses.
                The Missouri office of the firm houses one of the strongest labor and employment groups at the firm. Operating from the firm’s Kansas City office, Denise Drake serves as the department chair of the practice. “Denise has a really good reputation," voices a peer. She has continued to build on that reputation and was selected as a new addition to Benchmark’s Top 250 Women in Litigation list for 2020. Drake’s expertise routinely includes defending companies in discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage & hour, and ERISA matters. Fellow partner Eric Packel chairs the restrictive covenant and trade secrets practice. Packel is renowned for his handling of all employment discrimination allegations brought against a large healthcare institution in multiple discrimination claims and charges before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a state Human Rights Commission. Robert Hingula has devoted a significant portion of his practice to representing employers in collective actions. He is also active representing school districts and other industries through employment law matters, wage and hour actions, and against discrimination allegations as well as wrongful termination and retaliation cases. 
                Colorado is home to two labor and employment stars, Sean Gallagher and Donald Samuels. Gallagher is equipped with more than 25 years of experience litigating on behalf of his clients as well as advising on ways to mitigate the risk of litigation. His labor and employment experience consists of noncompete covenants, wage and hour violations, breach of fiduciary duty, and discrimination actions. Samuels is also a seasoned trial lawyer with more than 30 years of experience in employment law actions, including serving as an employment law arbitrator. He is active representing employers in wage and hour issues, including class and collective actions, discrimination and harassment claims, and whistleblower and retaliation claims.
                Los Angeles managing partner Noel Cohen operates a diverse practice and serves as vice-chair of the firm’s commercial litigation practice. He is recognized for his work defending wrongful termination claims, harassment and discrimination actions, trade secret claims, single and class actions, and other employment disputes.