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Andy Lester Receives Media Coverage for Insights on Legal Issues Facing College Campuses

Spencer Fane partner Andy Lester provided the premise for a recent editorial in The Oklahoman regarding free speech on college campuses. After hearing Andy speak at the University of Oklahoma’s “Legal Issues in Higher Education” program, The Oklahoman published an editorial aligned with Andy’s thesis. Additionally, Andy’s remarks from the program were repurposed in an abridged commentary for Oklahoma online outlet, Nondoc.com.

John Watson Addresses the Ethics of Oil and Gas Negotiations 

John Watson recently teamed with co-presenter, Austin Murr (Western State Colorado University), at the annual Kuntz Conference in Oklahoma City, the industry’s premier oil and gas conference.

Shawn Tuma’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues Interviews: October 2018

With nearly 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and data privacy law, Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma is often sought after by media outlets to provide insights on the legalities surrounding these issues.

John Watson Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on Colorado Ballot Measures

Spencer Fane attorney John Watson was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in an article discussing the impacts that measures in the November election could have on the oil and gas industry in Colorado.

Greg Ash to Provide Guidance on Ethics Issues Related to ERISA Representation

Spencer Fane attorney Greg Ash is presenting at the American Conference Institute’s National Forum on ERISA Litigation, November 16 in New York.

Spencer Fane Salary Database Cited in Multiple Articles

USA Today, New York Times, SFGate and Fox Business recently cited research conducted by Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville in multiple articles. The articles specifically referred to the 2018 NCAAF Coaches Salary Database, which you can find here.

Ken Kramer Explains Nuances of Colorado Property Taxes

Spencer Fane attorney Ken Kramer was recently interviewed by Mansion Global in an article discussing property tax regulations in Colorado.

Shawn Tuma and Jeremy Rucker Provide Insights on Attorney-Client Privilege and Cybersecurity

Spencer Fane attorneys Shawn Tuma and Jeremy Rucker recently published an article in the Texas Bar Journal discussing the role attorney-client privilege plays in cybersecurity.

Posner Jarrett Joins Labor and Employment Group at Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Melissa Posner Jarrett as an associate in the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group in the Phoenix office.

Matthew Wine Discusses Real Estate Transaction Risks at MIBA Conference

Spencer Fane attorney Matthew Wine recently presented at the Missouri Independent Bankers Association (MIBA) Security Conference on banking real estate transaction fraud.

Shawn Tuma Presents at TABC Convention on Cybersecurity

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma recently presented at the Texas Association of Bank Counsel (TABC) Convention on cybersecurity.

Blane Markley Interview by Kansas City Business Journal on KU Health System Expansion

Spencer Fane attorney Blane Markley was recently interviewed by the Kansas City Business Journal in an article discussing the expansion of the University of Kansas Health system throughout the state of Kansas.

St. Louis Office Participates in Biz Dash

Attorneys and staff from the St. Louis office continued the tradition of strong showings recently in Biz Dash 2018.

Josh Dickinson Leads Multiple Presentations on Ethics in the Collections Industry

Spencer Fane attorney Josh Dickinson recently led two presentations directed to attorneys in the collections industry.

Greg Ash Analyzes ‘Top-Hat’ Compensation Plans

Spencer Fane attorney Greg Ash recently published an article in Benefits Pro discussing how the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) impacts nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.

Elizabeth Fast Named Among Best of the Bar by Kansas City Business Journal

Spencer Fane Partner Elizabeth Fast was recently named to the 2018 Best of the Bar list by the Kansas City Business Journal.

Shawn Tuma’s Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues Interviews: September 2018

With nearly 20 years of experience in cybersecurity and data privacy law, Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma is often sought after by media outlets to provide insights on the legalities surrounding these issues.

Wendy Harring Nominated for CREW Denver Women of Influence Award

Spencer Fane attorney Wendy Harring was recently nominated for the 2018 Women of Influence Award by Commercial Real Estate Women Denver (CREW).

Patrick J. Whalen Recognized on Ingram’s 250 List

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Patrick J. Whalen has been recognized by Ingram’s as a member of the 2018 Ingram’s 250 list of the most influential business leaders in the Kansas City region.

Matthew Dalton Explains Advantages of Special Districts Over HOAs in Denver Business Journal Interview

Spencer Fane attorney Matthew Dalton was recently interviewed by the Denver Business Journal in an article detailing the attempts to make housing in Denver more affordable by utilizing special districts.

Matthew Wine Joins Forum Discussion on Careers in Business Law

Spencer Fane attorney Matthew Wine recently participated as a panelist at the Business Law Forum hosted by the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Petersen Joins Spencer Fane as Associate in Kansas City

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the hiring of Mathew Petersen as an associate in the Financial Services practice group in the firm’s Kansas City office.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Akinyemi Back to Firm as Associate Attorney

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the hiring of Tomi Akinyemi as an associate attorney in the firm’s St. Louis (Clayton) office. He previously worked as a summer associate with Spencer Fane in 2017.

Spencer Fane Adds Anderson to Business Transactions Group in Phoenix

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Andy Anderson to the firm’s Phoenix office as Of Counsel in the Business Transactions practice group.

Spencer Fane adds Bushek to Business Transactions Group in Overland Park

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Kim Bushek has joined the firm’s Overland Park office. She will serve as of counsel in the Business Transactions group, adding depth to the firm’s growing tax practice.

Nate Orr Interviewed about Spencer Fane Culture and Growth

Spencer Fane attorney Nate Orr was recently interviewed by Real Media LLC on a variety of topics including the Firm’s growth, strategy, and history. Nate holds numerous leadership positions in both the firm and community, focused on a continual commitment to his clients.

Shawn Tuma Interviewed by Media to Analyze Privacy Issues

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma has recently been interviewed by multiple media outlets to discuss legalities surrounding a wide range of privacy issues. With nearly 20 years of experience helping businesses protect their information and that of their customers, Shawn is widely recognized in cybersecurity and data privacy law.

Helen Holden to Provide Guidance on Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Spencer Fane attorney Helen Holden will discuss issues surrounding sexual harassment at a 2018 Associated Minority Contractors of Arizona (AMCA) Education Training Learn and Lunch.

Elizabeth Fast Provides Insights on New Banking Legislation in Kansas

Spencer Fane attorney Elizabeth Fast was recently interviewed for an article in The Topeka Capital-Journal that details the impact of new legislation in Kansas (Senate Bill 335) that now allows savings and loan banks to convert from a federal charter to a state charter.

Shawn Tuma Conducts Multiple Cybersecurity Presentations

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Tuma recently gave three presentations on a variety of Cybersecurity topics.

“Best Lawyers in America” Recognizes 59 Spencer Fane Attorneys

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that 59 of the firm’s attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Attorneys are recognized in their respective practice areas.

Spencer Fane Welcomes 2 Partners, Associate to its Growing Texas Offices

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of two partners and an associate attorney to its two Dallas-area offices.

Robin Nolan Appointed to Executive Council of CBA Real Estate Section

Spencer Fane attorney Robin Nolan was recently appointed to the Executive Council for the Colorado Bar Association Real Estate Section.

Patrick McAndrews Selected for Kansas City Tomorrow Program

Spencer Fane attorney Patrick McAndrews was recently selected to join the 2018 class of the Kansas City Tomorrow (KCT) program.

Laura Fischer Provides Guidance on Cyber Insurance in Law360

Spencer Fane attorney Laura Fischer recently published an article in Law360 discussing the merits of cyber insurance for the protection of employee benefit plans.

Erik Rome Accepted Into ACTEC Heart of America Fellows Institute

Spencer Fane attorney Erik Rome was recently accepted into the inaugural class of the Heart of America Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Wale Akinmoladun Chosen to Join Centurions Leadership Program

Spencer Fane attorney Wale Akinmoladun was recently selected to join the Centurions Leadership Program’s Fall Class of 2020.

Patrice Douglas Elected to Board of Directors on State Chamber of Oklahoma

Spencer Fane attorney Patrice Douglas was recently elected to serve a second term on the Board of Directors for the State Chamber of Oklahoma.

Bryant Lamer Joins Panel Discussion on Fair Credit Reporting Act

Spencer Fane attorney Bryant Lamer recently participated as a panelist at the National Forum on Consumer Finance Class Actions and Government Enforcement hosted by the American Conference Institute.

Spencer Fane Athletic Director Salary Database Cited in Multiple Publications

The Kansas City Star and Lawrence Journal-World recently cited research conducted by Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville in multiple articles discussing Jeff Long’s agreement to serve as athletic director at the University of Kansas.

Spencer Fane Now Accepting Arts Applicants for Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City

The Spencer Fane Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City was created to provide significant support to select local nonprofit arts organizations through a $50,000 donation to each over the course of three years. The program was designed as a rotation so that one new recipient will enter the program each year with another exiting upon completion of its three-year cycle. Our primary goal for the program is to encourage long-standing relationships with nonprofit organizations and provide employees with additional opportunities to become involved with the firm’s causes.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Preston Enoch to Dallas office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the hiring of Preston Enoch as an associate in the firm’s Litigation practice group.

Commercial Property Tax Appeals Have Resulted in Substantial Savings

With the skyrocketing cost of real estate in Colorado in the past few years, many commercial property owners have seen large increases in property value assessments, resulting in similarly large increases in property taxes.

Pat McInerney Publishes Guidepost Document for Internal Investigations

Spencer Fane White Collar and Government Investigations partner Pat McInerney was recently published by Thomson Reuters Practical Law, which featured McInerney’s “Standard Document” for internal investigations policy and practice.

Congratulations to Stacy Jurado-Miller on Receiving the MOWHA Emerging Leader Award

At its recent national conference, the Missouri Workforce Housing Association (MOWHA) presented its Emerging Leader Award to Stacy Jurado-Miller. Stacy is the co-founder of the Vecino Group, a “purpose driven housing company.” 

Julie Roth Interviewed by Wall Street Journal Regarding Privacy Risks of Online Pharmacies

Spencer Fane attorney Julie Roth was recently interviewed by The Wall Street Journal in an article detailing Amazon’s acquisition of the online pharmacy PillPack, and the health data privacy implications of the transaction.

Ellen Stewart Provides Guidance on Physician Super Groups to HFMA Members

Spencer Fane attorney Ellen E. Stewart was recently featured by the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) in an article about her presentation at the 2018 HFMA Annual Conference.

Josh Dickinson Presents at MCBI Seminar on Debt Revival and Ethics

Spencer Fane attorney Josh Dickinson recently led two presentations at the Missouri Creditors Bar, Inc. (MCBI) Creditors’ Rights Law and Practice CLE Seminar.

Julie Roth Offers Guidance on Security Implications of Hospital Pager Use

Spencer Fane attorney Julie Roth was recently interviewed for an article in The Kansas City Star that investigated the concern that pagers used by medical staff in hospitals may lack the security mandated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

Shawn Whitney Analyzes Impact of Historic Tax Credits Bill

Spencer Fane attorney Shawn Whitney was recently interviewed for an article in St. Louis Construction News and Review that details the impact of the new historic tax credit legislation in Missouri (Senate Bill 590) on the development industry.

Bob Lattinville Analyzes Cause of Increasingly Complex College Coach Contracts

Spencer Fane attorney Bob Lattinville was recently interviewed for an article in The Texas Tribune that investigated the factors causing progressively lengthy and complicated negotiations of college coaches’ employment contracts.

Stephen Weinstein Honored for 50 Years in Legal Profession

Spencer Fane attorney Stephen Weinstein was recently honored by the Denver Bar Association at the Senior Spring Banquet for his 50 years of service to clients and for advancing the legal profession in Denver and throughout the region.

Ethan Rector Provides Recommendations When Searching for an Estate Planner

Spencer Fane attorney Ethan Rector was recently interviewed for an article in The Gazette that detailed the criteria potential clients should consider when hiring an estate planner.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Identify Trends in FBS Athletic Director Compensation

Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently published an article in AthleticDirectorU (ADU) analyzing the data in their Athletic Director Database made in collaboration with USA Today.

Pat McInerney Provides Analysis of Gov. Greitens Resignation Agreement

Spencer Fane attorney Pat McInerney was recently interviewed for an article in The Kanas City Star concerning the agreement leading to the resignation of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. As a former state and federal prosecutor, Pat is uniquely qualified to offer an objective assessment of the arrangement.

Sam Young to Join Spencer Fane as an Associate in Denver Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Sam Young as an associate in the firm’s Financial Services practice group.

Orren Adams Joins Spencer Fane as Partner in St. Louis Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Orren Adams as a partner in the firm’s Business Transactions practice group in St. Louis.

Matthew Wine Examines Potential Impact of New Banking Regulations

Spencer Fane attorney Matt Wine recently published articles in the Missouri Independent Bankers Association magazine, The Show-Me Banker, and the Community Bankers Association of Kansas magazine, In Touch, on banking legislation newly passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump.

Camber Jones Hired as an Associate at Spencer Fane in Springfield

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Camber Jones as an associate in the firm’s Financial Services practice group.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Mark Wasem to Oil and Gas Group in Dallas

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome Mark Wasem as a partner in its Oil and Gas practice group.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Michael Patterson to Business Transactions Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome Partner Michael Patterson to the Business Transactions practice group in the firm’s Phoenix office.

Leslie Greathouse Featured in Kansas City Business Journal

Spencer Fane partner Leslie Greathouse was recently interviewed by the Kansas City Business Journal about her practice as a litigator in the financial services area, and her role as general counsel at Spencer Fane.

Spencer Fane Bolsters Oil & Gas and Real Estate Practices in Denver

New Partner Adam Veltri Brings C-Suite, GC Experience to Growing Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome Adam Veltri as a partner in the Oil and Gas and Real Estate practice groups.

Helen Holden and Paul Satterwhite Take Part in Essential Faculty Roles at the DRI Employment and Labor Seminar

Spencer Fane attorneys Helen Holden and Paul Satterwhite recently participated in the 2018 DRI Employment and Labor Seminar as program chair and speaker, respectively.

Nate Orr Discusses the Future of Downtown Kansas City

In a recent interview on 610 Sports Radio, Spencer Fane attorney and chairman of the Kansas City Downtown Council Nate Orr discussed a wide range of topics related to the continued growth of downtown Kansas City. During the interview, Nate answered questions about the renaissance of the downtown area, the future of the KC Streetcar and Sprint Center, and the potential for a downtown baseball stadium. Nate stressed that the vision for downtown, despite the growth achieved in recent years, is “only going to happen if we keep our foot on the gas.”

Spencer Fane Adds Carly Duvall to Kansas City Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Carly Duvall as Of Counsel to the firm’s Litigation practice group in Kansas City.

Francis Slay Honored at University Commencement Ceremonies

As part of May commencement ceremonies, Spencer Fane attorney Francis Slay received a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree at Washington University and a Doctor of Public Service honorary degree at St. Louis University for his accomplishments during his tenure as mayor of St. Louis. Francis also delivered the commencement address at Quincy University.

Donn Herring Explains the Role of Health Privacy Laws in Bourbon Virus Disagreement

Spencer Fane attorney Donn Herring was recently interviewed by St. Louis Public Radio on how health privacy laws may affect a dispute between lawmakers and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS).

Spencer Fane Partners Present at MIBA Directors and Officers Seminar

Spencer Fane attorneys Elizabeth Fast, Rodney Nichols, and Sherry Dreisewerd presented at the recent Missouri Independent Bankers Association (MIBA) Directors and Officers Seminar.

Spencer Fane Market Analysis Cited By North Carolina Public Radio

North Carolina Public Radio (WUNC) recently cited research conducted by Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville in an article detailing the highest paid salaries in college athletics.

Melissa Sherman Receives Women’s Justice Award

Spencer Fane attorney Melissa Sherman was recently honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as a recipient of the Women’s Justice Award in the Litigation Practitioner category. According to Missouri Lawyers Media, the Women’s Justice Awards recognize women across the state “who have demonstrated leadership, integrity, service, sacrifice and accomplishment in improving the quality of justice and exemplifying the highest ideals of the legal profession.”

Roger Denny Joins Panel Discussion at Collegiate Sports Summit

Spencer Fane partner Roger Denny recently participated as a panelist at the Collegiate Sports Summit held in Santa Monica, California.  Roger’s presentation focused on the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) on intercollegiate athletics departments.

Spencer Fane Adds Partner to Growing Dallas Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Jeff Cash to the firm’s Dallas office. Cash joins the firm as a Partner in the Business Transactions practice group.

Mike Hockley Appointed Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army

Secretary of the Army Mark Esper recently appointed Spencer Fane attorney Mike Hockley as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army (CASA) for Kansas (East). Mike was nominated by retired Lt. Gen. Robert Arter and Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy, Commander of the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, for his experience serving the military and community.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Katherine Whitney to Real Estate Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome Associate Katherine Whitney to the Real Estate practice group in the firm’s Denver office.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Analyze Trends in Athletics Director Compensation

Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently published an article in AthleticDirectorU (ADU) analyzing the data in their Athletic Director Database made in collaboration with USA Today.

Stacy Harper Presents at AAPC Healthcon

Spencer Fane attorney Stacy Harper recently presented at Healthcon, the AAPC’s national conference, to provide guidance on legal issues related to the health care industry.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Write Article on Effects of Intermediate Sanctions Tax on Athletic Departments

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently published an article in AthleticDirectorU (ADU) discussing the details and consequences of the intermediate sanctions tax on college coaches, athletic directors, and other highly paid employees of tax-exempt organizations.

Gerry Greiman Elected Chair of University City TIF Commission

Spencer Fane partner Gerry Greiman was recently elected Chairperson of the University City, MO Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission.

Spencer Fane Continues Growth in Texas

Firm Adds Four Attorneys in Dallas Area

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of four attorneys to its two Dallas-area offices, the latest demonstration of the firm’s continued commitment to grow, in and outside of Texas, alongside the business needs of clients.

Jack Coatar and Francis Slay Speak at Public Service Symposium

Spencer Fane attorneys Jack Coatar and Francis Slay recently joined a panel at Saint Louis Unversity School of Law (SLU Law) discussing the necessity for lawyers to be involved in the legislative process.

Andy Lester to Participate in Oil and Gas Law Panel

Spencer Fane attorney Andy Lester will join a panel of speakers during the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association (OIPA) Legal Review to discuss recent court cases’ impact on the oil and natural gas industry.

Kevin Tuttle Presents An Overview of Intellectual Property Concepts to the Kansas City SCORE Chapter

Spencer Fane attorney Kevin Tuttle presented an overview of intellectual property law concepts to the volunteer mentor members of the Kansas City SCORE chapter at their April monthly meeting.

Spencer Fane Office in Denver Welcomes Two New Attorneys

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Partner Troy Rackham to the Litigation practice and Associate Nicole Finco to the Special Districts practice in the firm’s Denver office.

Heise Brings Hometown Roots to Spencer Fane Office in Cape Girardeau

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Sarah Heise has joined the Cape Girardeau office as of counsel in the Litigation practice group.

Frank Neuner Presents on Workplace Best Practices

Spencer Fane attorney Frank Neuner recently presented at the North-American Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors (NAUMD) Annual Convention, discussing measures companies can take to prevent and properly address claims of harassment in the workplace.

Spencer Fane Publishes NCAA Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Salary Survey in USA Today

Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently published their annual NCAA Men’s Basketball coaches’ compensation survey in collaboration with USA Today.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Serve as Guest Lecturers on Environmental Due Diligence

Spencer Fane attorneys Ryan Pulkrabek and Shelby Wood recently presented at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Law about the importance of environmental due diligence in real estate transactions.

Roger Denny Analysis of Tax Impact on Universities Cited by Tax Notes Today

Spencer Fane partner Roger Denny was recently interviewed for an article in Tax Notes Today discussing possible technical errors in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which may benefit athletic departments at public universities.

Spencer Fane Honored with Creative Impact Award

ArtsKC – Kansas City’s Regional Arts Council – recently recognized the firm’s ongoing support of the Kansas City arts community by selecting Spencer Fane as the 2018 recipient of the Creative Impact award.

Robin Nolan Selected for Downtown Denver Leadership Program

Spencer Fane attorney Robin Nolan was recently selected to be a part of the 2018 Downtown Denver Leadership Program. The program’s participants work together on an annual project focused on urban issues and policies.

Josh Dickinson and Kersten Holzhueter Featured at Receivables Management Association Conference

Spencer Fane attorneys Josh Dickinson and Kersten Holzhueter recently spoke at the Receivables Management Association (RMA) Annual Conference to help provide industry education and regulatory updates.

Kyle Elliott Conducts Intellectual Property Workshop at Mid-Continent Public Library

Spencer Fane attorney Kyle Elliott presented at the Mid-Continent Public Library (MPCL) Intellectual Property Workshop on the topics of copyright, trade secrets, patents, and trademarks.

Roger Denny Analyzes Market Rate for NCAA Athletic Director Salaries

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Roger Denny was recently quoted in the Raleigh News & Observer’s PolitiFact in an article analyzing the “market rate” for NCAA athletic director salaries.

Spencer Fane Continues Support of Epworth Children and Family Services

Members of the Spencer Fane St. Louis office regularly volunteer their time at the Drop-In Center operated by Epworth Children and Family Services to provide volunteer support and meals for clients of the non-profit agency, which primarily serves children and families who have suffered severe abuse or neglect.

Spencer Fane welcomes John Nettels

Aviation-focused attorney joins the firm’s Kansas City Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome John C. Nettels as Of Counsel to the firm’s Business Litigation practice group in Kansas City.

Eric Combs joins Spencer Fane in Oklahoma

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of associate Eric Combs to its Environmental and Energy practice in the firm’s Oklahoma City office.

Pat Whalen Shares Insights with the Kansas City Business Journal on Spencer Fane Growth

The Kansas City Business Journal recently interviewed Spencer Fane Chairman Patrick J. Whalen to discuss the Spencer Fane growth over the past several years.

Gerry Greiman Participates in Panel at Washington University First Amendment Symposium

Spencer Fane attorney Gerry Greiman recently participated in Washington University School of Law’s Roberts Court’s First Amendment Symposium as a member of a panel discussion titled “Technology and Free Speech.”

Helen Holden Provides Guidance on Tip Pooling Arrangements

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Helen Holden published an article in Modern Restaurant Management that detailed the recent proposal by the Department of Labor to rescind the current regulations on tip pooling.

Former Missouri Department of Agriculture Lead Attorney Joins Spencer Fane

Former general counsel, deputy director will advise businesses on regulatory matters

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Darryl Chatman to the firm’s Business Litigation practice in its St. Louis office. Chatman joins the firm as Of Counsel after having served as general counsel and deputy director of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Helen Holden Analyzes New Rules Surrounding Intern Pay

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Helen Holden’s blog post on internship program guidelines was recently republished in the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s Employment Practices’ Section Update.

Nate Orr and Mayor Sly James “Slow Jam” Downtown Kansas City’s 2017 Accomplishments

Spencer Fane LLP Partner Nate Orr and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James recently presented the Downtown Council of Kansas City’s 2017 accomplishments in “slow jam” style, similar to the popular recurring “Slow Jam the News” segment on “The Tonight Show.”

Ellen Stewart Shares Legal Insights at Healthcare Reimbursement Summit

Spencer Fane LLP Partner Ellen Stewart presented “Healthcare Law Update” at EKS&H’s 2018 Healthcare Reimbursement Summit.

Ken Mason Quoted by Employee Benefit Adviser on Tax Changes Affecting Transportation Assistance

Spencer Fane LLP partner Ken Mason was recently quoted in Employee Benefit Adviser in an article detailing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act’s effect on transportation assistance benefits.

Helen Holden Quoted by Business Insurance on Updated Guidelines for Intern Pay

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Helen Holden was recently quoted in Business Insurance in an article detailing the U.S. Department of Labor’s recent actions modifying criteria businesses must meet to utilize unpaid interns.

Spencer Fane Market Analysis Cited by Sports Business Journal

Sports Business Journal recently cited research conducted by Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville in an article detailing the most critical issues facing university athletic departments in 2018.

Josh Dickinson Testifies Before Nebraska Judiciary Committee on Legislative Bill 710

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Josh Dickinson testified before the Nebraska Judiciary Committee on January 19, 2018 in conjunction with the Nebraska Collector’s Association (NCA) support of Legislative Bill (LB710). The bill presents an amendment and clarification to Nebraska statute 25–1801, which establishes collector’s rights to seek interest, costs, and attorney’s fees on certain debt.

Spencer Fane welcomes Steven Laureanti and David Banko

Firm’s growing Phoenix office adds capacity to IP practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome partner Steven Laureanti and associate David Banko to the firm’s Phoenix office. The addition of Laureanti and Banko brings new depth to the firm’s intellectual property practice, and continues a strong growth trend that has included six new attorneys in Phoenix and seventy-one new arrivals firm-wide since December 2016.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Publish Article on FBS Assistant Football Coaches’ Contract Trends

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently collaborated to write an article published in AthleticDirectorU (ADU) that summarizes the findings from their recent collaboration with USA Today on a database of assistant football coach salaries. In the ADU article, they discuss their observations related to trends in the data, including compensation disparities between head coaches and their staff in each of the Autonomy 5 conferences.

Leslie Greathouse Named Spencer Fane General Counsel

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that partner Leslie Greathouse, who has been with the firm since 2008, has been appointed general counsel of Spencer Fane. This is a new position in the firm and Leslie’s role is effective as of January 1. Previously, partner Nick Badgerow served as the chair of the firm’s professional responsibility committee since 1988, and continues with Spencer Fane in his capacity as a litigator and mediator.

Paul Trimble to Present on Joint Operating Agreements in Oil & Gas Ventures

As part of The University of Oklahoma College of Law Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program, Partner Paul Trimble will present “What’s New in the 2015 AAPL JOA.”  The event covers Joint Operating Agreements (JOAs) as they relate to the American Association of Professional Landman (AAPL), and gives attendees the opportunity to earn 5-6 hours of CLE credit.

Spencer Fane Growth Continues in Dallas Market

We are pleased to announce the addition of attorneys Jason Cross and Alison Rowe in our Dallas office.

Joe Bednar Receives 2018 Carnahan Award for Public Service

Spencer Fane LLP Partner Joe Bednar has been named recipient of the 2018 Governor Mel Carnahan Award for Public Service. The award, named after the former Missouri Governor, recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions through their public service, both paid and volunteer, in the government, education, nonprofit, or legal sectors.

Spencer Fane Opens Plano, Texas Office as Paul Sander Joins Firm

We are pleased to announce the continuation of our growth in the Dallas market with the opening of an office in Plano, Texas that will be led by new Office Managing Partner Paul Sander. Paul joined Spencer Fane Monday, January 8 in our real estate practice.

Nikki Hutson Article on Workplace Harassment Published in HR.com

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Nikki Hutson recently wrote an article published in HR Legal and Compliance Excellence Essentials on the recent spotlight on sexual harassment and high-profile claims. The article provides suggestions to employers on performing a successful complaint investigation and preventative measures organizations can take to minimize their exposure for harassment claims.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Write Article on New Tax Act’s Impact on College Coaches’ Compensation

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently collaborated to write an article published in AthleticDirectorU about effects of the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on coaches’ compensation. The article discusses the nuances of the new act, its impacts and the possible strategies for universities moving forward.

Four Attorneys Promoted to Partner

We are pleased to announce that four of the firm’s attorneys have been elected as partners effective Jan. 1, 2018. The attorneys include George Freedman, Ryan Hardy, Justin Leck and Kelly Vos.

DJ Pierre Featured in KC Counselor

Spencer Fane attorney DJ Pierre was interviewed by KC Counselor in a Q & A “From the New Crew” spotlight, where he discussed his affiliation with KCMBA and his life outside of being an attorney.

Mary Bacon Honored with LACSN Award

Spencer Fane LLP attorney Mary Bacon recently received the Ask-A-Lawyer Community Commitment Award from The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN). Mary was recognized for volunteering over 200 hours of pro-bono services helping local individuals who could not otherwise afford representation.

Roger Denny Quoted in USA Today on Effects of Tax Bill for Collegiate Athletic Departments

Spencer Fane LLP Partner Roger Denny was recently quoted in USA Today in an article about the new tax bill’s impacts on college sports. Some provisions in the bill could potentially cause increases in cost of coaches’ compensation, a possible decrease of donor contributions, and other related consequences.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Associate Nicole Detweiler to Litigation Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Nicole Detweiler to the firm’s Litigation Group in the Denver office.

Andy Lester Quoted in The Oklahoman on Higher Education Task Force Recommendations

In an article about Oklahoma’s higher education system, Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester was quoted in The Oklahoman on the task force’s newly approved recommendations.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Mark Cole to Health Care Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that Mark Cole has joined the firm’s Health Care practice as Of Counsel in Overland Park, Kan.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Publish D1 Football Assistant Coach Salary Database in USA Today

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville were recently published in USA Today as instrumental contributors to the publication’s annual release of top collegiate assistant football coach salaries across all Division I conferences. USA Today collaborates with the Spencer Fane sports practice duo to prepare the compensation survey, which you can read here.

Gov. Brad Henry and Andy Lester Write Article on Death Penalty Reforms

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Governor Brad Henry and Andy Lester recently collaborated to write an article published in both Tulsa World and The Oklahoman about death penalty reforms. The article discusses their time serving as co-chairmen of the Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission, including identifying a broken system and their recommendations to fix it.

Spencer Fane Partner Brett Bogan Chosen to Lead Overland Park Chamber of Commerce

Attorney Aims to Promote City’s Economic Development

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Brett Bogan was recently appointed chairman of the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, a business organization dedicated to enhancing the community’s business environment and quality of life.

Shannon Davies interviewed by The Journal Record About Rise of Harassment Claims

Spencer Fane LLP Partner, Shannon Davies, was recently quoted in The Journal Record for her insights regarding the rise of harassment claims in Oklahoma.

Julie Roth Discusses EMTALA Issues at Kansas Hospital Association Conferences

Spencer Fane Partner Julie Roth provided an overview of hospitals’ obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to hospital senior-level administrators, attorneys, clinical management, and risk and quality managers at two Kansas Hospital Association conferences November 29 and 30.

Spencer Fane Pledges $50,000 to Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

Spencer Fane LLP is making a three-year commitment to support Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA), a nonprofit whose mission is to make dance accessible to all people. Through performances and innovative arts education programs, KCFAA teaches more than 25,000 youth annually critical life skills through dance and models interracial and multicultural community partnerships.

Andy Lester Interviewed by NewsOK in Oklahoma City

In an article about the challenges facing the higher education system in Oklahoma, Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester was interviewed by NewsOK about options to update and modernize the system.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Associate Matthew Wine to Real Estate Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Matthew Wine, who joins the firm’s Real Estate Group in Kansas City.

Forty Spencer Fane Attorneys Recognized by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that 40 of its attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers list.

Mike Hockley Elected Treasurer of the American College of Environmental Lawyers

At the recent annual meeting of the American College of Environmental Lawyers, Spencer Fane Partner Mike Hockley was elected Treasurer, and will be one of four Officers leading the College for the upcoming year.

Kyle Elliott to Share IP Best Practices at iWerx Lunch & Learn

As part of the iWerx “Lunch & Lean” program for entrepreneurs, Spencer Fane Partner Kyle Elliott will present “What Business Owners Should Know about Patent, Copyright and Trademark Laws.” In his presentation at 11:30 Tuesday, December 5, Kyle will explain the ins and outs of patent, trademark and copyright protection for innovative business products and services. Attendees can even learn how comic book icons Archie and Veronica are relevant to intellectual property issues.

Spencer Fane Partner Nate Orr Elected Chairman of the Downtown Council of Kansas City

Attorney Aims to Bring More Business to Downtown Kansas City

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Partner Nate Orr was recently elected board chairman of the Downtown Council (DTC) of Kansas City, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a vibrant, diverse and economically sustainable downtown.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Attorney Jacob Reeves to Environmental and Energy Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Jacob Reeves has joined the firm’s Environmental and Energy practice groups as Of Counsel in Oklahoma City.

Stacy Harper Presents at Two Healthcare Conferences in November

At the Missouri Society of Healthcare Attorneys annual meeting in November, Spencer Fane attorney Stacy Harper provided insight to attorneys for healthcare providers regarding when they can and cannot disclose protected health information to business associates. Topics included risk analysis, responses to violations or breaches, and the questions attorneys need to ask themselves to determine whether or not a vendor is an “associate.”

Julie Roth to Provide Insights on EMTALA at Kansas Hospital Association Noon Briefing December 6

Spencer Fane Partner Julie Roth will provide an overview of hospitals’ obligations under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to hospital senior-level administrators, attorneys, clinical management, and risk and quality managers at an upcoming Kansas Hospital Assocation (KHA) Noon Briefing webinar:

Wednesday, December 6
Noon – 1:00 pm
Register here: https://registration.kha-net.org/

Josh Dickinson Discusses Collections Overshadowing Best Practices at Compliance Professionals Forum

Spencer Fane Partner Josh Dickinson, along with David Weimer of Frank & Frank, recently provided insights to a group of more than 400 debt collection professionals on industry legal best practices.

Mike McCann Discusses Craft Brewing Legal Issues in Kansas City Business Journal Interview

Spencer Fane Partner Mike McCann was interviewed recently by the Kansas City Business Journal about legal pitfalls that can often affect craft brewery owners.

Ken Mason Provides Insights to Readers of Employee Benefits News

In an article in Employee Benefits News titled “A closer look at the proposed delay of disability claims and appeals procedures,” Ken Mason reviews the Department of Labor’s proposed 90-day delay in the applicability of disability claims and appeals regulations that were finalized in the waning days of the Obama Administration.

Gary A. Powell Selected for Biz 417’s Annual Biz 100

Biz 417 has announced that Gary Powell has been included in its second annual Biz 100 – a listing of the 100 most powerful and influential business leaders in southwest Missouri.

Ellen Stewart Updates AAPC Members on Issues in Medical Coding

At a recent AAPC meeting in Colorado, Ellen Stewart updated attendees on benefits plans and ERISA issues as they relate to medical coding.

Laura Bond and Donn Herring to Conduct Webinar on Laws Related to Blood Draws

In conjunction with the Kansas Hospital Association and Missouri Hospital Association, Spencer Fane attorneys Laura Bond and Donn Herring will conduct a free educational webinar Tuesday, November 14, noon-1:30.

Pat McLaughlin Reviews Eleventh Circuit Decision on Partial Consent to Receive Automated Calls

In an article published in Collection Advisor, Spencer Fane partner Pat McLaughlin updates readers on a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit that allows a consumer to partially revoke his or her consent to receive automated telemarketing calls.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville in New York Times and AthleticDirectorU

In a New York Times article titled “How the Big Ten Got Back to the Top of College Football,” Spencer Fane attorney Bob Lattinville is interviewed about how the Big Ten’s previous lows in football were directly related to its current highs. He mentions that “In 2014, maybe the shine had come off,” he said. “That can be helpful, in the sense that if your fan base’s expectations aren’t out of whack, or your biggest booster isn’t threatening to withhold a check, that’s helpful.”

Ron Fano and Pat Whalen Discuss Spencer Fane Growth in Law Week Colorado

In a recent article published in Law Week Colorado, Denver Office Managing Partner Ron Fano and Managing Partner Pat Whalen were interviewed about the growth that Spencer Fane has experienced in the past few years.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Partner Melissa Sherman to Litigation Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Partner Melissa Sherman to the firm’s Litigation Group in the Overland Park, Kansas office.

Bob Lattinville and Roger Denny Publish Coaching Salary Findings in USA Today

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Bob Lattinville and Roger Denny were recently published in USA Today as instrumental contributors to the publication’s annual release of top collegiate head football coach and assistant coach salaries across the FBS conferences. USA Today collaborates with the Spencer Fane sports practice duo to prepare the compensation survey, which you can read here.

Westport Commons Project Garners National Historic Rehabilitation Award

Spencer Fane congratulates Westport Commons Project for being honored in the 2017 Historic Rehabilitation Awards by Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits.

Thomas Hayde Participates in Cybersecurity “Table of Experts”

Along with 3 other panelists, Spencer Fane Partner Thomas Hayde participated in a “Table of Experts” discussion regarding cyber security that was hosted by and published in the St. Louis Business Journal.

Brian Peterson Reviews Missouri Supreme Court Opinion on Right-To-Sue Letter Challenges

In an article published in Law360, Spencer Fane attorney Brian Peterson updated readers on the Missouri Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Tivol Plaza v. Missouri Commission on Human Rights.

Andy Lester Interviewed by TV station KFOR in Oklahoma City

In a recent story about the death penalty in Oklahoma, television station KFOR in Oklahoma City interviewed Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester. Andy was co-chair of the Death Penalty Review Commission, a bipartisan group that conducted the first-ever independent, objective, and thorough review of Oklahoma’s entire capital punishment system.

Shannon Davies and Andy Lester Selected to Oklahoma Super Lawyers List, Courtney Powell Honored as Rising Star

Spencer Fane congratulates Shannon Davies and Andy Lester for inclusion in the 2017 Oklahoma Super Lawyers list, and Courtney Powell for inclusion in its Rising Stars list.

Spencer Fane Welcomes George M. Rowley to Special Districts Group

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of George M. Rowley, who joins the firm as Of Counsel in its special districts practice.

Spencer Fane Grows Health Care Practice with Addition of 6 Attorneys

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Partners Brett Bogan, Donn Herring, Andy Ramirez, Julie Roth, and Of Counsel Stacy Harper and Reed Williams to the firm’s Health Care practice effective October 16, 2017.

Lisa Epps Named Among Best of the Bar by Kansas City Business Journal

The Kansas City Business Journal has named Spencer Fane Partner Lisa Epps to its 2017 Best of the Bar, a list of top attorneys in Kansas City.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Partner Pete Heaven to Real Estate Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Partner Pete Heaven to the firm’s Real Estate Solutions Group in the Overland Park, Kansas office.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Four Associates as Firm Grows Litigation and Health Care Practices

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of associates Leslie DeGonia, Hillary Martel, Ben Shantz, and Blake Smith, all recent graduates of top Missouri law schools.

Jessica Gale Helps Fresh Start Women’s Foundation Raise $151,000

As an Auxiliary Board member of Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, Spencer Fane attorney Jessica Gale co-chaired the organization’s inaugural Wine Women and Shoes Phoenix fundraiser. On stage at the sold-out event, Jessica spoke to over 400 members of the Phoenix business community, helping raise $151,000 for the foundation.

Charissa Dvorak Interviewed in Houston Chronicle

In a recent Houston Chronicle article about a university administrator stepping down due to allegations of misconduct, the publication interviewed Spencer Fane attorney Charissa Dvorak to gain insights from her work in the area of investigations into misconduct at universities.

Ryan Hardy and Eric Peterson Speak at MIBA Convention

At the recent annual convention of The Missouri Independent Bankers Association (MIBA), Spencer Fane attorneys Ryan Hardy and Eric Peterson spoke on the topic “The Road Ahead: The Way Forward When My Borrower Defaults.” 

Josh Dickinson Presents at National Creditors Bar Association Webinar

In a recent webinar titled “Intersection Between Bankruptcy and Consumer Protection Claims,” Spencer Fane Partner Josh Dickinson gave National Creditors Bar Association (NARCA) members an overview of consumer bankruptcy including a discussion of a collection attorney’s liability for violating the automatic stay and discharge injunction.

Robin Nolan Reviews 5 Changes to 2016 ALTA Commitment Form in Colorado Real Estate Journal

In a recent article in Colorado Real Estate Journal, Spencer Fane Partner Robin Nolan explains five substantive ways in which the 2016 ALTA Commitment form differs from previous forms.

New York Times Cites Bob Lattinville in Coaches’ Salary Article

In a September 8 article titled “What Does a College Pay for Its Football Coach? It Depends How Many It’s Paying,” the New York Times cites work done by Spencer Fane attorney Bob Lattinville.

Labette Health Opens New Facility Delivering Emergency Medical Services to Rural Kansas

Spencer Fane is proud to announce its involvement with the opening of Labette Health’s Independence Healthcare Center in Independence, Kansas. For the first time since 2015, about 20,000 people who live in Southeast Kansas have access to critical emergency medical care.

2017 Employee Benefits Seminar

The Spencer Fane Employee Benefits group will host its annual seminar this fall in the Denver and Kansas City areas. The theme this year is:  “Benefits 2017:  Do You Know What You Need to Know?

Pat McLaughlin Reviews Ninth Circuit TCPA Decision Affecting Sellers Using Telemarketers

In an article published in Law360, Spencer Fane partner Pat McLaughlin updates readers on a recent ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit holding that a seller was not vicariously liable for calls made by a telemarketer in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) because the telemarketer was an independent contractor.

Multiple Publications Cite Athletic Director Compensation Survey by Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville

The FBS Athletic Directors’ Compensation Survey written by Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville and published in AthleticDirectorU has received attention from several publications.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Carrie Vaughn to Environmental and Energy Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that it will once again be joined by Carrie Vaughn, who rejoins the firm as an associate in its Environmental and Energy practice.

“Best Lawyers in America” Recognizes 58 Spencer Fane Attorneys

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that 58 of the firm’s attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Attorneys are recognized in their respective practice areas ranging from white collar criminal defense and environmental litigation to bankruptcy and tax law.

Norm Fretwell Reflects on West Point Experience in KBA Journal

In the July/August issue of The Journal of the Kansas Bar Association, Spencer Fane Partner Norm Fretwell is featured in an article titled “Reflections on Vietnam and the West Point Class of 1966.”

Andrea Chase and Eric Johnson Share Insights on Chapter 11 Conversions

In an article in American Bankruptcy Institute Journal titled “Chapter 11 Conversion Conundrum,” Spencer Fane attorneys Andrea Chase and Eric Johnson, together with co-authors Mark Stingley and Sarah Holdmeyer with the Bryan Cave law firm, discuss the challenges of property ownership when an individual Chapter 11 case is converted to a Chapter 7.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Interviewed by HoopsHD

In an article about spiraling salaries for D-1 Men’s basketball coaches, HoopsHD recently interviewed Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville.

Ellen Stewart Interviewed by Blacktie Colorado

Black Tie Colorado recently interviewed Spencer Fane Partner Ellen Stewart about her work in the community and with multiple charitable organizations.

Rick Kron and Tom George to Speak at Special District Association Conference

This year’s Special District Association (SDA) Conference, September 13-15 in Keystone, Colorado will feature two speakers from Spencer Fane.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Publish College Athletic Directors Compensation Survey

In another of their ongoing articles for AthleticDirectorU, Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville recently published the FBS Athletic Directors’ Compensation Survey.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Rodney Nichols to Banking and Financial Services Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Partner Rodney Nichols to the firm’s Banking and Financial Services practice.

Kyle Elliott Shares IP Best Practices at Northland Coffee Connect

In a presentation at iWerx, an entrepreneurial development center in North Kansas City, MO, Kyle Elliott recently discussed intellectual property legal issues with approximately 30 business owners.

Spencer Fane Featured in Missouri Lawyers Weekly

In an article titled “Efficient Growth,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently interviewed Managing Partner Patrick J. Whalen about the client demand that’s driving the firm’s growth.

Mary Bacon Named Volunteer of the Month

The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN) recently recognized Spencer Fane attorney Mary Bacon as its Volunteer of the Month.

Pat McInerney Interviewed about Violent Crime in Kansas City

Spencer Fane Partner Pat McInerney, a former president of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, was recently interviewed on KCUR radio’s Up To Date show about the problem of violent crime in Kansas City.

Josh Dickinson Discusses Ethics Issues that Impact Debt Collection Attorneys

On Monday, July 17, Spencer Fane partner Josh Dickinson joined a panel discussion at this year’s ACA convention (Association of Credit and Collection Professionals), updating debt collection attorneys on ethics issues.

Through Leadership Las Vegas, Mary Bacon Makes a Difference for Schoolchildren

As an active member of Leadership Las Vegas, Spencer Fane attorney Mary Bacon is helping make a difference in lives of local schoolchildren. Mary’s Leadership Las Vegas class is placing Buddy Benches at 10 schools in the Clark County School District to help reduce bullying and integrate students.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Ed Herman to Firm’s Real Estate Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Ed Herman, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings more than 30 years of legal experience to the firm’s Real Estate practice.

Spencer Fane Now Accepting Arts Applicants for Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City

The Spencer Fane Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City was created to provide significant support to select local nonprofit arts organizations through a $50,000 donation to each over the course of three years. The program was designed as a rotation so that one new recipient will enter the program each year with another exiting upon completion of its three-year cycle. Our primary goal for the program is to encourage long-standing relationships with partner nonprofit organizations and provide employees with additional opportunities to become involved with the firm’s causes.

New Partners John O’Brien and Scott Sandberg Join Spencer Fane in Growing Denver Office

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Partners John O’Brien and Scott Sandberg in our Denver office.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Peter Goplerud to Firm’s Business Transactions Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Peter Goplerud, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings more than 40 years of legal experience to the firm’s Business Transactions practice.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Helen Holden to Labor and Employment Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Helen Holden, who joins the firm as Of Counsel and brings experience helping businesses successfully understand complex federal and state employment laws.

Mary Bacon Recognized as 2017 Nevada Rising Star

Spencer Fane attorney Mary Bacon has been selected to the 2017 Nevada Rising Stars list by Super Lawyers. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected to receive this honor.

Stephanie Lovett-Bowman Selected for Kansas City Tomorrow Program

The Civic Council of Greater Kansas City has selected Spencer Fane attorney Stephanie Lovett-Bowman as a member of the 2017 class of the Kansas City Tomorrow program. Stephanie joins a select group of business, industry, and government leaders who, over a 9-month period, will focus on issues analysis, decision making, and building effective community leadership skills.

Thomas Hayde Selected for Leadership St. Louis

FOCUS St. Louis, the region’s premier leadership organization, has selected Spencer Fane Partner Thomas Hayde to be part of its Leadership St. Louis (LSL) program. Thomas is one of 67 individuals from the private, public and nonprofit sectors selected for the 42nd LSL class. He joins a prestigious group of more than 2,000 leaders who have graduated from the LSL program since its inception in 1976.

Spencer Fane Hosts Historic Revitalization for Missouri Panel Discussion

Over 60 community leaders, real estate developers and members of the business community gathered Wednesday night at the Roasters Block in Kansas City to discuss the state of historic tax credits in Missouri. Panel members were former mayor of St. Louis Vince Shoemehl, Jim Farrell of Historic Revitalization for Missouri, and Spencer Fane attorneys David Schatz and Shawn Whitney. The panel was moderated by Spencer Fane attorney Nate Orr.

Pat McInerney to Speak at KCMBA Corporate House Counsel Institute

On Thursday, June 15, Spencer Fane Partner Pat McInerney will share his insights on Internal Investigations with members of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association at the 30th Annual Corporate House Counsel Institute.

Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville Provide Insights into NCAA Men’s Basketball Coaching Salaries

As part of their ongoing research and analysis into NCAA coaching salaries and contracts, Spencer Fane attorneys Roger Denny and Bob Lattinville are publishing their findings – and insights gleaned from those findings – in a series of articles with AthleticDirectorU.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Ryan Pulkrabek to Environmental & Energy Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of associate Ryan Pulkrabek to its Environmental & Energy practice.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Zachary Fairlie to Financial Services Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of associate Zachary Fairlie to its Financial Services practice.

Pat Whalen Shares Insights with the Kansas City Business Journal on Spencer Fane Growth

The Kansas City Business Journal recently interviewed Chairman Pat Whalen to discuss the Spencer Fane growth over the past several years. 

Frank Neuner Interviewed by St. Louis Business Journal about Spencer Fane Growth

The St. Louis Business Journal recently interviewed Frank Neuner to discuss the Spencer Fane growth over the past several years.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Mary Bacon to Litigation Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of litigation associate Mary Bacon to its newest office in Las Vegas.

Spencer Fane Opening Downtown St. Louis Office – Former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay Officially Joins Firm

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce its expansion into downtown St. Louis with a new office that will open shortly after former St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay officially joins the firm on May 8, 2017.

Spencer Fane Welcomes John D. Ryan to Litigation Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of John D. Ryan, who joins the firm in its growing litigation practice.

Spencer Fane Opens Las Vegas Office

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce its expansion into the Las Vegas market with the addition of partner John H. Mowbray, who brings to the firm and its clients a deep level of experience amassed throughout his 40-year legal career.

Duvel Pierre Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that Duvel “DJ” Pierre has joined the firm as an associate in its business litigation practice.

Eric Johnson Appointed as Division Chair of The Missouri Bar’s Business/Corporate Division

The Missouri Bar has appointed Spencer Fane Partner Eric Johnson as the Division Chair for the Business/Corporate Division.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Partner Paul Trimble As Firm Grows Energy Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Partner Paul Trimble, who adds significant depth to the firm’s growing Energy practice.

Blane Markley Interviewed About the Complexity of Closing St. Francis Hospital

With the recent news about the potential closing of St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, The Topeka Capital-Journal interviewed Spencer Fane Partner Blane Markley about the process of closing a hospital.

Andy Federhar and Pat Whalen Quoted in Az Big Media

Az Big Media recently published an article about the new Spencer Fane office in Phoenix. The article quotes Spencer Fane Phoenix Office Managing Partner Andy Federhar, mentioning that “The Esplanade is the perfect location to best serve our clients. We are committed to making this location a base from which we will expand our presence in Phoenix.”

Gerry Greiman Nominated as Board Chair of Jewish Federation of St. Louis

At the upcoming Jewish Federation of St. Louis’ Annual Meeting and Installation of Officers September 7, Gerry Greiman will be presented for election as the Board Chair of the organization.

Kersten Holzhueter Provides “Employer Lessons in Avoiding FCRA Violations” in Law360

In an article published in Law360, Kersten Holzhueter updates readers on a recent court ruling upholding strict procedures that employers must follow when obtaining criminal background records and credit histories from third parties on employees and applicants.

Spencer Fane Attorney Jane Dueker Named Among The Missouri Times 100 List

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce attorney Jane Dueker has been named to The Missouri Times’ 100 List. The publication’s biennial list features “100 people in the Missouri public policy process you need to know”.

Andy Lester Quoted in Oklahoman Article about Higher Education Task Force

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, which includes Andy Lester, Spencer Fane Partner, is forming a task force to review the status of Oklahoma’s higher education system and make recommendations to improve and modernize it.

Ellen Stewart Conducts Healthcare Financial Management Seminar

Spencer Fane Partner Ellen Stewart recently conducted a 2-day seminar providing in-depth education for Healthcare Financial Management Association (FHMA) members.

Charissa Sloan Dvorak Appointed to Texas State-wide Council

Charissa Sloan Dvorak has recently been appointed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to serve on the state’s Council on Sex Offender Treatment. Since 1983, the council members, recognized by the State of Texas as experienced professionals in the treatment and management of sex offenders, have set forth the standards for treatment to enhance public safety and oversee the licensing of sex offender treatment providers.

Andrew Brought and Mark Thornhill Provide Insights on DOJ Worker Endangerment Initiative

Andrew Brought and Mark Thornhill spoke to health and safety leaders at Kansas City companies about federal civil and criminal enforcement of worker endangerment laws. The presentation was part of the Midwestern Construction Safety Conference sponsored by The Builder’s Association of Kansas City.

Paul Jacobson Provides Update on Hazardous Waste Regulations at A&WMA Conference

At the February Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA) Technical Conference, Spencer Fane attorney Paul Jacobson updated attendees on the recent changes in federal regulations regarding the management of hazardous waste.

Spencer Fane Opens Phoenix Office with Three Attorneys

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce its expansion into the Phoenix market with the addition of partners Andrew M. Federhar (Andy) and John R. Jefferies (Randy), as well as associate Jessica Gale, who bring to the firm and its clients a high-level of experience amassed throughout their notable legal careers. 

Spencer Fane Partner Ellen Stewart’s Healthcare Law Class Featured in Law Week Colorado

In a recent article in Law Week Colorado, Ellen Stewart was interviewed about the Health Care Law class she’s teaching at University of Denver Sturm College of Law, its first ever on the subject.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay to Join Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that Francis G. Slay will join the firm after he concludes his 16-year term as Mayor of the City of St. Louis – the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history. Upon the conclusion of his term in April, Mayor Slay will return to private practice in early May 2017, working out of a new Spencer Fane office in downtown St. Louis.

Andy Lester Quoted in Oklahoman Article about STEM Education

In a February 2 article in The Oklahoman about the need for engineering graduates in the state, Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester mentions that the engineering dean at Oklahoma State “tells me that we have more good students who are applying, but we don’t have the funding to even take those students.”

Joe Hatley Shares Insights on Cost of Lawsuits Against Missouri School Districts

Spencer Fane Partner Joe Hatley was interviewed recently by KSHB television station in Kansas City to discuss the cost of employment discrimination lawsuits filed against school districts in Missouri.

Spencer Fane Grows into Phoenix Market with Addition of Randy Jefferies

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce it is expanding into the Phoenix market with the addition of John R. Jefferies (Randy) who joins the firm as a Partner with a notable and accomplished career practicing as a federal and state procurement and contracts lawyer in the real estate and construction industries.

Griffin Bridgers Updates Real Estate Investors on Proposed IRS Regulations

The Colorado Real Estate Journal published an article in its January 18 issue written by Spencer Fane attorney Griffin Bridgers.

Spencer Fane Reunites With Lovett-Bowman, Expands Litigation Practice

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that it will once again be joined by Of Counsel Stephanie A. Lovett-Bowman who rejoins the firm’s litigation practice after serving with the U.S. Department of Education. Previous to her time at the DoE, Stephanie served with Spencer Fane for five years.

Ellen Stewart Shares Insights on Healthcare Legal Issues with Two Colorado-Based Audiences

Spencer Fane Partner Ellen E. Stewart spoke at two events recently, covering topics that are critical to the healthcare community.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City to perform Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters this weekend

Spencer Fane is proud to be an underwriter of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Exploration Series, featuring in its next performance, Elvis Costello’s The Juliet Letters.

Scott Blakesley Discusses Charitable Giving Strategies with Ingram’s Readers

In its December issue, Ingram’s magazine published an article by Spencer Fane Partner Scott Blakesley offering insight into the allocation of personal assets to charitable causes.

Spencer Fane Elevates Three Attorneys to Partner

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that three of its attorneys have been elected as partners effective January 1, 2017. The partners include Kersten Holzhueter, Kevin S. Tuttle and Elizabeth Wente.

Spencer Fane Adds Depth To Litigation And Energy Law Practice

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Jordan Jackson to its Oklahoma City office. He will join the firm’s litigation team, contributing a broad depth of experience in a range of practice areas, from real estate and acquisitions to oil and gas law. Jordan joins the firm from Freeman Mills PC of Tyler, Texas.

Ken Mason Discusses 21st Century Cures Act in Law360

In an article published in Law360, Spencer Fane Partner Ken Mason brings readers up-to-date on the 21st Century Cures Act and its relevance to small employers.

Spencer Fane Sponsors Lyric Opera Exploration Series

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce its newly formed sponsorship of The Exploration Series, a new initiative of Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Publish Coaching Salary Findings in USA Today

Spencer Fane LLP attorneys Bob Lattinville and Roger Denny were recently published in USA Today as instrumental contributors to the publication’s annual release of top collegiate head football coach and assistant coach salaries across all Division I conferences.

Elvin Knight inducted into the Estate Planning Society of Kansas City Hall of Fame

At its annual holiday dinner and Hall of Fame Award Presentation, members of the Estate Planning Society of Kansas City inducted Elvin Knight into its Hall of Fame.

Elizabeth Fast Shares Creative Examples on How to Remain an Independent Community Bank

Published in the Show-Me Banker, Spencer Fane Partner, Elizabeth Fast’s article on “How to Remain an Independent Community Banker” focuses on the importance of this topic to bank shareholders.

Spencer Fane Announces Combination with Berenbaum Weinshienk

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that the attorneys of 70 year-old Denver-based Berenbaum Weinshienk PC have joined the firm effective Dec. 1, 2016.

Spencer Fane Managing Partner Patrick J. Whalen Recognized By Ingram’s

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Managing Partner Patrick J. Whalen has been recognized by Ingram’s Magazine as an inaugural member of the Ingram’s 250 list of the most influential business leaders in the Kansas City region.

Spencer Fane Adds Depth to Labor & Employment Practice

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Nikki Hutson to its Springfield, Mo. office. Nikki will join the firm’s Labor and Employment group, bringing with her six years of experience in Labor and Employment law and Commercial Litigation.

Spencer Fane Earns 56 Rankings in U.S. News Best Law Firms List

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that the firm earned a total of 56 rankings in the 2017 edition of U.S. News and Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” list, including 23 Tier 1 local rankings as well as five Tier 3 national rankings.

Eric Johnson Provides Insights on Recent U. S. Bankruptcy Court Ruling

In an article in American Bankruptcy Journal that he co-authored with Mark Stingley from Bryan Cave, Spencer Fane Partner Eric Johnson updates readers on the potential effects of a recent ruling by the U. S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware in the Intervention Energy Holdings LLC matter.

Spencer Fane LLP Adds Depth To Its Litigation Group In Kansas City

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Mike Seitz to its litigation group in Kansas City.

Frank Neuner Updates St. Louis Business Owners and Managers on New Labor Guidelines

During a lunch meeting at the Roofing & Siding Contractors Alliance, Inc. (RSCA) in St. Louis, MO, Frank Neuner updated members on the new Department of Labor and OSHA rules.

Five Spencer Fane Attorneys Recognized as “Best of the Bar”

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that five of the firm’s attorneys were included among this year’s “Best of the Bar” issue in the Kansas City Business Journal.

Oklahoma Super Lawyers Recognizes Davies, Lester, Powell and Vaughn

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that four of the firm’s Oklahoma City attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition of Oklahoma Super Lawyers and Oklahoma Rising Stars list.

McCann Speaks on The Business of Beer Panel for Kansas City Business Journal Hoppy Hour

The Kansas City Business Journal hosted the Business of Beer Panel Discussion & Hoppy Hour event on Thursday, September 28. Spencer Fane partner, Mike McCann joined a panel of five that included a brewmaster, brewery owners, and a certified cicerone.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands, Adding Three New Associates in Kansas City And One in St. Louis

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of four new associates. Three will be added to its Kansas City, MO. office, as well as one new associate addition to its St. Louis, MO. office. David Hrabik will be joining the firm’s Corporate Practice Group; Paul T. Jacobson and Shelby Wood will be added to the Environmental Practice Group. In St. Louis, Soo Hyun Cho will join the Corporate Practice Group.

Spencer Fane Expands Its Employee Benefits Practice Group

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Beth Miller to its Employee Benefits Practice Group. Beth brings with her more than 19 years of experience providing legal guidance and risk mitigation strategies to service providers in the retirement industry and employers.

Spencer Fane Successfully Defends the Interests of American Piping Products

Spencer Fane attorneys Richard Lageson and Thomas Hayde were recently successful in defending American Piping Products (APP) against a $6 million lawsuit.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands Financial Services Group in St. Louis, Missouri

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Scot Seabaugh has joined the firm’s Financial Services Practice Group as Partner, bringing with him more than 30 years’ experience.

Spencer Fane Expands To Cape Girardeau With Addition Of Michael D. Murphy

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of attorney Michael D. Murphy in conjunction with the opening of a Spencer Fane office in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. With the addition and the new office, Spencer Fane now has five offices in the state of Missouri, advancing its strong regional footprint and state-wide presence further into southeast Missouri.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands Litigation Group in St. Louis

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Eric Block has joined the firm’s Litigation Practice Group as Associate Attorney.

Rick Kron Discusses Infrastructure Financing at NAIOP Meeting

During an August 17 meeting of the Colorado Chapter of the NAIOP (National Association for Industrial and Office Parks), Rick Kron joined a four-person panel to discuss “Building a Better Colorado: Financing Infrastructure After Landmark Court Case.”

Spencer Fane Receives Best of Business Kansas City Award in Ingram’s Magazine

Readers of Ingram’s magazine, a leading business publication in Kansas City, have recognized Spencer Fane with a Best of Business Kansas City award. This is the first time in the publication’s 28 year history of this recognition that Spencer Fane has received the award.

“Best Lawyers in America” Recognizes 47 Spencer Fane Attorneys

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that 47 of the firm’s attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2017 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Attorneys are recognized in their respective practice areas ranging from white collar criminal defense and environmental litigation to bankruptcy and tax law.

Industry Week features Brian Peterson Article on new OSHA Regulations

In national industry publication, Industry Week, Spencer Fane attorney Brian Peterson gives insight to employers on new OSHA regulations regarding drug testing.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Patrick McInerney to White Collar Criminal Defense Group

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Patrick McInerney has joined the firm’s Kansas City office as Partner in the White Collar Criminal Defense practice group.

Heather Morris and Eric Peterson Share Insights on Commercial Receivership Act

The Missouri Banker featured an article in its July publication written by Spencer Fane attorneys, Heather Morris and Eric Peterson, about the Commercial Receivership Act becoming a law. In the article, Heather and Eric discuss how the act provides a complete statutory structure for the appointment of receivers, and explain how it affects banks.

Former Oklahoma Corporate Commissioner Joins Spencer Fane LLP

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Patrice Douglas has joined the firm as Of Counsel.

Tom Jerry Shares Insights on Commercial Real Estate with St. Louis Business Journal

The St. Louis Business Journal hosted a “Table of Experts” panel discussion on July 22nd focusing on Commercial Real Estate. Contributors included Spencer Fane Partner Tom Jerry along with six other representatives from the local real estate community including brokers, developers, accountants, bankers and designers.

Pat Whalen Discusses New Market Expansion with Dallas Business Journal

The Dallas Business Journal recently interviewed Pat Whalen to discuss the Spencer Fane LLP expansion into the Dallas/Fort Worth market.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands Municipalities, Litigation Practice Groups

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Elizabeth Dauer and Jacob Hollars have joined the firm. Ms. Dauer will practice in the firm’s Municipal Practice Group, and Mr. Hollars will join the Litigation Group.

Laura Bond Elected to REACH Board of Directors

The REACH Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to improving health care access and quality for poor and medically underserved individuals through financial support of programs and initiatives, has elected Spencer Fane attorney Laura Bond to its Board of Directors.

Spencer Fane Now Accepting Arts Applicants for Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City

Last year, Spencer Fane launched its innovative, new charitable giving program with the mission of renewing the firm’s commitment to the arts community in Kansas City while maximizing the impact of its annual giving.

Jacob Sparks Discusses Ipso Facto Clauses in Dallas Headnotes

In his article titled “Ipso Facto Clauses in Executory Contracts,” which was featured on the front page of the July 2016 issue of the Dallas Bar Association’s Headnotes newspaper, Jacob Sparks shares insights on Bankruptcy Code and how it affects ipso facto clauses.

Litigation Support Manager Judy Craig Achieves E-Discovery Designation

Litigation Support Manager Judy Craig has earned the designation of Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS). The CEDS Certification is awarded to those who meet certain qualification standards and pass a rigorous 4-hour certification examination.

Elizabeth Fast Named in Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business Awards

Spencer Fane Partner Elizabeth Fast has been selected as an honoree for Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business award.

Dickinson Shares Legal Insights at Credit Industry Convention

Josh Dickinson was recently a featured speaker at the ACA International Convention. The convention annually brings together over 1,000 members and industry professionals for education and networking focused on advancing the credit and collection industry.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands into Dallas Market

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that the firm has established a presence in the Dallas/Fort Worth market with the addition of three attorneys: Charissa Sloan Dvorak (Litigation) who has joined Spencer Fane from GRACE, a non-profit that assists faith communities with responses to sexual misconduct or abuse, and Jaspal Hare (Intellectual Property) and Jacob Sparks (Litigation and Financial Services), who have joined the firm from Scheef & Stone, L.L.P. The new Dallas office reflects the firm’s continued strategic growth into new markets to better suit clients’ needs.

Laura Bond Provides Insights on Contracts for Home Health Agencies

Laura Bond was recently interviewed for an article written for Home Health Line, a newsletter focused on regulatory news, benchmarks and best practices for home care agencies.

Andy Lester Quoted in Law360 Regarding U. S. Supreme Court Decision

Partner Andy Lester was recently quoted in Law360 for his insights regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Fisher v University of Texas, in which the Court ruled that the university’s race-conscious admissions policy is constitutional, rejecting a challenge by an unsuccessful applicant who claims she was discriminated against because she is white.

Amy Mistler Selected for Leadership St. Louis

FOCUS St. Louis, the region’s premier leadership organization, has selected Amy Mistler to be part of its Leadership St. Louis (LSL) program. Amy joins a prestigious group of more than 2,000 leaders who have graduated from the LSL program since its inception in 1976.

Sue Willman Elected as a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers

Partner Sue Willman has been elected as a Fellow in The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. Election as a Fellow is the highest recognition by one’s colleagues of sustained outstanding performance in the profession, exemplifying integrity, dedication and excellence. Sue is also a certified human resources professional and holds the SHRM-SCP and SPHR certifications.

David Wing Quoted by Law360 Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Decision

Spencer Fane Partner David Wing was recently quoted by Law360 for his insights regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, in which the Court set aside a ruling by the Ninth Circuit that held auto dealer service advisors should be entitled to overtime compensation.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands Financial Services Group

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Allison Tanner has joined the firm’s Financial Services Practice Group as Of Counsel.

Pat Whalen Shares Insights on Spencer Fane Growth

The Kansas City Business Journal recently interviewed Chairman Pat Whalen to discuss the Spencer Fane growth that has it “standing above the crowd” in terms of revenue and income growth.

Spencer Fane LLP Expands Litigation Practice Group

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Wale Akinmoladun has joined the firm’s Litigation Practice Group as an Associate.

Spencer Fane Partners David Schatz and Erik Solverud Featured in Ingram’s

In an article published by Ingram’s Magazine, David Schatz and Erik Solverud discuss why contractors should embrace the written contract to avoid future litigation.

Former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that former Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has joined the firm.

Andy Lester Sworn In as Regent

In a ceremony that took place May 27, Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester was sworn in to the Oklahoma State Regents For Higher Education by U.S. district Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange.

Jamie Cotter Discusses Special Districts Litigation Issues in Law Week

Law Week Colorado recently published an article written by Partner Jamie Cotter entitled “Special Districts – How to Protect Yourself from Litigation.”

Former Assistant Attorney General Joins Spencer Fane LLP

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that former Colorado Assistant Attorney General Tom George has joined the firm. Tom will join the Municipal and Local Governments practice group as Of Counsel.

Missouri Commercial Receivership Act

On May 10, 2016, the Missouri Commercial Receivership Act (the “Act”) was passed by the Missouri General Assembly as SB 578. The proposed Act provides a complete statutory structure for the appointment of receivers and the administration of receiverships within the state.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly Features Mediation Article by Frank Neuner

Spencer Fane Partner Frank Neuner was recently published by Missouri Lawyers Weekly in an article discussing the use of opening statements in mediation.

Larry Jenab Discusses Supreme Court ERISA Ruling in Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently published an article written by Spencer Fane Partner Larry Jenab on the surprising truth behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan.

Ingram’s Selects Denise Portnoy to its 2016 Class of 40 Under Forty

Spencer Fane Partner Denise Portnoy has been named a 2016 “40 Under Forty” by Ingram’s Magazine, Kansas City’s premier business publication. Each year, the publication recognizes the 40 most accomplished individuals under the age of 40 in the Kansas City metropolitan area based on professional successes, as well as community involvement.

St. Louis Magazine Selects Spencer Fane Partner as 100 People to Know in Business

St. Louis Small Business Monthly recently announced that Spencer Fane Partner Jim Dankenbring has been selected for inclusion in its Top 100 People to Know in Business.

Spencer Fane Continues Investment in Kansas City’s Arts Culture

Spencer Fane LLP is making a long-term commitment to support the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, a nonprofit dedicated to hosting Shakespeare performances, free to all.

Nate Orr Discusses the Modern Client-Attorney Relationship in Ingram’s Magazine

Spencer Fane attorney Nate Orr recently published an article in Ingram’s Magazine, discussing the necessity of adaptation in the evolving legal industry. In the article, Nate addresses major changes that have occurred in the modern client-attorney relationship and provides guidance for those wishing to adapt to meet clients’ new expectations.

Spencer Fane Listed as One of the Largest 250 Law Firms in the Country

In its annual survey of U.S. law firms, Law360 has named Spencer Fane to the Law360 400.

Andy Lester Appointed as Co-Chair in Groundbreaking Bipartisan Commission

Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester was recently appointed to serve as one of three co-chairs for the newly formed Oklahoma Death Penalty Review Commission.

Shawn Whitney Shares Insights on New Approaches for Historic Tax Credit Investments

Partner Shawn Whitney was recently featured in an article in the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits. The article discusses the difficulties faced by smaller developers when it comes to attracting investors for developments using Historic Tax Credits. Whitney explained the issue they often experience.

Spencer Fane Hosts Community Influencers Dinner

Thursday night, March 24, Spencer Fane hosted a reception and dinner in conjunction with the Command and General Staff College Foundation (CGSCF). Over 40 Community Influencers – business and community leaders throughout Kansas City – attended the dinner to meet and listen to remarks from Patrick Murphy, the Acting Secretary of the Army.

Lester Shares Insights on Oklahoma State University Diversity Award in The Oklahoman

Spencer Fane Partner Andy Lester was quoted in The Oklahoman in an article announcing Oklahoma State University’s recent receipt of the Institutional Excellence Award, which was presented to the university by the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

Colorado Super Lawyers Recognizes Stu Pack and Jamie Cotter

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that two of the firm’s Denver attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition of Colorado Super Lawyers and 2016 Colorado Rising Stars list.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Upholds Scholarship Program

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that the Oklahoma Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of the firm’s clients in a high-profile dispute regarding a scholarship program for disabled children. The state-funded scholarship had been under scrutiny for including aid to children who attend sectarian schools and called into question whether that inclusion offended the “no aid” clause of the Oklahoma Constitution, which prohibits the use of state money or property to aid religion.

McCann Shares Insights on Startups’ Common Pitfalls

Spencer Fane partner Mike McCann was recently interviewed by the Kansas City Business Journal to discuss common legal concerns that entrepreneurs should be wary of when starting a business.

Spencer Fane Continues Growth of St. Louis Office

Spencer Fane is pleased to welcome Aaron Pawlitz to the firm’s St. Louis office. Pawlitz will join the Business Transactions practice group as partner where he will focus on counseling domestic and international public, private and nonprofit organizations in a wide variety of industries. In particular, he will help clients navigate mergers and acquisitions, real estate and lending transactions, corporate governance and other commercial agreements.

General Counsel Name Whalen a Client Service All-Star

After in-depth interviews with more than 300 general counsel and legal decision-makers at large organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue, BTI Consulting Group recognized Spencer Fane Chairman Pat Whalen as one of the nation’s best in providing superior client service.

Spencer Fane Partner Authors Bloomberg Tax Management Portfolio

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Partner Larry Jenab recently published a professional treatise on qualified retirement plans.

Spencer Fane Attorney Putting Cyber Security Certification To Work

Spencer Fane attorney Jonathan Gray has earned the esteemed designation of Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a global organization dedicated to advancing the privacy and data protection industry.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly Recognizes Richard Walters as Law Firm Leader of the Year

Missouri Lawyers Weekly has selected Spencer Fane Springfield Office Managing Partner Richard Walters as a Law Firm Leader of the Year for his successful leadership and growth of the firm in the Springfield, Mo., market.

Spencer Fane Expands Presence into Oklahoma

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce that 9 former Lester, Loving & Davies, P.C. attorneys have joined the firm in a strategic move to expand its operations into Oklahoma and further strengthen its presence throughout the region.

Spencer Fane Partner Appointed to TAGLaw Advisory Board

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Partner James Dankenbring was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of TAGLaw, an international alliance of independent law firms, which provides accounting, legal, financial and business support services to its member firms.

Spencer Fane Invests in St. Louis Youth and Family Programs

Spencer Fane LLP is making a long-term commitment to support Epworth Children & Family Services, a nonprofit whose mission is to help St. Louis youth and families find strengths, overcome obstacles and build brighter futures. Thousands turn to Epworth each year for emergency shelter, residential and intensive treatment, family reunification therapy, transitional and independent living programs, psychological services and foster family care.

Spencer Fane Expands Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice

Spencer Fane is pleased to welcome Patrick J. McAndrews to the firm’s Kansas City office where he will serve as a senior associate within the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group.

Hatley Sheds Light on Sexual Harassment Law on KCUR

Spencer Fane Partner Joe Hatley was featured as a guest commentator earlier this week in an “Up to Date” segment on local radio station KCUR. Hatley shared his insight on the legal definitions of sexual harassment as part of a story on members of the Missouri House of Representatives participating in harassment training. The training was held in response to last year’s sexual harassment incidents involving Statehouse interns.

Jason Smith Among Springfield Business Journal’s 2016 Class of 40 Under 40

Spencer Fane Partner Jason Smith was recently recognized by the Springfield Business Journal as one of the city’s most accomplished individuals under the age of 40. The annual “40 Under 40” feature honors those who have achieved significant success in both the civic and professional arenas and are considered “up-and-comers.”

Spencer Fane Welcomes Former Missouri Assistant Attorney General

Spencer Fane is pleased to welcome Brian T. Bear to the firm’s Kansas City office where he will serve as an associate within the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group.

Mason Offers Insight on IRS Affordable Care Act Guidance in SHRM Article

Spencer Fane Partner Ken Mason was recently featured in an article by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) concerning new guidance from the IRS under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Springfield Business Journal Highlights Spencer Fane Initiative with The eFactory

The Spencer Fane Springfield office and a local business incubator, The eFactory, were recently featured by the Springfield Business Journal in an article on the pair’s relationship.

St. Louis Business Journal Highlights Spencer Fane Growth

In its 2015 Year in Review, the St. Louis Business Journal highlighted the recent growth of the Spencer Fane St. Louis office. The article noted the addition of numerous experienced and renowned attorneys to the firm including Mark Boatman, Sherry Dreisewerd and Jane Dueker, among others.

Walters Recognized as Extraordinary Law Firm Leader by Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Spencer Fane Partner Richard Walters was recently recognized as a law firm leader who “demonstrated extraordinary vision, innovation and leadership during the year” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

KC Counselor Highlights Spencer Fane in “Office Design Trends” Article

A recent issue of KC Counselor featured an article about how current law office design trends “steer away from the mahogany wall, brass fixtures and the smell of leather-bound book of yesteryear.”

Springfield Business Journal Highlights Spencer Fane Growth

The Springfield Business Journal recently recognized Spencer Fane Britt & Browne as “an upstart local competitor” in an article highlighting its continued growth since establishing a presence in Springfield in June.

Spencer Fane Sponsors 35 Local Children in Holiday Gift Drive

The Spencer Fane St. Louis office recently participated in the Motion for Kids program through the St. Louis Bar Foundation, which gives gifts to children in the foster care system or those who have been severely impacted in some way by the criminal justice system.

Spencer Fane Chairman Named ‘Cyber Security Trailblazer’

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that firm Chairman Pat Whalen was recently recognized as a Cyber Security Trailblazer by The National Law Journal for his accomplishments on behalf of clients in this emerging area of law.

McCann Shares Insights with Brewers on Positioning for a Successful Sale at National Conference

Spencer Fane partner Mike McCann was recently a featured speaker and panelist at Brewbound Session, a leading national conference focused on the business side of the craft brewing industry. McCann offered insights on how a brewer can best position his or her business for a successful sale and ultimately a prosperous future.

Ron Fano Shares Insights on “Ban the Box” Mandate

A recent issue of Law Week Colorado featured an interview with Spencer Fane partner Ron Fano on the recent mandate for federal agencies to remove criminal history inquiries from employment applications, and how it could affect government contractors and other employers.

Spencer Fane Announces Promotion of 7 New Partners

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that seven attorneys in offices stretching from St. Louis to Denver have been elected as partners of the firm effective on Jan. 1, 2016. The attorneys include Jamie Cotter, Roger Denny, Amy Mistler, Casey Murray, David O’Leary, Denise Portnoy and Robert Preston.

Spencer Fane Partner Thomas Hayde Earns Renowned Cyber Security Certification

Spencer Fane Partner Thomas Hayde earned the esteemed designation of Certified Information Privacy Professional/United States (CIPP/US) in November from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a global organization dedicated to advancing the privacy and data protection industry.

Spencer Fane Expands its Corporate Practice Group

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome Associate Justin Leck to its Kansas City office. Leck will rejoin the firm’s Corporate Practice Group where he will focus on corporate law and real estate, including transfers and leases of real property, mergers and acquisitions, securities, corporate finance and providing general advice and services for privately held companies.

Spencer Fane Client L.J. Hart Saves School District $86K

As reported in The Monett Times, the Wheaton, Missouri school district recently approved “a general obligation bond refunding,” which resulted in a savings of more than $86,000. Spencer Fane client L.J. Hart & Company of St. Louis prepared the refunding proposal, which Assistant Vice-President Brad M. Wegman explained could align with the long-range plans of the district. L.J. Hart also underwrote the Series 2015 refunding bonds.

Baerbel Schiller Shares Insights on Leadership and Legal Careers

On Monday November 9, Baerbel Schiller participated in a panel discussion at St. Louis University School of Law focusing on careers paths that can stem from a degree in law.

Spencer Fane Earns Top Rankings in U.S. News’ Best Law Firms

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that the firm earned a total of 54 rankings in the 2016 edition of U.S. News’ Best Law Firms including 24 Tier 1 local and state rankings as well as one Tier 2 and four Tier 3 national rankings.

Spencer Fane Named ‘Best in Quality’ Among St. Louis Businesses

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that the firm was recently named as one of the “Best in Business” by St. Louis Small Business Monthly.

Alderman Jack Coatar Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to welcome Jack Coatar to its St. Louis office as counsel in its Governmental Affairs and Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice groups.

Brian Peterson Speaks at Associated Industries of Missouri Conference

On Thursday, October 22, Brian Peterson spoke at the Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) Tax, Business and Manufacturing Conference. The three-day conference featured multiple sessions discussing current business issues in Missouri.

Spencer Fane Expands Springfield Real Estate Practice

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Adlai Groves to its Springfield office. Groves will join the firm’s Real Estate Group where he will focus his practice on real estate development and incentives, tax credits, housing, construction and real estate finance.

Greg Ash to Speak at ACI’s 10th National Forum on ERISA Litigation

On Monday, October 26, Greg Ash will speak at the American Conference Institute’s (ACI) 10th National Forum on ERISA Litigation. The conference focuses on strategies for leading in-house and outside counsel on litigating today’s key issues involving benefit plans, plan investments, and fiduciaries.

McCann Offers Insight to Brewers on Positioning for a Successful Sale

Spencer Fane Partner Mike McCann was featured as a guest author in the leading craft brewing publication Brewbound last week, offering his insights on how a brewer can best position his or her business for a successful sale and ultimately a prosperous future. In his article, McCann outlined the steps that brewers should take before they begin to consider a sale.

St. Louis City Circuit Court Rules Against Minimum Wage Increase

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that St. Louis City Circuit Court Judge Steven Ohmer ruled in favor of the firm’s clients in a high-profile minimum wage dispute that has gained national attention.  Judge Ohmer declared that the city’s recent minimum wage increase is “unenforceable as  in conflict” with state law, striking down the city’s plan to raise the local minimum wage to $8.25 per hour on Oct. 15 and $11 per hour by 2018.

Spencer Fane Expands Financial Services Practice in St. Louis

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Eric Peterson to the firm’s St. Louis office. Peterson will serve as counsel in the Financial Services practice group where he will apply his nearly two decades of commercial bankruptcy and litigation experience in representing financial institutions including banks and finance companies, as well as entrepreneurs, business executives and investors in complex business disputes.

Spencer Fane Expands Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group

Spencer Fane is pleased to welcome Associate Ian London to the firm’s Denver office where he will join the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group. Mr. London’s practice is primarily focused on civil litigation, but he has particular experience in professional liability matters across a wide range of industries including health care.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Participate in SIOR Development Day

Attorneys from Spencer Fane’s Real Estate and Environmental teams exhibited Thursday 9/24 at SIOR Development Day, hosted by the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.

Andrew Brought Presents on Accidental Release and Chemical Accident Prevention Programs at Missouri Environment and Energy Conference

Spencer Fane Partner Andrew Brought was selected to present at this year’s Missouri Chamber of Commerce Environment and Energy Conference.

Andrew Brought Shares His Insights on Phase I Environmental Site Assessments

Spencer Fane Partner Andrew Brought was recently featured as a guest columnist in SIOR Professional Report, a quarterly publication of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Support Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation at Liberty and Justice Gala

The Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation Liberty and Justice Gala was held Saturday, September 12, 2015 at the Midland Theater.

Spencer Fane Now Accepting Applicants for Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City

As reported by The Kansas City Star, Spencer Fane launched its innovative, new charitable giving program earlier this year with the mission of renewing the firm’s commitment to the arts community in Kansas City while maximizing the impact of its annual giving.

Jane Dueker Recognized as Someone ‘You Need to Know’ in Missouri Public Policy

Spencer Fane Counsel Jane Dueker was recently included among the 2015 list of 100+ people in Missouri public policy you need to know by The Missouri Times. The annual list features a variety of individuals who work across a range of sectors in the public policy process from campaign managers and public relations consultants to lobbyists and political party officials. She was also included on The Missouri Times 2013 100+ list of people you need to know in Missouri politics and political media.

Scott Goldstein to speak at Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute

Scott Goldstein of Spencer Fane will participate on a panel at the 35th Annual Midwestern Bankruptcy Institute with Edward Gavin of Gavin Solmonese, Deborah Gutfeld of Perkins Coie, and Christopher Ward of Polsinelli to discuss recent cases where the “alleged” best of intentions of management went awry and led to corporate failure, resulting in litigation seeking restitution for the damage.

Spencer Fane Adds Two to Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of associates Thomas S. Hiatt and Madison A. Fischer to its Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group in the firm’s Kansas City office.

Elizabeth Fast to Conduct Banking Staff Training

Elizabeth Fast of Spencer Fane will conduct training sessions for front-line banking staff September 24 in Phillipsburg, KS and September 29 in Mayetta, KS., in conjunction with the Community Bankers Association of Kansas (CBA). The 2-hour sessions will cover important banking laws and regulations that are essential knowledge for staff members to properly handle a bank’s operations. Cost is only $49 for CBA members, and $69 for non-members. To register, go to http://cbak.com/ and click on “Calendar.”

Spencer Fane and Mike Hockley recognized by the Command and General Staff Foundation

The Command and General Staff College Foundation (CGSCF), a non-profit educational foundation that provides resources and support to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) in the development of tomorrow’s military leaders, has recognized Spencer Fane and Mike Hockley as long-time supporters of the Foundation.

Robbins Shares Insights on Brulotte Rule in Law360

Spencer Fane Partner Glenn Robbins was featured as a guest author in Law360 this past week, offering his insights on the Brulotte rule, which restricts patent holders from receiving license royalties following a patent’s expiration.

State of Colorado Honors Tom Grimshaw

More than seventy five friends and family gathered to honor Spencer Fane retired partner Tom Grimshaw Saturday night at the Community College of Denver, and to celebrate his nearly 60 years of service to the legal profession, the state of Colorado, and the Colorado Community College System.

417 Magazine Highlights New Springfield Office

The new Spencer Fane office in Springfield is featured in the September issue of 417 Magazine. The article focuses on the design of the office, and mentions that it “looks more like a creative business space than a law firm, but that was exactly the company’s goal.”

Dave Seitter weighs in on partnership pitfalls

Apex Business Advisors, a consulting firm that helps business owners with mergers, acquisitions, and sales of businesses, recently interviewed Spencer Fane Partner Dave Seitter about the leading causes of partnership disputes and how to avoid them.

Spencer Fane Garners Media Attention Following Win in Copyright Dispute

Spencer Fane was featured in the Kansas City Business Journal last week, following the announcement that Rightscorp, Inc. had dropped its appeal of a court decision in favor of the firm’s client, Birch Communications. Spencer Fane Partner Gardiner Davis served as lead defense counsel for Birch in the case, which was decided in May of this year by the U.S. District Court in Atlanta.

Spencer Fane Expands Litigation & Dispute Resolution Practice Group

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of Associate Tara A. Bailes to its Springfield office. Bailes will join the firm’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice Group where she will focus her practice on litigating a variety of matters on behalf of clients across a wide range of industries, including commercial and construction matters.

‘Best Lawyers in America’ Recognizes 41 Spencer Fane Attorneys

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that 41 of the firm’s attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Attorneys are recognized in their respective practice areas ranging from white collar criminal defense and environmental litigation to bankruptcy and tax law.

Spencer Fane Presents 6th Annual ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast

Spencer Fane is proud to present the sixth annual Inspiration Breakfast benefiting ArtsKC Regional Art Council. The breakfast, led by ArtsKC Honorary Chair Bobby Epsten and Event Co-Chairs Brad Douglas and Arzie Umali, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 22 at Starlight Theatre Enclosed Stage.

Mike McCann Represents Firestone Walker in Brewery Deal with Duvel Moortgat

As featured in numerous local, national and industry media, California-based craft brewer Firestone Walker announced late last week that the company would merge with Belgian brewer and Boulevard Brewing Co. owner Duvel Moortgat. Spencer Fane Partner Mike McCann represented Firestone in the deal and previously represented Boulevard in their deal with Duvel in October 2013.

Satterwhite Recognized as ‘Trusted Adviser’ by Springfield Business Journal

Spencer Fane Partner Paul Satterwhite was honored this past week by the Springfield Business Journal as part of the publication’s annual “Trusted Adviser” awards. Satterwhite was one of three selected for recognition in the lawyers category, which recognizes the city’s top legal advisers and honors those individuals who have made their life’s work supporting fellow members of the business community by providing professional expertise and exceptional service.

Neuner Shares Insights on DOL Misclassification Guidance in Law360

Spencer Fane Partner Frank Neuner was quoted in Law360 this morning in an article covering the new guidance issued by the Department of Labor this week on how to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Spencer Fane Featured in Business Journal for Successful Defense in Class Actions

The Kansas City Business Journal reported on two rulings from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court this week, both of which featured a successful defense by Spencer Fane Partner Leslie Greathouse and Partner Loyd Gattis.

New Look, Same Values: Spencer Fane Launches New Brand Identity

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the launch of its new brand identity and website, which are a reflection of a series of conversations with, and feedback from, the firm’s key clients about the Spencer Fane culture and commitment to serving the business community.

Spencer Fane Growth and Success Recognized by St. Louis Business Journal

Spencer Fane was featured in last Friday’s print edition of the St. Louis Business Journal for the firm’s recent growth and unique business model, which has contributed to its success. The article, titled “Spencer Fane adds partners, boosts revenue to $57 million,” noted the firm’s 6.3 percent increase in revenue in 2014 and detailed how its structure has played a critical role in the health of the business.

The Wickford Group Chats with Spencer Fane’s Chairman, Pat Whalen, about the Firm’s Unrelenting Focus on Their Clients’ Interests

The Wickford Group, a leading consulting and training company serving law firms and in-house legal departments, selected Pat Whalen, Chairman of Spencer Fane, as its subject in the latest edition of Insights.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Sherry Dreisewerd to its Financial Services Group

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Sherry Dreisewerd has joined the firm in its St. Louis office as Partner in the Financial Services Group.

Rob Epstein Shares Legal Insights in Builder News

Spencer Fane Partner Rob Epstein was recently featured as a guest columnist in Builder News sharing his vast knowledge and insight on legal issues surrounding types of ownership in residential developments.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Rita D’Agostino to its Governmental Affairs and Real Estate Practice Groups

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Rita D’Agostino has joined the firm in its Kansas City office as Of Counsel in the Governmental Affairs and Real Estate practice groups.

Pat Whalen to Speak on Cybersecurity at Knowledge Group Event

Spencer Fane Chairman Pat Whalen was recently asked to speak on cybersecurity as part of The Knowledge Group’s Live Webcast Series.

Spencer Fane Successfully Defends the Interests of Birch Subscribers

Spencer Fane recently obtained a significant victory for the privacy interests of Birch Communications subscribers.  In a case interpreting the reach of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the firm obtained an order quashing a private party’s subpoena for Birch’s customer records.

Blane Markley Initiated Into Ingram’s 2015 Class of 40 Under 40

Spencer Fane Partner Blane Markley was highlighted in this month’s issue of Ingram’s as a new member of the publication’s 2015 class of 40 under 40. The annual feature recognizes the 40 most accomplished individuals under the age of 40 in the Kansas City metropolitan area based on professional successes as well as community involvement.

Spencer Fane Welcomes Jane Dueker to Governmental Affairs Group

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Jane Dueker has joined the firm in its St. Louis office as Of Counsel in the Governmental Affairs practice group.

Spencer Fane Expands its Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group

Springfield, Missouri – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of a new associate to its Springfield office. Nicholas Irmen will join the firm’s Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group where he will aid clients in estate planning, business transactions, tax advice, trust and estate administration, and charitable planning.

Fano Shares Insight on Employer Background Checks in Law Week Colorado

Last week’s issue of Law Week Colorado featured Spencer Fane Partner Ron Fano in an article on the ever-increasing issue of compliance with Fair Credit Reporting Act regulations during employer background checks.

The Kansas City Star Spotlights Spencer Fane Charitable Giving Program

Following last week’s announcement of Spencer Fane’s new charitable giving program, the firm was highlighted in The Kansas City Star for the program’s planned contributions to its inaugural recipient, the Kansas City Art Institute, as well as the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council.

Spencer Fane Expands its Intellectual Property Practice Group

Kansas City, Missouri – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of an associate to its Kansas City office. Chinenye Okafor will join the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group where she will focus on patent and trademark acquisition as well as intellectual property litigation matters.

Willman Recognized as Baron of the Boardroom by KC Counselor

Spencer Fane Partner Sue Willman was featured in this month’s issue of KC Counselor as a recipient of the KCMBA’s prestigious Baron of the Boardroom award. This recognition is bestowed annually to Kansas City attorneys with distinguished careers in the area of corporate and business law. Willman’s nomination, submitted by fellow Spencer Fane Partner Nate Orr, outlined Willman’s rise to success both as a national expert in the field of preventative and proactive employment law and as a leader in the firm.

Spencer Fane Launches New Charitable Giving Program

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the launch of its new charitable giving program with the mission of renewing the firm’s commitment to the arts and innovation community while maximizing the impact of its annual giving. The program will pilot in the firm’s Kansas City offices and later debut in its Springfield, Mo., St. Louis, Mo., and Denver offices.

Spencer Fane Invests $5.5M on Downtown Kansas City Expansion

As reported by the Kansas City Business Journal, Spencer Fane is nearing completion of the $5.5 million renovation and expansion of its Kansas City headquarters located in the Commerce Bank building at 1000 Walnut St. Last April, the firm announced that it would recommit to its current office space, which resides in the heart of Downtown Kansas City, by signing a new 12-year lease.

Andrew Brought Shares His Insights on Phase I Environmental Site Assessments in Property Transactions

Spencer Fane Partner Andrew Brought was recently featured as a guest columnist on Midwest Real Estate News sharing his vast knowledge and insight on environmental site assessments. The article, titled “Top 10 things you need to know about Phase I Environmental Site Assessments,” outlines the role and common misconceptions of environmental site assessments in a property transaction.

Frank McNulty Featured in Law Week Colorado

Former Colorado State Representative, Speaker of the Colorado House and Spencer Fane attorney Frank McNulty was featured in a recent issue of Law Week Colorado in an article that detailed his journey from public office and part-time lawyer to full time private practice.

Whitney Appointed to Ozarks Regional YMCA Board of Directors

As reported by the Springfield News-Leader, Spencer Fane partner Shawn Whitney was appointed to the Ozarks Regional YMCA board of directors this past week. Whitney was one of four selected for the board and will play a pivotal role in the leadership and guidance of the organization as it continues to grow.

Epps Awarded Missouri Lawyers Weekly Women’s Justice Award

Spencer Fane partner Lisa Epps has received the Business Practitioner Award from Missouri Lawyers Weekly as part of the publication’s annual Women’s Justice Awards. Epps was one of three selected for the honor, which is given to those who “demonstrate leadership, professionalism and a passion for improving the quality of the justice system or contributing to the betterment of the profession.”

Spencer Fane Adds to Litigation, Trust and Estate Planning Practices

Kansas City, Missouri – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce the addition of two attorneys to its Litigation and Trust and Estate Planning groups within its Kansas City office. Andrea Anderson and Erik Rome have joined the firm as associates in the Litigation Practice Group and the Trust and Estate Planning Practice Group, respectively.

Kron Reappointed to Downtown Colorado Inc. Board of Directors

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Partner Rick Kron has been reappointed to the 2015 Board of Directors for Downtown Colorado Inc. In this position, Kron uses his knowledge of and experience with municipalities and local government special districts to play a pivotal role in the leadership and guidance of the nonprofit organization. Kron is the longest continuously serving member of the DCI board.

Spencer Fane’s Upside-Down Leverage Model Featured for Being “Ahead of the Curve”

Missouri Lawyers Weekly recently featured Spencer Fane in a Feb. 16, 2015, cover story that recognizes the firm for being “ahead of the curve” by adopting a leverage model that “goes against the traditional law firm business model.”

Spencer Fane Welcomes Mark Boatman to Business Transactions Group

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce that Mark Boatman has joined the firm in its St. Louis office as Of Counsel in the Business Transactions Practice Group.

Spencer Fane Expands its Real Estate and Special Districts Group

Colorado Springs, Colorado – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP continues to grow its Real Estate and Special Districts practice group by adding an experienced attorney to its Colorado Springs office. The firm announced this week that Pat Hrbacek will join the group as Special Districts of counsel in that office.

Solverud Recognized as Top Attorney by St. Louis Small Business Monthly

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Partner and Co-practice Group Leader of Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Erik Solverud, was selected as one of the 2015 Top St. Louis Small Business Lawyers featured in this month’s issue of St. Louis Small Business Monthly. Solverud was one of 12 selected for the honor among more than 250 nominations from the publication’s readers.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly Recognizes Pat Whalen Law Firm Leader of the Year

Missouri Lawyers Weekly has selected Spencer Fane Chair Pat Whalen as a Law Firm Leader of the Year for his successful leadership and growth of the firm into new markets.

Spencer Fane Expands Health Care, Real Estate and Municipal Practices

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of five attorneys to its Municipal, Health Care and Real Estate groups.

Pearlman Among Top Lawyers Featured in 5280 Magazine

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Partner Philip Pearlman has been named to 5280 magazine’s first-ever Top Lawyers of 2015, recognizing the “city’s best counselors” in 46 different practice areas throughout the Denver metropolitan area.

McCann’s Brewery Work Featured in Kansas City Business Journal

The Kansas City Business Journal featured Spencer Fane Partner Michael McCann in a Dec. 31, 2014, article discussing his recent experience in putting together two major transactions for Kansas City’s own Boulevard Brewing and Bend, Ore.-based 10 Barrell Brewing.

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce that Blane Markley, Dick Mersman, and Sue Willman have been elected to the Firm’s partnership, effective January 1, 2015.

Blane Markley joined Spencer Fane as an Of Counsel in 2012 as a member of its Health Care team. Blane’s practice focuses on assisting hospitals, mental health facilities, physician practices, physicians and other of health care providers with a broad range of issues affecting the health care industry including health care reform, regulatory compliance, corporate governance, hospital-physician relationships, contracts, medical staff, licensure, and accreditation. He has negotiated numerous complex transactions with an overlay of health care regulatory requirements. Blane has extensive experience in representing health care providers in commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution. Blane has been selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers as a Rising Star, 2012-2014.

Richard (Dick) Mersman joined Spencer Fane as an Of Counsel in 2013 and is a member of the firm’s Project Solutions and Real Estate Development group. Dick’s real estate practice includes the acquisition, disposition, leasing, financing, construction, and management of commercial, retail, residential, industrial, and hotel developments, as well as the organization of the ownership entities for such developments, land use law, public subsidies, public/private partnerships (P3’s), and other real estate development and financing matters.

Sue Willman joined Spencer Fane as an Of Counsel in 1997 and is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group. She has more than 35 years of combined experience as an employment lawyer and as a human resources professional. Sue represents management exclusively on workplace legal issues. Her practice is focused on assisting employers in preventing employment claims and in developing strategies for a sound defense position should a claim be filed. Sue is considered a leading national expert on the FMLA and ADA and has testified before Congress and the Department of Labor several times. She is also a certified SPHR and holds the distinction of being named one of the “Best Lawyers,” “SuperLawyers,” “Leading Lawyers, and “Preeminent Women Lawyers” in the practice of employment law. Sue is also a frequent presenter at national, regional and local SHRM and other HR conferences.

Jaclyn Maloney Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane welcomes Jaclyn Maloney as an Of Counsel in the firm’s Kansas City, MO Real Estate Solutions Group.

Peter Hartweger Named President of Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation

Earlier this month, Peter Hartweger was appointed as President of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation (KCMBF).

Employee Benefits Practice Group Attorneys Spoke at FEI

Gregory Ash and Chadron Patton both Spencer Fane attorneys in the Employee Benefits practice group, spoke at the Financial Executives International (FEI) “Fall Feast” Professional Development Day on Nov. 17, 2014. Ash presented “How Employee Financial Wellness Impacts the Bottom Line.” Patton discussed “Health and Welfare Plan Update for Employers.”

Spencer Fane Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in 2014 Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska Super Lawyers®

Spencer Fane congratulates 44 of our attorneys selected for inclusion in 2014 Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska Super Lawyers®. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Attorneys are selected for inclusion by their peers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates, and peer reviews by practice area.

IWIRC, TMA and Central Exchange Lunch and Learn

IWIRC Midwest Network members Lisa Epps and Michelle Suter were part of a panel presentation that took place on November 4.

International Women’s Insolvency & Restructuring Confederation (IWIRC) Celebrates Female Judges

The IWIRC Midwest Network hosted a dinner to celebrate several female judges at Lidia’s Restaurant in Kansas City.

Elizabeth Wente Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane welcomes Elizabeth Wente as an Associate in the firm’s Springfield, MO Labor & Employment practice group.

Spencer Fane Adds Three New Attorneys to its Midwest Office

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of three new attorneys. Joining the Springfield office are Wade Early in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group and Paul Satterwhite joins our Labor and Employment Group. Carl Desenberg is joining our St. Louis office and will be a part of the Real Estate Group.

Kansas City Business Journal lists Four Spencer Fane attorneys in Best of the Bar 2014.

The Kansas City Business Journal announced its 2014 Best of the Bar and four Spencer Fane attorneys were among the honorees.

Brian Peterson interviewed as expert in Labor Law.


Brian Peterson interviewed as expert in Labor Law.

Peter and Molly Hartweger co-chair Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation Liberty & Justice Gala

Peter and Molly Hartweger co-chair Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation Liberty & Justice Gala

Spencer Fane Adds Four New Attorneys to its Midwest Offices

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of four new associates. Joining the Kansas City office are Aaron Prenger and Christopher Suenram. Prenger is joining the firm’s Financial Services group and Suenram will be a part of Spencer Fane’s Public and Business Finance group. Jonathan Gray is joining our Denver office and will be a part of the Municipalities and Local Government group. Joining our St. Louis office is Art Gregg, a litigation associate in our Litigation and Dispute Resolution group.

 

Spencer Fane Adds New Health Care Attorney to its Overland Park Office

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is expanding its Overland Park office by adding a new attorney. Tina Boschert will join the firm’s growing health care practice group.

2015 Best Lawyers in America© lists 37 Spencer Fane attorneys

Earlier today, the 21st edition of the Best Lawyers in America© list was published and named 37 Spencer Fane attorneys. Four of these attorneys were also listed as Lawyers of the Year, an honor given to a single outstanding attorney in each practice area and designated metropolitan area.

Spencer Fane Adds Two New Attorneys to its Springfield Office

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is expanding its Springfield office by adding two attorneys. Jon Cline and Kevin Hoffmeyer will join the firm’s growing real estate practice group.  

Mike Hockley Participates in “The Military Factor: Economic Might, Talented Workers” Forum

Mike Hockley, a Spencer Fane partner, participated in Ingram’s industry outlook roundtable discussion on July 9, 2014. The discussion’s focus: “The Military Factor: Economic Might, Talented Workers.” It included men who have served in the military and are now executives in Kansas City businesses.

Spencer Fane and Sue Willman Recognized Nationally by the Business Leadership Network

The Business Leadership Network of Greater Kansas City (BLN-GKC) was recently recognized as the July 2014 Spotlighted Affiliate by the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN). Specially showcased was Spencer Fane’s employment law attorney, Sue Willman.

Gary Powell Named as One of 2014 Men of the Year in Springfield

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that Gary Powell, a Partner in our Springfield office, has been named one of Springfield Business Journal’s Men of the Year for 2014.

Mike Hockley has been awarded the Overland Park Rotary’s Highest Honor

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that Mike Hockley, a Partner in our Kansas City office, has been awarded the Overland Park Rotary’s highest honor, The Ben Craig Distinguished Service Award.

Spencer Fane expands and opens two new offices in Springfield, Missouri, and Colorado Springs, Colorado

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP has joined forces with attorneys in Springfield, Missouri, and Colorado Springs, Colorado, expanding the law firm to those cities and growing the firm throughout its four home states.

Artists Take Flight 2014

Be sure to add The Roasterie to your May 2nd First Friday gallery list! Over 200 pieces of Crossroads Academy original student art will be displayed at this unique First Friday event in The Roasterie’s Cafe and Bean Hanger.

Nate Orr Selected for Ingram’s 2014 40 Under Forty

Spencer Fane Partner Nate Orr is named one of Ingram’s 2014 40 Under Forty.

Spencer Fane Renews Lease in Downtown Kansas City

Spencer Fane, a full service business law firm based in Kansas City, announced plans to remain downtown by renewing its lease for at least another twelve years. The firm, which has called this area home for more than a century, plans to transform the space located at 10th and Walnut to meet the demands of its clients and growth plans.

Ron Fano Named New Denver Office Managing Partner

We are pleased to announce that Ron Fano has been named the Denver Office Managing Partner.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in Colorado Super Lawyers® 2014

Spencer Fane congratulates 3 of our attorneys, William Brady, Stuart Pack and Jamie Cotter, selected for inclusion in 2014 Colorado Super Lawyers®.

Ryan Hardy to serve on the Local Rules Advisory Committee for Bankr. E.D. Mo.

Ryan Hardy has been selected to serve on the standing Local Rules Advisory Committee (LRAC) for the Eastern District of Missouri Bankruptcy Court

Mike Hockley to Receive Adele Hall Spirit of Caring Award

Mike Hockley, a Partner In the Kansas City office, has been selected to receive the United Way’s Adele Hall Spirit of Caring Award.

Bradford Cytron Elected to The Business Bank of St. Louis Associate Board of Directors

The Business Bank of St. Louis recently added Bradford Cytron and Pamela Duffy to its Associate Board of Directors.

Lisa Epps Dade Tapped to Lead the United Way of Greater Kansas City Women’s Leadership Council

Lisa Epps Dade has been selected by the United Way of Greater Kansas City to serve as the new Chairperson of the Women’s Leadership Council. Lisa has served on the Women’s Leadership Council Advisory Committee since last year and co-chairs our Impact Committee.

Giving Back Through Motion for Kids

Kate Whitby, attorney, is Spencer Fane’s coordinator for the annual Motion for Kids program in St. Louis, MO.

Roger Denny to Join Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce that Roger Denny will join the firm as an of counsel member of the Real Estate group effective Monday, January 6, 2014.

David A. Schatz Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP announced today that David Schatz has joined Spencer Fane as a partner in the firm’s Kansas City, MO litigation practice group.

Spencer Fane Elects Three Attorneys to the Partnership

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce that Kristen Dekker, Loyd Gattis, and Eric Steinle have been elected to the Firm’s partnership, effective January 1, 2014.

Spencer Fane Adds Three New Associates

Spencer Fane is pleased to announce the addition of three new associates to its Kansas City office. Brian Peterson is an associate with the firm’s Labor & Employment group and focuses his practice in the areas of employment litigation and labor relations. Carlos Marin is a member of Spencer Fane’s Litigation group, and Andrea Chase has joined the firm’s Financial Services group.

Spencer Fane Announces New Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations Group

With more than 30 years of experience representing, and working with, nonprofit organizations, Spencer Fane is proud to announce our newest practice group, Nonprofit & Tax-Exempt Organizations.

Kersten Holzhueter Selected to Join the Class of 2015 Centurions Leadership Program

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that Kersten Holzhueter, an Associate in the Kansas City office, has been selected to join the Class of 2015 Centurions Leadership Program.

Spencer Fane Bankruptcy Team is “Best of the Bar” in Kansas City

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that our Bankruptcy team is the “Best of the Bar”.

Mike Hockley Offers Insight on Missouri Renewables Standard Law

Groups in Missouri are suing state officials for allegedly thwarting the state’s renewable energy portfolio standard by not specifying that renewable energy credits, which utilities can buy to satisfy the energy mandate, must either be bought from in-state power producers or from out-of-state producers serving Missouri customers.

Michael Hockley Elected as CGSC Foundation Board President

Michael D. Hockley, a Founding Trustee of the CGSC Foundation, was elected as president of the board.

Thirty-Six Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014

Thirty-six Spencer Fane attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014 (Copyright 2013 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Andrew Brought and Mark Thornhill Offer Insight on the Alternative Fines Act

Andrew Brought and Mark Thornhill offer insight on the Alternative Fines Act in Environmental Criminal Cases in the August 2013 issue of the American Bar Association’s SEER – Environmental Enforcement and Crimes Newsletter.

Betsy Garvin Confirmed as Vice Chair of the Missouri Bankers Association Bank Counsel Section

Betsy Garvin was chosen as Vice Chair of the Missouri Bankers Association Bank Counsel Section at the Missouri Bank Association’s Board of Directors Annual Convention held on June 11, 2013 in Branson, Missouri.

Bradford Cytron Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP announced today that Bradford J. Cytron has joined Spencer Fane as a partner in the firm’s St. Louis, MO, real estate practice group.

Eric L. Johnson Certified in Business Bankruptcy Law

The American Board of Certification announced that Eric L. Johnson attorney with the law firm Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP in Kansas City, Missouri has successfully completed the requirements for national certification in Business Bankruptcy Law.

Gerry Greiman Elected a Vice Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs

Spencer Fane Partner Gerry Greiman was elected a Vice Chair of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) at its annual plenum in March 2013, in Washington, D.C. The JCPA is the national public affairs arm of the organized Jewish community. Founded in 1944, and based in New York, the JCPA formulates policy positions and advocates on issues of key importance to the Jewish and general communities. The JCPA works through a network of 14 national and 125 local independent partner agencies.

Corby Jones to Join Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce that Corby Jones will join the firm as an of counsel member of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution group effective Friday, April 5, 2013. Corby will be specializing in Association Law, an area of historical strength for Spencer Fane.

Joshua Dickinson Elected to Council of Delegates for ACA International

Spencer Fane Partner Josh Dickinson has been elected to the Council of Delegates for ACA International. ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, is the comprehensive, knowledge-based resource for success in the credit and collection industry.

Amy Mistler Recognized as Mentor of the Year

Amy Mistler has been recognized as Mentor of the Year for Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) St. Louis. CREW St. Louis, the local chapter of the CREW Network, is comprised of nearly 200 women from all areas of commercial real estate. Known for their educational, social and philanthropic events, CREW is dedicated to advancing the success of women through opportunity, influence and power in the industry.

Three St. Louis Attorneys Join Spencer Fane

Citing Spencer Fane Britt & Browne’s collaborative culture, resources, and complementary practice areas, a group of St. Louis attorneys will join the firm effective immediately. The attorneys, with extensive backgrounds representing tax-exempt nonprofit organizations, come from The Stolar Partnership LLP.

Bryant Lamer Selected to Participate in Leadership Missouri

Bryant Lamer, Partner, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP joins an elite group of 36 Missouri business and state leaders chosen to participate in Leadership Missouri, a seven-month leadership enhancement program sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Whitby Named a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Environmental Law by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® and ALM

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce that Kathleen M. “Kate” Whitby, an Attorney of Counsel in the firm’s St. Louis office, has been named a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Environmental Law by LexisNexis® Martindale-Hubbell® and American Lawyer Media.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Honored for Winning One of the Biggest Defense Verdicts in Missouri

Erik Solverud and Thomas Hayde, partners in the St. Louis office, and Mark Thornhill, a partner in Spencer Fane’s Kansas City office, have been honored by Missouri Lawyers Weekly Magazine for winning one of the largest defense verdicts in Missouri in 2012.

Spencer Fane Attorney Robbins Named 2013 ‘Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property’

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP has announced that Glenn K. Robbins,  II, a partner in the firm’s St. Louis office, has been named a “Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property” by LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell and American Lawyer Media. Robbins is a member of Spencer Fane’s intellectual property and technology practice group. He devotes his practice to all aspects of intellectual property law, including representation of clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; prosecution of patent and trademark applications; appeals, patent and trademark litigation; inter partes actions before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board; licensing; client counseling; and copyright matters.

Spencer Fane Attorney Robert H. Epstein Named a Top Attorney by St. Louis Small Business Monthly Magazine

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is pleased to announce that Robert H. Epstein, a partner in the firm’s St. Louis office, has been named one of the top attorneys in metro St. Louis by the St. Louis Small Business Monthly, a regional publication that offers business advice in greater St. Louis.

Mr. Epstein was identified as a top attorney in a poll of readers conducted by editors of the locally owned business publication. Mr. Epstein concentrates his practice in the areas of Real Estate Law, Corporate Law and Environmental Law. Mr. Epstein will be recognized in the publication’s February 2013 edition.

“I am honored to receive this recognition from business owners and executives who comprise the readership of St. Louis Small Business Monthly,” said Mr. Epstein. “My practice strives to help our business clients to achieve their goals by providing focused legal expertise and value to address their business needs.”

Mr. Epstein has extensive experience representing commercial and residential real estate developers, entrepreneurial groups, corporations, and other enterprises engaged in different businesses, including environmental matters and solid waste management. Mr. Epstein received his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, and he earned a B.A. Degree cum laude in history and political science from Boston University.

Mr. Epstein has been selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers® since 2007. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and The Missouri Bar.

David Zimmerman Joins Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne is pleased to announce the addition of its newest Partner, Mr. David Zimmerman.

Mr. Zimmerman received his Juris Doctor from the Washburn University School of Law in 1979. He is a certified public accountant, and also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Washburn University.

Mr. Zimmerman will work with the corporate practice group in Spencer Fane’s Kansas City office. He has substantial experience with estate and charitable planning; business succession planning; corporate acquisitions and divestitures; real estate exchanges; partnerships and S Corporation formation; tax and dispute resolution with governmental authorities and negotiation, settlement and litigation of tax disputes.

Spencer Fane Announces Leadership Change

Spencer Fane announced today that Patrick J. Whalen began serving as the new Chairman of the firm. As Chairman, he plays a leading role in providing strategic direction and setting policy. Whalen succeeds Michael F. Saunders, who served 15 years as firm Chairman.

Thomas Hayde Elected Partner

Thomas W. Hayde, an associate with Spencer Fane since 2006, was recently elected to the partnership. The promotion is effective on January 1, 2013.

American Meat Company, Inc. (dba American Foodservice) is Acquired by Reinhart Foodservice, L.L.C.

Reinhart Foodservice, L.L.C. has announced their recent acquisition of American Meat Company, Inc. (dba American Foodservice).

Elizabeth Garvin Joins Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne is pleased to welcome Elizabeth Garvin to the firm. Elizabeth brings more than 20 years of public and private sector experience in land development regulations, urban planning, and economic development, including: developmental approvals and incentives, comprehensive planning, project management and land use consulting. 

Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and received her Juris Doctor and Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Kansas. She has published many articles on urban planning and is a respected member of the American Planning Association. She is licensed to practice in Missouri & Kansas.

Angus Dwyer Joins Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne is pleased to announce the addition of its newest associate, Mr. Angus Dwyer.

Mr. Dwyer is a 2006 graduate of the Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. Mr. Dwyer graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 2003 with a BA in history. He is also a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover Massachusetts.

Mr. Dwyer will work with the litigation practice group in Spencer Fane’s Kansas City office. He has substantial experience with complex commercial litigation, including anti-trust, federal and state securities litigation, products liability litigation, shareholder derivative litigation, and contract and commercial torts litigation. Prior to joining Spencer Fane, Mr. Dwyer worked in the New York City office of Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and in the Albany office of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.

Spencer Fane’s Andrew Brought Quoted by Bloomberg BNA Regarding OSHA Compliance

In a November 21, 2012 trade publication issued by Bloomberg BNA concerning OSHA’s new hazard communication standard, Andrew Brought, a Partner in Spencer Fane’s Environmental Practice Group, was quoted concerning whether employers should begin the training process now or wait until closer to the December 2013 deadline.

Mark Thornhill Serves as Co-Chair of Truman Medical Center Capital Campaign

Mark is co-chair of a $5 million capital campaign at Truman Medical Center. The campaign’s focus is renovation and expansion of the oncology services suite and new facilities for the Patient Navigator system that guides comprehensive oncology care. Truman Medical Center is the primary teaching hospital for the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine. Mark has served Truman Medical Center as Chairman of the Board of Directors, as a Member of the Board of Directors and as the Chair of Board Committees.

Mark Thornhill Serves on Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri Board of Directors

Mark is a member of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri. PPKM provides health services to women in Kansas City and other cities in the western half of Missouri and in cities in Kansas.

McNeish Earns American Planning Association Colorado Chapter President’s Award

Gilbert F. McNeish is the recipient of The American Planning Association Colorado Chapter President’s Award for meritorious contributions to planning, planning law, effective planning in Colorado.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in Missouri, Kansas and Colorado Super Lawyers® 2012

Spencer Fane congratulates 33 of our attorneys selected for inclusion in 2012 Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado Super Lawyers®.

Craig Davis Graduates from Leadership Missouri

M. Craig Davis, a partner in the Project Solutions and Real Estate Development Group recently graduated from the Leadership Missouri program sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Five Spencer Fane Attorneys Recognized as Best of the Bar

Spencer Fane is proud to announce that five attorneys were named to the 2012 Best of the Bar list by the Kansas City Business Journal. The 11th annual Best of the Bar section recognizes outstanding lawyers throughout the Kansas City area as chosen by their peers.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Designated as 2013 Lawyers of the Year by Best Lawyers® in America

Two Spencer Fane attorneys have been named Best Lawyers’ 2013 Lawyers of the Year.

Tom Grimshaw Receives Special District Association Lifetime Achievement Award

Denver-based partner, Tom Grimshaw, receives the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Special District Association of Colorado during the SDA Annual Conference.

Spencer Fane Joins Downtown Kansas City’s 100/100 Club

On Thursday, October 4th, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP will be honored by Mayor Sly James, the Kansas City Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation as one of Downtown’s 100+ year-old companies with 100+employees. Several companies will be honored including  Americo Life, Inc., Chubb Group Insurance Companies, Commerce Bancshares, Inc., Ernst & Young, Hallmark Cards, Inc., Kansas City Power & Light, Kansas City Southern, Kansas City Star, KONE Corporation, and Tension Corporation.

Jim Price Elected as a Fellow to the American College of Environmental Lawyers

The Board of Regents of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL) has announced the election of Spencer Fane Partner James T. Price as a Fellow. Membership is by invitation, and members are recognized by their peers as preeminent in their field. ACOEL members are dedicated to maintaining and improving the ethical practice of environmental law; the administration of justice; and the development of environmental law at both the state and federal level.

Thirty-One Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013

Thirty-one Spencer Fane attorneys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013 (Copyright 2012 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

Pro Bono: Transactional Lawyer Aids Payday-Lending Alternative

Adam LaBoda is featured in Missouri Lawyers Media’s annual pro bono issue. The article highlights Adam’s work to launch the payday loan alternative Fair Community Credit.

Epps Dade Participates in 8th Circuit Judicial Conference Bankruptcy Panel

Lisa Epps Dade participated as a panelist on the continuing legal education panel “Bankruptcy Law – Rapid-Fire 4 Minute Tips.”

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Combines With Grimshaw & Harring

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP and Grimshaw & Harring, P. C. are pleased to announce the combination of their two firms effective August 1, 2012. The combination affords Spencer Fane a Denver presence and provides Grimshaw & Harring’s clients expanded Midwestern capabilities and a broader range of services.

SFBB Attorney Appointed to the Bankruptcy Bench Bar Committee

Eric Johnson has been appointed to the Bankruptcy Bench Bar Committee of the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Kansas for the second time.

Michael Delaney Named One of “Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers”

Human Resource Executive® magazine, in conjunction with the leading legal website Lawdragon, has named Michael F. Delaney of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP to its list of the “Nation’s Most Powerful Employment Lawyers – Labor Law.” Delaney has practiced labor and employment law with the firm for more than 36 years, counseling and representing public and private sector employers in a broad range of matters, including collective bargaining, grievance arbitration, and discrimination and wage and hour litigation. He has served as Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment Law Group and on the firm’s executive committee. This is the third year that he has been named to the Human Resource Executive magazine list.

This is the fifth year that Human Resource Executive magazine and Lawdragon, a website that facilitates networking among attorneys and clients, have collaborated on the guide to compile the leading employment lawyers in the U.S.. Attorneys are selected based on a rigorous nomination and research process in which thousands of employment and labor lawyers were considered for inclusion based on curriculum-vitae analyses, evaluations by clients and peers and reporting by the Lawdragon staff.

Chambers USA Names Spencer Fane as a Top-Ranked Firm

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne has been recognized as one of the top law firms in the Kansas City region in the 2012 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business.

Lisa Epps Dade to Present at the June Risk Management Association Event

Spencer Fane partner Lisa Epps Dade will be speaking at the Risk Management Association event on June 13. The panel will address the topic of today’s financial crisis.

Jim Dankenbring Serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Senior Services

In May 2012, Spencer Fane Partner Jim Dankenbring was re-elected to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Senior Services. Lutheran Senior Services creates opportunities for older adults to achieve their utmost potential—physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially, and spiritually. LSS provides a scope of services that range from senior living communities that offer a full continuum of care to affordable housing to in-home services to hospice. With almost 3,000 employees, and campuses located in metropolitan St. Louis, St. Charles, Columbia, Jefferson City, and Central Illinois, LSS is the largest non-profit organization in St. Louis, and is the 10th largest senior care community in the United States.

Jim’s involvement with LSS is just one example of volunteer work that serves as a hallmark of Spencer Fane’s philosophy of community engagement. The firm is deeply committed to the communities it serves. We support local initiatives through our charitable foundation and encourage all attorneys and staff to pursue passions which serve and enrich their community.

Prominent St. Louis Attorneys Join Spencer Fane

Citing the firm’s complementary practice areas, resources and collaborative culture, a group of St. Louis attorneys will join Spencer Fane Britt & Browne effective April 24.

Adam LaBoda Selected for Ingram’s 2012 40 Under Forty

Spencer Fane Partner Adam LaBoda is named one of Ingram’s 2012 40 Under Forty.

Craig Davis Selected to Participate in Leadership Missouri

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry announces the 2012 Leadership Missouri class.

Missouri Supreme Court Delivers Good News for Plaintiffs Contesting Redistricting Map

A very important victory for plaintiffs contesting the newly redrawn state Senate maps was won on January 17, 2012 when the Missouri Supreme Court ordered the circuit court to hold a hearing to determine whether the districts drawn meet the State Constitution’s compactness test. The redrawn district was a result of the latest U.S. census.

Investing in Arts and Innovation in Kansas City

Spencer Fane is one of six private and four public companies highlighted by KC Business Magazine for achieving a reputation of giving back to the community.

Lisa Epps Dade and Eric Johnson to Present at the Missouri Bar Annual Bankruptcy Institute

Spencer Fane partners Lisa Epps Dade and Eric Johnson will be speaking at the Missouri Bar Annual Bankruptcy Institute sponsored by the Missouri Bar Association. Their panel will address the topic of jurisdiction. The Annual Bankruptcy Institute is held at five locations throughout the State in February and March.

Click here for more information.

Spencer Fane Attorney Elected President of the Kansas City Bankruptcy Bar Association

Eric Johnson has been elected to a two-year term as President of the Kansas City Bankruptcy Bar Association.

Jail Completes Refunding of Lease Financing

Daviess-DeKalb County Regional Jail District refunds Series 2006 Lease Certificates with the help of Spencer Fane.

Five Attorneys Advancing to Partner

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne Chairman Mike Saunders announces the names of five attorneys who will become Partners of the firm on January 1, 2012.

Redistricting map case heads to Missouri Supreme Court

An appeal to the 2010 Census-based Missouri Congressional redistricting plan has been filed with the state Supreme Court.

J. Nick Badgerow Receives the 2011 Robert L. Gernon Award

J. Nick Badgerow is the recipient of the 2011 Robert L. Gernon Award for Outstanding Service to Continuing Legal Education in Kansas.

Hartweger Receives the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation 2011 President’s Award

Kansas City Metropolitian Bar Foundation recognizes Pete Hartweger for his contributions.

Amicus Brief Filed with the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of DBA International

Dickinson filed an Amicus Brief with the Missouri Supreme Court on behalf of the largest trade organization in the United States representing debt buyers.

Kelly Campbell Recognized for Military Service in the November KC Counselor

Kelly A. Campbell of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is a former Navy Judge Advocate General (“JAG”) officer. Receiving a direct appointment after law school, she served in the Naval Reserve on active duty from 1993 to 1999.  Her most memorable experience in the service was working with Naval Criminal Investigative Service (“NCIS”) agents because they were so professional and they always tried to do the right thing.

Michael Calvin elected to St. Louis Judicial Commission

A former judge in the city of St. Louis will be among those deciding who should have a shot at the bench. Michael Calvin, a lawyer at Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, was elected to the St. Louis Judicial Commission in a two-man race that ended when voting closed on Friday.

Keith Wenzel Joins Spencer Fane

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP has expanded its office in Jefferson City, Mo., with the addition of veteran attorney and administrative law and insurance law expert, Keith Wenzel as Of Counsel.

Twenty-seven Spencer Fane Attorneys Named as Missouri and Kansas 2011 Super Lawyers

Twenty-seven Spencer Fane attorneys are listed as a 2011 Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyer or Rising Star.

Bryant Lamer Named to the Missouri and Kansas Rising Stars List

Bryant T. Lamer has been named to the Missouri and Kansas Rising Stars list as one of the top attorneys in the region.

Spencer Fane Named One of St. Louis Area’s Healthiest Employers

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne St. Louis office has been recognized as a finalist for the 2011 Healthiest Employer in St. Louis Award, presented by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Designated as Lawyers of the Year in Their Respective Fields by Best Lawyers in America

Four Spencer Fane attorneys have been named Best Lawyers’ 2012 Lawyers of the Year.

Spencer Fane Attorneys Recognized as “Best Lawyers in America”

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP is proud to announce that 26 of its attorneys have been named to the 2012 edition of Best Lawyers®, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Joshua Dickinson Appointed State Compliance Chair by International Trade Association

Attorney Josh Dickinson of Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP, Omaha, Nebraska, was recently appointed the 2011-2013 State Compliance Chair for Nebraska, by the Members’ Attorney Program of ACA International, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA).

Spencer Fane Project Solutions Group Develops Innovative Solution to Alleviate Water Shortage in Rural Missouri

Sullivan County, Missouri had an acute water shortage that could only be alleviated through the construction of a water reservoir The North Central Missouri Water Commission proposed the East Locust Creek Reservoir to address the problem. When completed the project will encompass 2,235 acres of water, sitting on approximately 4,300 acres of land, and will be a regional water source, producing 7 million gallons per day. The East Locust project presented financing, governmental relations, real estate, and environmental challenges. Spencer Fane assembled a team led by Craig Davis and Jim Grice to address the issues simultaneously in order to move the project forward.

Spencer Fane helps NCAA uphold its decision in academic misconduct case

Spencer Fane Attorneys contributed to a major court victory this week for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).

Elizabeth Fast leverages Historic Tax Credits to transform former KCK school into award-winning elderly housing

Constructed in 1898, The Lowell Elementary School in Kansas City, Kansas had once served as an anchor in the community. Unfortunately, it had fallen into disrepair and faced possible demolition when it was purchased by Kansas State Senator Chris Steineger and his wife, Shari Wilson, in 2006.

Sue Willman Quoted in the Chicago Tribune

When should you tell the boss about your retirement plans? Wait too long and you could burn a bridge. Tip your hand too early and risk being labeled irrelevant or flag yourself for a layoff even earlier than you wanted to go.

Anne Lindner Quoted in The Ladue News

A table at a fundraiser here. A golf sponsorship there. The St. Louis office of Spencer Fane always has been involved in charitable giving, but a redefined focus has enabled the firm to make a greater difference in the local community.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly Quotes Neuner Regarding Discrimination Lawsuit Against Wal-Mart

Missouri Lawyers Weekly quotes Frank Neuner regarding U.S. Supreme Court ruling to block sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc. 

SEMA Elects Debra Fickler to SBN Select Committee

Debra Fickler has been elected to the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Businesswomen’s Network Select Committee. Visit SEMA to review election results.

Spencer Fane Covered in Life Sciences Section of St. Louis Commerce Magazine

Year after year St. Louis Commerce Magazine publishes a Biotech and Life Sciences Section in its Spring issue. The magazine invited Spencer Fane and 12 other area law firms to participate in a life sciences law survey. The survey covers the number of attorneys practicing in intellectual property and life sciences law and the life sciences clients they serve.

Kate Whitby among Missouri Lawyers Weekly 13th Annual Women’s Justice Awards Honorees

Kate Whitby, of counsel in Spencer Fane’s St. Louis office, is among the Missouri Lawyers Weekly “Business Practitioner” 13th Annual Women’s Justice Awards honorees.

3 Questions to Decide if You Need Some Protection in Employee Relationships

Employment contracts may seem part of the “big corporate” structure, but today, many employers of all sizes use employment contracts for their employees to address a number of different issues. Even the smallest organizations can benefit from employment contracts. And, they aren’t just for top management positions. From confidentiality, ownership of inventions and post-employment covenants, employment contracts can be a key part of protecting your growing company’s assets.

Pat Whalen to present at 2011 Advanced Licensing Agreements Conference

Patrick Whalen will be a presenter at the 2011 Advanced Licensing Agreements Conference on Chicago on April 27 – 28, 2011. For more information visit Advanced Licensing Agreements 2011

Mike Hockley Elected Chairman During United Way’s 2011 Annual Meeting

United Way volunteers elected Michael Hockley as chair of UWGKC’s Board of Trustees for 2011-12 during the annual meeting of the United Way of Greater Kansas City held on March 2, 2010.

William Odle Quoted in Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Bill Odle was quoted in the January 12, 2011 edition of  Missouri Lawyers Weekly regarding a school district’s rights not to distribute flyers for a Christian youth soccer group.

Former Spencer Fane Attorney Nancy Moritz Fills Vacancy on Kansas Supreme Court

Caplinger was an associate with the Spencer Fane Britt and Browne law firm, with offices in Overland Park and Kansas City, where she handled defensive matters and specialized in employment litigation.

Spencer Fane Featured in Missouri Lawyers Weekly “The Gift of Giving”

Spencer Fane’s recent contribution to Covenant House Missouri (CHMO) is featured in the December 20th edition of Missouri Lawyers Weekly.  CHMO received a monetary donation to purchase a van for the organizations Garden Rangers Program, a group of young people from Covenant House who go out and clean up littered neighborhoods. St. Louis Partner, Erik Solverud served on the CHMO board for 11 years and is a longtime volunteer and supporter of the organization.

Photos

Full story in print version….Missouri Lawyers Weekly

Spencer Fane’s Recent Contributions Make News in the St. Louis Metro Sentinel Journal

Spencer Fane’s recent contributions make news in the St. Louis Metro Sentinel Journal. COVAM and North Grand Neighborhood Services, Inc. received 10 CPUs each, plus a monetary donation to help equip two separate computer labs for low/moderate income families.  Read More.

Spencer Fane Forms New Health Care Consulting Firm

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne has formed a new health care consulting firm – Spencer Healthcare Strategists.The new consulting firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the law firm. Clients of the new consulting firm will include health care providers. The consulting business will assist clients and their attorneys in organizing their businesses and developing relationships with their communities, said Jeff Ellis, who heads the consulting firm and is also leader of the law firm’s health care practice group.Part of the new health care law encourages integrated health systems so doctors can better coordinate and improve patient care.For now, four other attorneys from the firm and former hospital chief executive Dick Allen will serve as consultants. Ellis said the lawyers wanted to create a subsidiary because the business won’t only include legal work.“There’s a great demand for knowledge about the direction that health care reform is taking and the need to develop strategies to comply with reform and to reorganize businesses to take advantage of the new health care environment,” Ellis said.

Scott Goldstein Selected as a Fellow to the American College of Bankruptcy

The American College of Bankruptcy has announced the selection of Spencer Fane Partner Scott Goldstein as one of 40 new Fellows into its membership when the Twenty-Second Class (2011) are inducted as Fellows of the College on March 18, 2011 in Washington, D.C.

“Tweet” This: The Ethics of Social Networking

Social Networking is Here. While skeptics viewed the initial wave of electronic social networking as a passing fad, the ensuing years have proved them wrong. At this point, the numbers tell the story:

Facebook leads the way, with more than 400 million active users. More than 5 billion pieces of content, including 60 billion photos, are shared among the members each month. [FN1] MySpace boasts 100 million active users. [FN2] Twitter has 75 million users, who post 50 million tweets every day. That is an average of 600 tweets per second. [FN3] Linkedln “has over 60 million members in over 200 countries and territories around the world.” [FN4] YouTube shows videos of every kind and nature. A recent search found more than 120,000 videos, which include the subject “lawyer.” [FN5] Of course, these are only some of the more popular examples. [FN6]

With so much electronic communication and interaction, the user is likely to “get it wrong” once in a while. Further, the narcissistic need to share one’s every thought and action can lead to regrettable posts that cannot be rescinded. [FN7] To paraphrase Judge Benjamin N. Cardozo, “[t]he hand once set to a Tweet may not be withdrawn with impunity.” [FN8]

Social Networking and Lawyer Marketing

Despite reputation arid appearances, lawyers do try to keep up with changes in society — though often perhaps a step behind. Many lawyers have today ventured into the realm of social networking in an effort to improve their visibility for marketing purposes. [FN9] Indeed, the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct recognize this obvious reality in the Comment to Rule 7.2 (Advertising).

Similarly, electronic media, such as the Internet, can be an important source of information about legal services, and lawful communication by electronic mail is permitted by this Rule. [FN10]According to a 2009 survey by the ABA, 43 percent of the lawyers surveyed have a presence on Facebook, while a surprising 12 percent of law firms have a Facebook page. [FN11] There are so many lawyer-and law firm-blogs that a special site has been set up just to synthesize and present only the perceived “best” of those weblogs. [FN12]

Advertising through electronic media is certainly permitted, so long as (a) the advertising is not false or misleading and (b) it contains the name of at least one lawyer responsible for its content. The advertising also must not create unjustified expectations about results the lawyer can achieve. As with any advertisements, lawyers should be careful that their Web sites, blogs, and other electronic promotional materials are truthful and otherwise in compliance with the requirements of these rules.

Ethical Risks for Lawyers in Social Networking

While keeping up with the Woodses is considered important for the hip lawyer, keeping up with the Model Rules of Professional Conduct while doing so is even more important. A review of several rules in the context of social network marketing and communication is worthwhile.

Scope of Representation (Rule 1.2)

When exchanging information on a blog or tweet, there is a risk that the recipient of the lawyer’s wisdom may well consider herself a “client” of the lawyer, rely on the “advice” rendered, and then feel slighted when that off-hand advice proves incorrect (probably because the lawyer did not have all the facts, or responded in an off-hand manner without full analysis). Lawyers should refrain from rendering legal advice to nonclients. Lawyers should also make it clear, when exchanging casual communications, that the exchange does not constitute legal advice, and that the lawyer does not represent the recipient.

Confidentiality (Rule 1.6)

Of course, client information remains confidential and should not be disclosed in any setting, including in an informal electronic exchange. [FN13]

Positional Conflicts (Rule 1.7)

Under the modern Miranda rule, anything one says in a Facebook page can and will be used against you in a court of law. [FN14] Therefore, it is wise to refrain from making pronouncements*18 on legal issues or principles, since the lawyer or his firm may be asked (and paid) to take a contrary position. [FN15]

False Statements (Rule 4.1 and Rule 8.4(c))

While such considerations clearly do not appear to restrain many participants in social networking, lawyers should be careful not to make false statements of material fact or law and should not engage in dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation in their posts.

Contact with Represented Party (Rule 4.2) and Unrepresented Party (Rule 4.3)

Care must be taken not to engage in inadvertent (or intentional) communications with persons known to be represented by counsel, at least insofar as such communications would or could relate to “the matter” in which that person is represented. In addition, communications with an unrepresented party cannot be untruthful or misleading. [FN16]

Ethical Risks for Clients

The attorney-client privilege is a valuable protection for communications between lawyer and client. However, the privilege belongs to the client, and it can be waived by intentional disclosure of privileged communications. Therefore, clients should be careful not to disclose privileged communications to persons outside the relationship or where there is not an expectation of privacy in the communication. [FN17]

Conclusion

When engaging in social networking, lawyers should be careful to be circumspect and thoughtful. Otherwise, a tweet sent in haste may cause the sender to repent at leisure.

[FNa1]. J. Nick Badgerow is a partner with Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP in Overland Park. He is a member of the Kansas Board of Discipline for Attorneys; chairman of the KBA Ethics Advisory Opinion Committee; chair-man of the Johnson County (Kansas) Bar Ethics and Grievance Committee; member of the Kansas Judicial Council; and chairman of the Judicial Council’s Civil Code Advisory Committee. Badgerow was also chairman of the KBA Ethics 2000 Commission.

[FN1]. http://www.facebook.com/press/info.php?statistics

[FN2]. http://www.myspace.com/pressroom?url=/fact+sheet

[FN3]. http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9148878/Twitter_now_has_75M_ us-ers_most_asleep_at_the_mouse

[FN4]. http://press.linkedin.com/about

[FN5]. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=lawyer&search_type =&aq=f

[FN6]. See also, e.g., www.bebo.com, www.friendster.com, and www.hi5.com.

[FN7]. Janice MacAvoy, Ivan Espinoz-Madrgal & Sherita Walton, Think Twice Before You Hit the Send Button: Practical Considerations in the Use of Email, THE PRACTICAL LAWYER (December 2008), p. 45, found online at http:// www.freedfrank.com/siteFiles/Publications/477A62C7B74E1712936E0E03B8E4D844.pdf.

[FN8]. H.R. Moch Co. v. Rensselaer Water Co., 247 N.Y. 160, 167, 159 N.E. 896 (1928).

[FN9]. See, e.g., LEGAL MARKETING USING SOCIAL MEDIA, found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Boston-MA/Legal-Marketing-using-Social-Media/143662898018.

[FN10]. Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct (KRPC), found at Rule 226, Rules of the Kansas Supreme Court, at Rule 7.2 (Comment).

[FN11]. 2009 Legal Technology Survey Report, http:// legalcurrent.com/2009/10/21/2009-aba-legal-technology-survey-report/.

[FN12]. Kevin O’Keefe’s REAL LAWYERS HAVE BLOGS, http://kevin.lexblog.com/.

[FN13]. See, e.g. “Use Gmail — Waive Privilege,” found online at http:// www.geeklawblog.com/2009/08/use-gmail-waive-privilege.html.

[FN14]. Clark v. State of Indiana, Case No. 43S00-0810-CR-575 (Indiana Supreme Court, Oct. 15, 2009), found online at http:// www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/10150901rts.pdf (social networking site admissible to show criminal defendant’s character).

[FN15]. Douglas R. Richmond, Choosing Sides: Issue or Positional Conflicts of Interest, 51 FLA. L. REV. 383 (July 1999).

[FN16]. Philadelphia Bar Association Ethics Op. 2009-02, found online at http:// www.philadelphiabar.org/WebObjects/PBAReadOnly.woa/Contents/WebServerResources/CMSResources/ Opin-ion_2009-2.pdf (lawyer cannot use a third-party to “friend” an unrepresented person on Facebook or MySpace, to obtain information about the person, because failure to disclose the lawyer’s identity as the true inquirer would be deceitful and a violation of Rules 4.3, 4.1, 5.3, and 8.4).

[FN17]. See, e.g. Scott v. Beth Israel Med. Ctr. Inc., 17 Misc. 3d 934, 940, 847 N.Y.S. 2d 436, 441 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2007). 79-MAY J. Kan. B.A. 17

Sue Willman Comments About Employer/Employee Liabilities

They’d just stepped out for a break when they heard the mall security guard shout, “Help, help, help, somebody please help, stop this guy!”

So Paul Shoemaker, 27, and co-worker Mike McGee, 25, did what they were taught as kids.

“You help people when they need help,” Shoemaker said.

The pair gave chase through Denver’s Cherry Creek Shopping Center that Friday, April 16. They didn’t know what the guy had under his jacket. Could have been a purse or even a baby.

Turned out it was only stolen software, which Shoemaker and McGee discovered when they apprehended the man and waited for police.

The 29-year-old suspect was arrested and spent three days in jail after pleading guilty to disturbing the peace and shoplifting from the Apple computer store near the Sprint outlet where Shoemaker and McGee worked.

The pair were lauded by the cops and other mall employees. So imagine their surprise when a week later, Shoemaker said, “Sprint fired us.”Read More: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/04/30/1915394/terminated-for-nabbing-a-shoplifter.html

Spencer Fane To Open Jefferson City Office

Spencer Fane Britt & Browne, LLP will open an office in Jefferson City, Mo., with the addition of veteran attorney and government relations expert, Joseph Bednar.

Bednar, a registered lobbyist, former Chief Legal Counsel to the late Governor Carnahan and Governor Wilson and Special Counsel to Governor Bob Holden, has practiced in both the public and private sectors assisting clients in governmental relations, state, federal and local laws, biotechnology and life sciences, business litigation, and criminal defense and compliance. 

“Joe Bednar adds a seasoned approach to governmental relations for our clients,” said firm chairman, Mike Saunders. “He is uniquely qualified to assist our St. Louis and Kansas City clients, as well as any client doing business in the state, in legislative activities when needed.”

2009 Dollar Amounts Announced

As expected, many benefits-related limits will increase in 2009 from their 2008 levels due to inflation indexing. The same is true for dollar amounts relevant to Social Security and Medicare benefits.  A printable version of our annual limits card is available <link=”//www.spencerfane.com/_FileLibrary/FileImage/2009%20Annual%20Benefit%20Plan%20Amounts.pdf”>here.

Benefit Plan Amounts

The annual limit on compensation a qualified retirement plan may consider for each participant will increase from $230,000 to $245,000. The maximum amount a defined benefit plan may annually pay to a participant will increase to from $185,000 to $195,000. Defined contribution plans, of course, have no limits on annual payouts, but the maximum annual additions to a participant’s accounts rises to $49,000 in 2009. Section 402(g)’s limit on elective deferrals by an employee will increase from $15,500 to $16,500. The maximum IRA deductible amount will remain $5,000.

The limit for IRA “catch-up contributions,” $1,000, will not increase in 2009. Employees age 50 or older who are eligible to make these contributions may contribute an additional $5,500 to their 401(k), 403(b), or governmental 457(b) plan.

The compensation threshold for identifying “highly compensated employees” will increase in 2009, from $105,000 to $110,000.  The threshold at which an officer is deemed to be a “key employee,” will increase in 2009 from $150,000 to $160,000.

The maximum contribution to an HSA will increase from $2,900 to $3,000 for an individual, and from $5,800 to $5,950 for families.  The minimum deductible for a qualifying high deductible health plan will increase from $1,100 to $1,150 for individual coverage, and from $2,200 to $2,300 for family coverage.

Social Security and Medicare Amounts

The Social Security cost of living adjustment in 2009 will be 5.8 percent. Individuals receiving Social Security retirement benefits prior to their Social Security retirement age may earn up to $14,160 in 2009 without reducing their benefit. If 2009 is the year an individual attains his or her Social Security retirement age, that individual may earn up to $3,140 per month without a benefit reduction. The wage base subject to Social Security taxes will increase from $102,000 to $106,800.

The Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductible will rise from $1,024 to $1,068, while the Medicare Part B deductible will remain the same at $135.

The monthly premiums for Part B are divided into five brackets that range from $96.40 up to $308.30. For most unmarried beneficiaries, the cut-off point for the lowest premium is $82,000 of annual income, while those having annual income in excess of $213,000 will pay the highest rate. The income brackets can vary, however, based on marital status and other factors.

U.S. Judge Dismisses Suit Against Fidelity, Deere

(Reuters)—Mutual fund company Fidelity Investments scored a legal victory this week when a federal judge threw out a lawsuit that alleged it had charged unreasonable fees and expenses to manage retirement savings.

Judge John Shabaz, sitting in the U.S. District Court in Wisconsin‘s Western District, dismissed a suit on Wednesday filed by workers at Deere & Co. The workers sued their employer and Fidelity, which acts as trustee and record keeper for the farm equipment maker’s 401(k) retirement savings plan.

A copy of the order was obtained by Reuters on Thursday. The plaintiffs, who sought class action status, alleged that Deere and Fidelity harmed them by charging “excessive and unreasonable fees and costs” and by failing to tell them about a revenue-sharing agreement.

The court ruled that neither Deere nor Fidelity had to tell the workers about these matters.

Filed in December, the lawsuit and about a dozen others like it shed new light on fees, an often overlooked part of the 401(k) retirement savings business.

“In this particular case, Fidelity has won the battle, but the war rages on,” said Gregory Ash, a partner specializing in employee benefits law at Spencer Fane. Fidelity spokesman Vin Loporchio said, “We believe it was the correct ruling.”

Jerome Schlichter, a partner at Schlichter, Bogard & Denton who represents the Deere workers and other plaintiffs in similar suits, said, “It is just one event in a process that will be ongoing and will take considerable time.”

Deere employees charged the company and Fidelity assessed plan participants expenses that “were, or are, unreasonable and/or not incurred solely for the benefit of the Plan participants.”

Arguing that administrative fees and expenses can weigh on participants’ returns, the plaintiffs said even small reductions can significantly reduce long-term savings.

 

The group also charged that Deere and Fidelity did not disclose that the mutual fund firm administering the plans shares some of the fees it charges with its customer.

“In the context of the disclosure of information on investment options, the additional information suggested by plaintiffs, including revenue sharing, is neither required by the regulations nor material to participant investors assessing the investment opportunity,” Judge Shabaz wrote in his ruling.

The ruling is a victory for Fidelity, a powerhouse in the investment management industry, at a time more and more Americans are relying on 401(k) savings plans to finance retirement. But the privately held firm faces other battles in two pending lawsuits that name it as a defendant.

As more Americans rely on 401(k) portfolios for retirement, the focus on fees has sharpened. Congress, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are examining the issue.

The group also charged that Deere and Fidelity did not disclose that the mutual fund firm administering the plans shares some of the fees it charges with its customer.

“In the context of the disclosure of information on investment options, the additional information suggested by plaintiffs, including revenue sharing, is neither required by the regulations nor material to participant investors assessing the investment opportunity,” Judge Shabaz wrote in his ruling.

The ruling is a victory for Fidelity, a powerhouse in the investment management industry, at a time more and more Americans are relying on 401(k) savings plans to finance retirement. But the privately held firm faces other battles in two pending lawsuits that name it as a defendant.

As more Americans rely on 401(k) portfolios for retirement, the focus on fees has sharpened. Congress, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are examining the issue.

401(k) Fee Litigation Proceeds: More Suits, More Attorneys, New Targets

After firing off an initial volley of 14 class action lawsuits against Fortune 100 employers and their retirement plans, the St. Louis-based Schlicter, Bogard & Denton law firm now has plenty of company in the attack on 401(k) plan fee practices.  As the Schlicter cases proceed, new suits are being filed by other plaintiffs’ firms attacking revenue sharing, disclosures to participants, and allegedly excessive fees.  In many of the more recent suits, theories first espoused by Schlicter lawyers have been polished to counter defenses that have been raised in the initial set of lawsuits. Status of Schlicter Cases As we predicted when the first seven suits were filed in September 2006 (see “A Frontal Assault on 401(k) Fee Practices”), defendants have had no luck making these cases go away quickly.  With one notable exception, none of the 13 different judges overseeing the Schlicter cases has granted the defendants’ requests to have the claims dismissed or clarified.  The exception came in a four paragraph order in the Exelon case in which the judge struck the plaintiffs’ claim for investment losses arising out of the defendants’ alleged failure to comply with ERISA Section 404(c).  Even that ruling left the door open for the plaintiffs to reassert this theory of recovery in an amended complaint, so long as they clarified how the defendants’ failure to follow Section 404(c) caused their investment losses.  The plaintiffs apparently have decided not to re-plead that claim. The courts rejected motions to dismiss or clarify the plaintiffs’ complaints in the Kraft and Boeing cases (see “District Court Declines to Dismiss Kraft 401(k) Fee Case”).  In both of those decisions the court also refused to dismiss the plaintiffs’ 404(c)-based claims.  Similar motions to dismiss or clarify are pending in at least nine of the other Schlicter cases. The case against Deere & Company and Fidelity, which is pending in the Western District of Wisconsin, appears to be on a fast track.  Trial in that case has already been preliminarily scheduled for September of this year.  The result is that the

Deere case could significantly affect the others, as this court will be the first to render key legal rulings on issues that are common among all of the complaints. Interlopers Aplenty As if managing 14 class action lawsuits were not enough, the Schlicter attorneys now find themselves fighting not only the legal teams of their Fortune 100 targets, but also a cadre of other plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to horn in on the action.  In what amounts to a battle for lead class counsel status – and a priority claim to any attorneys’ fees awarded – a separate group of lawyers has filed almost identical claims against two of the Schlicter targets.  Joining in the challenges against

Northrop Grumman and Kraft Foods is the New York-based Squitieri & Fearon firm, working in collaboration with the Keller, Fishback & Jackson firm in California and the Gainy and McKenna firm from New York.  Those firms have filed their own claims in Heidecker v. Northrop Grumman and Pino v. Kraft Foods.  The two cases against Northrop Grumman have already been consolidated (and are now known as In re Northrop Grumman Corporation ERISA Litigation).  Shortly after the Grumman cases were consolidated, however, Schlicter survived Keller Fishback’s motion to be appointed co-lead counsel. In what may be a significant development in the plaintiffs’ favor, attorneys for the AARP were recently granted permission to intervene on behalf of the plaintiffs in the Northrop Grumman litigation.  It remains to be seen what role the AARP will play in that case, or whether it will ask to intervene in any of the other suits. Excessive Fee Claims Abound Aside from the Schlicter lawsuits, claims alleging ERISA violations as a result of excessive fees are finding their way into other cases.  Making good on its promise to “investigate” fee practices, the ERISA powerhouse Keller Rohrback law firm added excessive fee claims to its lawsuit against ING and the New York State Teachers Union in Montoya v. ING Life Insurance and Annuity Company, which was filed in New York on March 28.  That suit is based primarily on the groundwork laid during former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s state-law investigation of, and settlement with, these parties over an allegedly illegal scheme in which the Union received kickbacks from ING in exchange for endorsing ING’s 403(b) products.  In addition to arguing that ING and the Union breached ERISA-based duties of loyalty and prudence by engaging in the alleged endorsement scheme, the Montoya plaintiffs also contend that the administrative fees paid to ING were excessive, and that revenue sharing payments ING received amounted to plan assets that were improperly used. Adding to the list of cases challenging fee practices, two lawsuits filed against General Motors in April tacked excessive fee claims onto run-of-the-mill prudence attacks on the use of so-called “single equity” stock funds in several GM and Delphi defined contribution plans.  In Brewer v. General Motors Investment Management Corp. and Young v. General Motors Investment Management Corp., the plaintiffs argue that plan fiduciaries imprudently offered participants the ability to invest in Fidelity mutual funds – which charge asset-based fees that are used, in part, to pay for recordkeeping and other administrative services – when the plans already received those services from, and were charged separately for them by, other providers.  The GM and ING cases join similar challenges to retirement plan fee practices asserted against Nationwide, Principal, and The Hartford. Who’s Next? Although it is certainly too early to rule out additional lawsuits against large employers and their 401(k) plans, or copy-cat suits against smaller employers and plans, it appears that sponsors of variable annuity investment products, which are typically offered under Code Section 403(b) arrangements, may be sitting in the hottest of the hot seats.  These products have been heavily criticized for their lack of transparency and high fees.  Critics also contend that annuity providers often engage in various forms of “pay to play” practices.  These include arrangements in which investment companies allegedly pay annuity providers what amounts to a kick-back (in the form of revenue sharing payments) to gain shelf space on the provider’s list of investment products that are made available to 403(b) plans, or in which the annuity provider pays 403(b) plan sponsors (such as teachers unions) to endorse the annuity provider among its members. Keller Rohrback’s website identifies ten variable annuity providers the firm is investigating, including AIG, MetLife, Mutual of Omaha, and Prudential.  That firm also has targeted the National Education Association’s “Valuebuilder” 403(b) program.  This program is alleged to have engaged in the same kind of endorsement scheme as the one at issue in Keller’s lawsuit against ING and the New York State Teachers Union.  To the extent that these unions received payments to endorse the annuity providers, or significantly limited participants’ choices among providers, the 403(b) programs may be subject to ERISA’s fiduciary standards. Plaintiffs’ attorneys also claim to be investigating other 401(k) investment and service provides, including Ameriprise Retirement Services, Automatic Data Processing, and Bisys.  It is conceivable that one or more of those entities will join Fidelity at the defense table.  Moreover, Keller Rohrback has targeted at least eight more plan sponsors for investigation. We can expect to see more lawsuits taking on retirement plan fees in the coming months.  If you would like to keep up with those developments, please register to receive our periodic updates by completing the E-Mail Alert signup, above, checking the Employee Benefits tab, or send us an email directly.  We will also continue to add information to our “401(k) Fee Litigation Update Center” as circumstances warrant.

If you have questions about the matters addressed in this article, please contact:

Gregory L. Ash, Chair of Spencer Fane’s ERISA Litigation Groupgash@spencerfane.comPhone:  (913) 327-5115

 

You Better Be An “Original Source”

The False Claims Act prohibits persons (for example, government contractors) from making false or fraudulent claims for payment to the United States government. The Act allows civil actions to be brought by the Attorney General or a private person in the name of the United States. Private citizens may be awarded 15 – 30% of the damages the government recovers. This reward acts as an incentive for private citizens to find, report, and attempt to alleviate fraud and abuse. To avoid a frenzy of lawsuits being filed following every news report, the FCA bars a private citizen’s lawsuit if the basis for the lawsuit is already publicly known, unless the person was an “original source.” An original source is a person who (1) has direct and independent knowledge of the facts underlying the cause of action and (2) voluntarily provided the information to the government before filing the FCA lawsuit.

James Stone worked for Rockwell International Corp. as an engineer from 1980 to March 1986. Stone worked at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant near Golden, Colorado, pursuant to a government contract. In the early 1980s, Rockwell investigated the possibility of disposing of toxic pond sludge by mixing it with cement to form concrete blocks (“pondcrete”). In 1982, Stone reviewed the proposed “pondcrete” process and advised Rockwell that he believed the process would not work. Stone opined that the pondcrete would be unstable, later deteriorate, and ultimately release toxic waste into the environment. Stone’s prediction was based on what he perceived to be a flaw in the equipment used to create the pondcrete.

The pondcrete process worked well for several years, but as Stone predicted, eventually the pondcrete failed, though not for the reason Stone anticipated. The pondcrete failed when a foreman changed the toxic sludge to cement ratio of the mixture. This change took place long after Stone was employed, and Stone had no personal knowledge of the change.

About one year after Stone’s employment ended, Stone went to the FBI to report various environmental crimes he believed occurred during his employment. The FBI used Stone’s information to obtain a search warrant for the Rocky Flats facility. Three days after the FBI’s search, there was intense media coverage of the environmental violations alleged in the affidavit underlying the search warrant. Shortly thereafter, Stone filed a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act on behalf of himself and the United States. Stone alleged that Rockwell concealed environmental, safety, and health issues from the Department of Energy throughout the 1980s.

Stone went to the FBI with his allegations before the public knew about the Rocky Flats problems. Stone, however, brought his qui tam lawsuit after the media reported the alleged violations to the public. Because the basis for the lawsuit was publicly known when Stone filed, Stone had to prove he was an “original source.”

Stone’s case went to trial. The jury awarded damages of nearly $1.4 million, which was trebled by the trial court. Rockwell challenged the result, stating that Stone’s lawsuit was based on public information and Stone was not an original source. Winding its way up to the Tenth Circuit, back down, and up again, the case finally landed in front of the United States Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that Stone was not an original source. Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, explained that Stone did not have direct and independent knowledge of the information upon which his allegations were based. Scalia noted that Stone’s information was based on his years of employment and his prediction that the pondcrete would fail. The lawsuit and jury’s verdict, however, were based on events occurring between April 1987 and September 1988. Stone did not work for Rockwell during these years. Stone had no personal knowledge of anything happening at Rockwell during these years. And, although Stone predicted the pondcrete would fail, he did not correctly identify the cause of the failure. The pondcrete, in fact, only failed when a foreman changed the ratio of the toxic sludge to cement mixture. This change occurred long after Stone was employed, and was wholly unrelated to Stone’s earlier prediction. The Court was careful to differentiate personal knowledge of a fact from a prediction of a future event. The Court did not decide if a prediction would qualify as direct and independent knowledge. Instead, the Court focused on the cause and effect underlying Stone’s prediction. Stone’s status as an original source failed because his only knowledge was based on a prediction of a future event and that prediction was based on an erroneous cause and effect analysis. The Court emphasized that the private person’s misunderstanding of why a defect occurred would not be problematic when the person actually knew a defect existed. But, Stone neither knew the defect existed, nor did he correctly predict the cause of the failure.

Justice Stevens, in a dissent joined by Justice Ginsburg, noted that a person is an original source when he has knowledge of the information underlying the publicly disclosed allegations, not the information underlying the allegations in the complaint. Justice Breyer did not take part in the case.

Impact

The original source requirement is critical to deter suits by after the fact relators based upon information that has been publicly disclosed . The Rockwell decision mandates that only whistleblowers with actual knowledge can institute qui tam cases based on public information. The ruling is important to government contractors because, in clarifying the meaning of “original source,” the decision should discourage claims by so-called “parasitic relators” − who overstate or fabricate their role in uncovering fraud and waste despite the fact that they do not expose any previously unknown wrongdoing.

Government contractors believe this decision is an important victory that will cause whistleblowers to think twice before they file False Claims Act lawsuits. The whistleblower must truly have information that is independent (not from the press or some other source) and direct (personal knowledge reasonably related to the cause of action). Although not all fishing expeditions will be stopped, this decision helps contractors avoid frivolous lawsuits and thwarts plaintiffs who care more about the reward than the bad act.

On the other hand, the policy question raised by Rockwell is whether “genuine relators” may also be discouraged by the Court’s interpretation of “original source.” In this case, the FBI’s search warrant and subsequent investigation was made possible by the fact that Stone came forward with legitimate information about environmental violations at Rocky Flats. Requiring that the information provided by citizens not only lead to the fraud being uncovered but also ultimately form the basis of the evidence used to reach a jury verdict of fraud is likely to have a chilling effect on potential whistleblowers in the future. An individual who is considered an original source who files a fraud suit on behalf of the government against a company that does business with the government receives a portion of any award. Many commentators believe the Supreme Court’s decision will not affect the result that Rockwell must pay the $4.2 million award, it just means that the whistleblower, Stone, will not receive any monetary compensation for his role in uncovering the fraud and penalizing Rockwell. If legitimate whistleblowers are deterred by this decision, the concern is that it will be easier for government contractors to commit, and get away with, fraud.

401(k) Plans In The Cross-Hairs

To learn more aobut 401(k) fee litigation, visit our 401(k) Fee Litigation Update Center.

A recent spate of litigation involving 401(k) plan fees has drawn the attention of employers, the media, and Congress. At issue in these cases is hundreds of millions of dollars in potential liability, and also the very backbone of the retirement plan industry. Employers can expect more scrutiny of their plans from employees and, in some unfortunate circumstances, from plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Class action attorneys have identified their next target, and it isn’t cigarette manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, or falling stock prices. Instead, they have in their sights something that is much more pervasive in the business community, and potentially more explosive: the 401(k) industry and employers who participate in it. A series of class action lawsuits filed in late 2006 and early 2007 challenges the way that employers pay for the 401(k) plans that they sponsor. At last count at least seventeen cases were pending in federal courts from Maryland to California, each arguing that investment-related fees paid by plans to their service providers were so excessive as to violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).

Coming on the heels of the stock-drop cases that continue to plague employers that offer company stock funds in their plans, this new rash of litigation has the potential to affect many more plans and plan sponsors. These lawsuits attack the basic fee structure used by most 401(k) plans. They have received significant media attention, leading to increased scrutiny from legislators and plan participants. And although the courts have not yet considered the merits of the claims, they are already altering the way that plans are administered.

The Substance of the Claims
The current challenges come primarily from participants in employer-sponsored 401(k) plans. Long predicted by benefits prognosticators, this new wave of litigation is largely driven by three factors: demographics; the growing prevalence of 401(k)-type arrangements as the primary source of retirement savings; and the stock market. As the vast majority of American workers face the prospect of retirement without the security of a traditional defined benefit retirement plan, the investment options made available to participants in 401(k) arrangements and the net investment return on those options will increasingly come under scrutiny. Ultimately, these lawsuits can be traced to the convergence of these three factors.

According to the complaints, administrative fees paid by the plans – and indirectly paid by plan participants – were excessive, improperly diluting the returns on participants’ 401(k) investments. The lawsuits seek to recover what could amount to many millions of dollars from plan sponsors and executives who allowed the plans to pay the allegedly excessive fees, and in some cases from the plan service providers who received those fees. Although the employers and plans that have been sued so far are very large, including Kraft, International Paper, Caterpillar, and Boeing, the legal theories advanced by the plaintiffs would apply to almost every 401(k) plan and plan sponsor. With over $2.9 trillion in the 401(k) industry at stake and baby boomers on the cusp of retirement, it’s clear that these issues are not going away soon.

Revenue Sharing Under Fire
The common theme among all of the cases that have been filed to date is an attack on a practice the plaintiffs characterize as “revenue sharing.” That term can have different interpretations depending upon the kind of investments offered under a plan (e.g., annuity contracts, collective trusts, and mutual funds). In the context of mutual funds – perhaps the most common 401(k) investment vehicle – revenue sharing generally refers to a practice in which mutual fund companies carve off a portion of the management fees they receive from investors and then “share” that revenue with other service providers with whom the fund companies sub-contract. Revenue sharing is a practice that is common throughout the 401(k) industry.

One of the allegations in the class complaints is that plan fiduciaries did not understand the complicated fee structures that are common in the 401(k) industry. For a more detailed explanation of those structures, please refer to the discussion found at Understanding 401(k)Fees.

The complaints characterize revenue sharing payments in two ways. First, the plaintiffs claim that these payments amount to “hidden” fees, largely because they are difficult to understand and rarely disclosed to participants. Second, the plaintiffs contend that revenue sharing payments are actually assets of the plans which are improperly used to benefit parties other than plan participants, in violation of ERISA’s “exclusive benefit” and “prohibited transaction” rules. The complaints characterize these payments as “the big secret of the retirement industry.”

The plaintiffs allege that the defendants in these cases breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by failing to investigate whether the plan’s service providers received revenue sharing payments. They contend that plan expenses could have been reduced – and participants’ investment earnings could have been increased – if the defendants had uncovered these arrangements and used that information to negotiate for lower fees. They also suggest that defendants violated ERISA by failing to disclose the existence of revenue sharing payments to participants.

Other Claims
lthough the attack on revenue sharing is at the core of these suits, the plaintiffs challenge a number of other practices as well. A few of the complaints argue that some direct (or “hard dollar”) payments from the plans to their service providers were not adequately disclosed to participants. For example, they say that this happens when plans participate in master trust arrangements (which are trusts that pool the assets of multiple plans), and payments are made to service providers from the master trust. The lawsuits suggest that fees paid directly from the master trust – rather than from a component plan – were not disclosed to plan participants, making it appear that plan expenses were very low or even nonexistent.

Some of the plans offered participants the ability to invest in mutual funds that charge a fee for active management, but that allegedly behave like passively managed index funds. The complaints assert that the returns participants earned on those funds were virtually identical to the returns they could have obtained from an index fund which has a much lower management fee. They argue that the management fees imposed by these alleged “shadow index funds” were therefore excessive, and that the plans’ fiduciaries should not have accepted them.

In a few of the cases the plaintiffs take aim at practices associated with employer stock funds. These funds allow (and in some cases require) plan participants to invest in the stock of the plan sponsor. The participants contend that the employer stock funds charged improper management and administration fees, when there really was no “management” of the fund at all. They also argue that fiduciaries allowed excessive cash to be held in unitized employer stock funds, thus diluting returns.

End Run on Section 404(c)
Also common to all of the lawsuits is the plan participants’ assertion that they were not fully informed about the expenses associated with their accounts. This, they say, vitiates the protection from liability that plan fiduciaries might otherwise have had under Section 404(c) of ERISA. The implication is that participants whose 401(k) accounts suffered investment losses could seek to recover those losses from the fiduciaries, in addition to the allegedly excessive fees.

Most plans that allow participants to choose how to invest their money do so in reliance on Section 404(c). That statutory provision protects plan sponsors and fiduciaries from liability for any losses participants may incur when making their own investment choices. However, this protection applies only if participants are given sufficient information with which to make investment decisions. According to the participants, by failing to provide adequate information about plan expenses, the fiduciaries did not comply with Section 404(c), and thus they remain responsible for any investment losses the participants may have suffered.

Assessing the Risk
The defendants in the currently pending suits are mounting a vigorous defense, filing a flurry of preliminary motions. Based upon the arguments they have raised to date and recent decisions by courts in the Fourth (LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Assocs.) and Fifth (Langbecker v. EDS Corp.) United States Circuit Courts of Appeal, it appears that the plaintiffs will have an uphill battle. Nevertheless, these cases will be heavily fact-dependent, and are unlikely to be resolved in the early stages of litigation.

Of equal concern may be the possible legislative and regulatory responses to these lawsuits. Already the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor has held hearings to address 401(k) fees. More hearings are set for later in the year. The Department of Labor also is considering several initiatives to regulate the relationships between plans and their service providers, and to increase the transparency of retirement plan fees. Thus, the changes that emanate from Washington could have a more significant impact on employer-sponsored 401(k) plans than the threat of litigation.

What’s Next?
It is likely that more lawsuits will be filed in the coming months. Although the St. Louis-based Schlicter, Bogard & Denton law firm is primarily responsible for the current wave of litigation, there are indications that other plaintiffs’ firms are poised to join the fray. Internet reports indicate that a large firm with a well-established ERISA practice is “investigating” the fee practices of insurance companies that provide retirement plan services. Moreover, the Schlicter firm has placed newspaper advertisements to solicit potential plaintiffs for lawsuits that target at least 15 additional plans.

More recently, plaintiffs have added plan service providers to the list of those they sue. In each of the last three cases filed by the Schlicter firm, Fidelity Management Trust Co. and Fidelity Management Research Co. have been named directly as defendants. In those cases, Fidelity’s involvement with the investment funds offered under the plans was allegedly so pervasive as to make Fidelity an ERISA fiduciary with respect to the plans. In addition, plan sponsors themselves have sued insurance company providers directly – Nationwide, The Hartford, and Principal – in what purport to be national class actions on behalf of all plans and plan sponsors that have engaged those entities.

Cases are now pending in federal district courts in the Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Circuits. As these matters proceed, it is likely that the courts will render substantive interpretations of ERISA that are not always consistent. Unless Congress intervenes, it will be up to the Supreme Court to explain the extent of the rights and obligations that employers – and employees – have with respect to 401(k) plans. Thus, for some time to come these lawsuits will shape the legal landscape in which retirement plans are administered.

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