Archive

  1. Michele F. Sutton

    Comments Off on Michele F. Sutton

    With a M.B.A. in Operations and Quantitative Analysis, Michele synthesizes keen analytical skills with her legal experience to assist the firm’s clients reach resolution of their commercial disputes.

    “Whether working through the legal and factual aspects of a case with my client or explaining a complex legal issue to the Court, I love being a problem solver.  The satisfaction of helping my client reach a desired resolution is magnified by the privilege of doing so with a team of attorneys I both like and respect.”

    Prior to joining the firm, Michele clerked for the Honorable Harold Lowenstein at the Western District of the Missouri Court of Appeals. In addition to honing her research and writing skills, Michele gained valuable insight into both trial and appellate practice. Michele has put her appellate experience to work, briefing cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and the Missouri Court of Appeals.

    Results

    • Member of team that represented regional grocery retailer in putative class action brought on behalf of Missouri consumers.  Putative class sought more than $7 million in damages arising from alleged mislabeling of nutritional contents of food supplement.  Obtained dismissal of action with prejudice prior to commencement of discovery.
    • Member of team that achieved Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversal of an award against a medical care services company in long-running dispute with the Department of Labor, in which the Eighth Circuit found the Department overstepped its authority by initiating a company-wide investigation despite only finding reasonable cause to investigate one specific (and limited) issue for one employee.
    • Member of team that successfully prosecuted claims of breach of contract and fraud on behalf of bank after it successfully foreclosed on collateral pledged by debtor which included a minority stake in a privately held family business.
    Read More
    • Member of team that obtained temporary restraining order in Alabama on behalf of chemical manufacturer and against key employee of distributor who had taken a position with competitor, resolving the litigation by agreement to prevent misappropriation and dissemination of manufacturer’s trade secrets.
    • Member of team that obtained summary judgment in federal court for manufacturer in breach of contract claims brought by a supplier involving issues of executory contracts in bankruptcy. See Permacel Automotive, Inc. v. Kohler, No. 08-00804-cv-W-FJG, 2010 WL 2516924 (W.D.Mo. June 14, 2010).
    • Assisted in defense of insurer after close of discovery in commercial litigation brought by finance company, obtaining successful outcome at trial.
    • Part of team defending financial institutions in consumer class actions pending in federal and state court in Missouri arising from residential second mortgage loans and alleged violations of the Missouri Second Mortgage Loan Act.
    • Member of team that successfully defended EPC contractor in JAMS arbitration arising from design and construction of an oil-gas hydrocracker refinery in Utah. Mechanical subcontractor sought $12 million in damages for alleged delays, disruptions, and productivity losses. Participated in expedited arbitration and two-week evidentiary hearing that resulted in an arbitration award less than client’s final settlement offer.
    • Member of the team that achieved summary judgment against employee on behalf of energy provider. The former employee alleged disability discrimination and retaliation under the ADA, as well as off-the-clock work.
    • Assisted in defense of manufacturer’s transportation department and driver in personal injury and death claims arising out of collision on an interstate between tractor trailer and minivan. The representation included the trial of minor child’s claims for traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in significant permanent injury.
    • Member of team that successfully defended computer manufacturer in suit alleging the manufacturer’s monitor caused a commercial fire after our investigation demonstrated that the product at issue was not, in fact, manufactured by our client.
    • Obtained summary judgment in contract dispute between retail business owners arising out of a terminable-at-will royalty agreement.
  2. Andrew J. Lewis

    Comments Off on Andrew J. Lewis

    “I am honored to have the opportunity to practice with the talented lawyers at SAKG, who share my passion for seeking creative solutions to our clients’ complex problems.”

    Outside the office, Drew serves as a mentor to students at Kansas State University and the University of Illinois. Drew lives in Kansas City and enjoys going to concerts, playing the piano, and rooting on the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, and K-State Wildcats.

    Results

    • Achieved summary judgment in Missouri state court personal injury case where damages were alleged to be in excess of $1 million.
    • Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of janitorial company on eve of trial where alleged damages were claimed to be in excess of $2 million.
    • Won $6 million verdict for small Kansas City awards company whose general sales manager began working for a large competitor before quitting his job and secretly misappropriating sales orders and confidential client information to benefit the competitor.
    • Extensive experience serving as lead counsel on a variety of personal injury matters.
    • Served as second chair in a bench trial that spanned 18 months and involved the prosecution of an energy developer’s claims against former employees for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of confidentiality agreements, civil conspiracy, unfair competition, and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  3. Brent N. Coverdale

    Comments Off on Brent N. Coverdale

    His years of experience defending claims of discrimination, retaliation, wrongful termination, wage and hour class and collective actions, and agency investigations cause employers to seek his assistance representing them in state and federal courts throughout the country. He has obtained successful results for clients at all levels of litigation, from motions to dismiss through trial and appeal.

    “My role is to help clients resolve complicated, stressful, and often emotionally-charged situations. I strive to find the right solution, whether that means proactive steps to avoid issues, addressing and resolving misbehavior, or helping clear someone’s good name.”

    Brent also helps clients outside of litigation, counseling them on handbook and policy review and formulation, ADA and leave of absence issues, employee classification issues, employee and supervisor training, compliance audits, and investigations. He has worked on employment matters for a wide variety of companies, from retail operations, energy companies, telecommunications and information technology companies, automobile manufacturers, restaurants and food service operations, hotel chains, construction companies, hospitals, transportation services, staffing companies, educational institutions, financial companies, architecture and engineering firms, and insurance companies.

    Results

    • Won a $6 million unanimous verdict in jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri on behalf of awards and promotional products company after the company’s former employee and competitor conspired to work together to breach the employee’s duty of loyalty and tortiously interfered with business relations.
    • Obtained a defense verdict in jury trial in Jackson County, Missouri on behalf of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri and Chief of Police Darryl Forté.  Four male applicants for a sergeant transfer to the Canine Unit brought claims of gender discrimination over the Chief’s selection of a female candidate. This case was recognized as one of the Top Ten Defense Wins in 2017 in Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
    • Obtained reversal of a roughly half-million-dollar award against a medical care staffing company.  The Department of Labor issued a determination finding violations of the H-1B program company-wide.  After we achieved reversal of portions of the determination through administrative hearings, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the remaining awards, finding that the Department overstepped its authority by initiating a company-wide investigation despite only finding reasonable cause to investigate one specific (and limited) issue for one employee.
    Read More
    • Achieved summary judgment in state court against employee on behalf of energy provider. The former employee alleged gender discrimination and retaliation, based on alleged statements that she was not a viable candidate because of her status as a single parent with small children and later termination.
    • Served as lead counsel and obtained verdict for financial services company in jury trial against former agent for breach of contract.  The former employee raised a variety of legal and equitable arguments against enforcement of his agreement.
    • Counseling for employers from international companies to small businesses on a variety of employment matters, such as developing a nationwide background check system for U.S. employees of an international retailer, counseling a major automaker on wage and hour issues, and assisting a large municipal employer in reductions in force.
    • Served as lead counsel for multiple employers in wage and hour lawsuits, both as collective actions and individual litigation, including obtaining summary judgment despite allegations of substantial overtime for off-the-clock work.
    • Achieved summary judgment against employee on behalf of energy provider. The former employee alleged disability discrimination and retaliation under the ADA, as well as off-the-clock work.
    • Represented sales company against former employee in violation of noncompete agreement. After an evidentiary hearing, obtained declaratory judgment, permanent injunction, and fees.
    • Achieved summary judgment against employee on behalf of government contractor. The former employee alleged whistleblower retaliation for reporting false billing.
    • Represented local social work provider against state unemployment agency finding that counselors were employees rather than individual contractors. After a multi-day hearing, successfully convinced agency hearing officer to reverse the initial determination.
    • Achieved summary judgment against employee on behalf of government contractor. The former employee alleged disability discrimination under the ADA based upon alleged mental disabilities.
    • Defended employer in Department of Labor administrative hearing regarding wage and hour matters for foreign workers. The government alleged liquidated damages provision of employment contract was illegal, but after a multi-day hearing, the judge found the provision to be enforceable.
    • Defended trucking company in employment discrimination case alleging race, color, and sex harassment and discrimination. Achieved prompt resolution after early investigation.
    • Represented trucking company where trailer mechanic alleged vague disability, and was terminated when no position was available when he was able to return. Achieved finding from state agency that mechanic was not discriminated against due to his disability.
    • Defended propane carrier in Department of Labor proceedings by driver alleging retaliation for reporting violations of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act and other laws.
    • Represented hospital in workers’ compensation retaliation claim brought by employee terminated for poor performance. Achieved prompt resolution after convincing court to remove punitive damages from case.
    • Obtained prompt injunctive relief, leading to overall resolution, on behalf of medical center enforcing noncompete agreement against doctor going to work for competing medical facility in the same area.
    • Successfully briefed and argued several matters before various state and federal appellate courts. Greater Missouri Medical Pro-Care Providers, Inc. v. Perez, 812 F.3d 1132 (2015); Carmody, et al. v. Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, 713 F.3d 401 (2013);Napreljac v. John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc., 505 F.3d 800 (2007); Electronic Data Systems v. Kansas Dept. of Human Resources, 108 P.3d 468 (2005); Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. v. Barrow, 143 Fed. Appx. 180 (2005).
  4. Scott R. Ast

    Comments Off on Scott R. Ast

    Scott leverages his firsthand insight and business acumen to provide practical advice that puts each client’s business goals front and center. He has significant first chair jury trial experience in the state and federal courts. Scott’s experience includes multi-week trials of high exposure business disputes and personal injury claims. Scott has successfully litigated commercial disputes involving mergers and acquisitions, lending transactions, trade secrets, product liability and transportation cases.

    “The firm’s success is driven by superior client service. This focus has created a workplace culture of respect, civility and productivity.”

    Scott has also acted as national counsel in the investigation and defense of claims involving fires and alleged product failures.

    Results

    • $11.1 million verdict for mother in wrongful death fire case against landlord for failing to provide adequate smoke alarms and failing to inspect rental home.
    • Won defense verdict in Oregon federal court in case involving claims of misappropriated trade secrets and tortious interference.
    • Prevailed with defense verdict in Wyandotte County in case alleging brain injury and permanent disability from head strike.
    • Successfully defended railroad against wrongful death claim by trespassers and motorists at grade crossings.
    • Navigated claims of trade secret misappropriation against manufacturer which had contracted with former employee of competitor, and avoided prolonged litigation
    • Participated in numerous fire origin and cause investigations arising from events that resulted in catastrophic injuries, death and millions of dollars in damage.
    Read More
    • Defend manufacturers against product liability claims involving consumer products and components parts.
    • Defended manufacturer’s transportation department and driver in personal injury and death claims arising out of collision on an interstate between tractor trailer and minivan. The representation included the trial of minor child’s claims for traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting in significant permanent injury.
    • Successfully prosecuted claims of breach of contract and fraud on behalf of bank after it successfully foreclosed on collateral pledged by debtor which included a minority stake in a privately held family business. The majority owners had attempted to block the redemption of the stock at the fair and agreed value.
    • Secured voluntary dismissal for defendant after plaintiff’s expert admitted his opinion – that the cause of a house fire was our client’s component part – was unsupported by the evidence.
    • Represented recreational boat component part manufacturer in wrongful death action tried out of state which arose from carbon monoxide poisonings allegedly caused by defects in design in which jury was asked to award over $200 million.
    • Achieved a unanimous defense verdict for manufacturer of exercise equipment in product liability action arising out of commercial structure fire.
    • Defended product liability cases involving battery technologies such as lithium-ion, lead-acid and nickel–cadmium (NiCd) in which products were alleged causes of fires and acid burns.
    • Obtained a defense verdict for medical device manufacturer in jury trial in Kansas City, Missouri, against allegations of design and warnings defects leading to permanent injuries.
    • Achieved dismissal of tractor manufacturer in wrongful death claims allegedly caused by failure of equipment to include roll over protection system (ROPS).
    • Extensive defending manufacturers and sellers in cases involving toxic exposures to acids, benzene, asbestos, carbon monoxide, heavy metals and other chemicals.
    • Recovered nearly all amounts claimed in breach of contract claim arising out of an asset sale in which the buyer failed to pay the agreed purchase price for the assets of a chemical manufacturer.
    • Obtained summary judgment in contract dispute between retail business owners arising out of a terminable-at-will royalty agreement.
    • Obtained temporary restraining order on behalf of chemical manufacturer and against key employee of distributor resulting in prompt resolution of misappropriation of trade secrets case.
    • Obtained summary judgment in federal court for manufacturer sued by supplier alleging breach of a requirements contract for component parts and damages exceeding $1 million.
    • Represented conveyor manufacturer in multimillion dollar contractual indemnity claim arising out of failure of material handling equipment.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertisements. Past results afford no guarantee of future results. Every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

1100 Walnut Street, Suite 1950
Kansas City, MO 64106-2197
P: 816.268.9400  F: 816.268.9409

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.