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Daniel M. (Dan) Nelson

Of Counsel

T 816.292.8384
F 816.474.3216
dnelson@spencerfane.com


Dan Nelson leans on his vast experience in business law, prosecution and case management to provide clients with creative and efficient counsel focusing on complex, high-stakes litigation matters. Dan helps provide his clients with pathways to successful resolutions through preventive measures and the full spectrum of dispute resolution methods.

Dan maintains an extensive track record of success in complex state and federal litigation and regulatory matters.  He has experience in trial presentation, forensic accounting evidence, electronic evidence and business reporting requirements. Specifically, he has extensive experience with fraud, securities, tax, health care, arson, terrorism and cybercrimes, including computer fraud, copyright infringement, identity theft, phishing and counterfeiting.

From 2016 to 2022, Dan served as the Chief Deputy Prosecutor for Jackson County, Missouri, where he oversaw a prosecutor’s office of 152 total employees including 72 attorneys that annually resolved about 4,000 cases, including more than 60 jury trials per year. He personally tried cases to state juries, including prosecuting a large arson-for-profit case that resulted in the deaths of two firefighters. Previously, he spent more than 12 years in federal prosecution as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, litigating many of the most complex federal white-collar cases during that period, including tax, money laundering, health care, and public corruption. This often involved prosecuting complex fraud investigations with and for the FBI, IRS, CFTC, SEC and other agencies.  For nearly a decade, he served on DOJ’s national Securities Fraud Working Group.

During his tenure at the U.S. attorney’s office, Dan served as the Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2008 to 2010 for an office of 128 employees, including 68 attorneys, giving him a top supervisory role in all litigation and operations. He tried numerous cases to federal juries and argued five times in the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Prior to his time in government positions, Dan served as a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C., office of one of the largest law firms in the country. He focused on securities, including securities arbitrations, and complex business litigation.

Since 2012, Dan has taught Federal Trial Practice at UMKC Law School. He has presented to numerous groups, including a large regional meeting of bank examiners and government agents at the Federal Reserve Bank, and a national meeting of white-collar FBI agents. He has lectured on ethics, securities, and cyber law at the University of Kansas, the University of Missouri, and the Missouri School of Journalism. He is a Special Master for the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Trial Academy and has served on the Western District Magistrate Selection Committee.

Community Involvement

  • The Child Protection Center (past board president)
  • Impact KC (past board president)

Memberships

  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Special Master, Trial Academy
    • Western District Magistrate Selection Committee
  • Missouri Supreme Court Committee on Criminal Justice, 2017-present

Distinctions

  • President’s Award, Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, 2020
  • National Trial Award from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, 2019
  • Lon O. Hocker Award for trial excellence, 2014 (selected by a panel of state and federal judges and the Missouri Bar Foundation)

Contact Dan Nelson at 816.292.8384 or dnelson@spencerfane.com.