CORRECTION: A previous iteration of this post referred to Midwest Outdoor as Missouri Outdoor.
Debate over what was on the minds of jurors in a federal racketeering trial five years ago has fueled a legal malpractice claim against Husch Blackwell Sanders in Kansas City.
Husch Blackwell’s former client, Midwest Outdoor Media, accuses Missouri’s third largest law firm of writing unclear jury instructions and offering improper guidance to jurors during closing arguments, resulting in a smaller award in a federal racketeering trial, according to the lawsuit filed Friday in Jackson County Circuit Court.
Midwest Outdoor seeks $2.7 million in compensatory damages plus pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and attorney fees.
Husch’s director of communications, Joe Keenan, didn’t immediately return a phone call.
Midwest Outdoor names no specific attorneys in the litigation.
“I don’t think there was a mistake in legal work done. I’d like to make that clear,” said Floyd Finch, who served as lead attorney on the original lawsuit and federal appeal.
Finch left Husch late last year to start his own firm, Finch & Campbell.
“I think the jury just went beyond the instructions,” Finch said. “In this particular case, they got a little carried away … It came back to bite us and our clients.”