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Author Archives: David Knopf

KC couple awarded $23.5 million in trucking accident

An eight-person Kansas jury awarded a Kansas City couple $23.5 million following the 2006 collision of two tractor-trailers that left one driver dead and a co-driver, the plaintiff, significantly injured. The verdict, reached on Nov. 25, 2008, in U.S. District ...

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Will litigate for chickens

John Tresslar, a downtown St. Louis attorney with 24 years’ experience in both criminal defense and civil litigation, has no problem talking about bartering and using Craigslist to reach potential clients. Tresslar posted a Craigslist ad in early May. Headed “Attorney seeking to barter with licensed electrician,” his listing drew six responses, Tresslar said. Like most attorneys, Tresslar would rather have payment in currency or a check. But when the stars align perfectly — say a client, a painter, needs legal work for a traffic offense and Tresslar’s spouse wants a room painted — a barter deal becomes an option.

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2009: Firm leaders don’t expect quick economic turnaround

Missouri’s managing partners aren’t ready to toast the end of the worst recession in decades, but several say recent stirrings may foreshadow some recovery later this year. “There is some anecdotal evidence that some of the banks were beginning to ...

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Class action settled for $15 million

Three insurance companies have agreed to settlements totaling $15 million as the result of a class action suit alleging that poor actuarial work resulted in “fraudulent concealment of future rate increases” for 1,669 Missouri policyholders. The class-action lawsuit, filed in ...

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Bar settles with injured woman for $1 million

A Columbia woman who sustained serious injuries when her car was struck by an intoxicated driver reached a $1 million settlement with the insurer of the business that served the alcoholic beverages. In an earlier agreement, the driver’s insurance company ...

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Venturing out solo

Attorney Steve Clark enjoyed certain advantages when he left Husch Blackwell Sanders to open his own St. Louis-area firm. For one thing, Clark left his business and commercial ligation practice voluntarily. For another, he was an established attorney who was accustomed to analyzing complex issues. But even with that edge, Clark had pitfalls in common with far less experienced lawyers who’d been let go during the economic downturn.

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Zero in on the right software

To a novice, the legal software on the market may resemble a Tower of Babel, with an overwhelming multiplicity of programs to use rather than a common one. But a firm that has its own IT staff, receives outside technical advice or simply knows where to look for what's available can find uniformity and order among the thousands of software choices. John Olmstead, a Missouri legal consultant, has advised smaller firms, generally with 25 or fewer attorneys, on technology needs. It's typical for small firms, he said, to rely on external advice from IT providers, as well as hardware and software vendors.

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Tips to conduct your own technology review

  There’s no shortage of terms for the process law firms undertake to make a checklist of their software.  They range from the formal “technology assessment” used by independent technology consultant Andy Adkins, to the middle-brow “inventory,” “taking stock” and ...

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Attitude toward death penalty probed

Guantanamo detainees, death-row prisoners and Katrina victims share a bond that a noted attorney thinks reflects a malaise at the heart of the nation's psyche. John Adams Project defense attorney Denny LeBoeuf, keynote speaker for Thursday's Death Penalty Symposium at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, previewed the program Wednesday in delivering the Joseph Cohen Lecture. LeBoeuf summarizes her thesis this way: Guantanamo, the death penalty and Katrina are made from a single cloth woven by color, class and, in the case of "War on Terror" detainees, religion and ethnicity.

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Karl Truman’s tips for new attorneys

1. Look into a virtual office. It’s a real office space, but many of the functions of a law office – a receptionist, paralegal, transcription, copy center – are made available on a pay-as-you-go basis, reducing overhead.   2. Consider ...

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