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Significant Cases

Significant cases in which the law firm has been involved on behalf of either the plaintiff or defendant.

  • Miller, Jr., et al. v. Margaret Miller, et al, Case No. E.D. 94837 and E.D.94899 in the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District – Law Firm successfully defended and upheld the validity of a Revocable Trust in a lawsuit brought by the children of the decedent’s first marriage.
  • Ralls County Mutual Insurance Company v. RCS Bank, 314 S.W.3d 792 (Mo. App. E.D.,2010.) – Leonatti & Baker, P.C. represented an employer whose funds had been embezzled and sought to impose an equitable constructed trust. The theory was accepted by the trial court but reversed by the Court of Appeals.
  • Bugg v. City of Boonville- 296 S.W.3d 484 (Mo. App. W.D.,2009). – Leonatti & Baker, P.C. represented the City of Boonville in defending the successful annexation of land into the City of Boonville which housed a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
  • Reynolds v. City of Valley Park, Case No. 4:06CV01487 ERW, EDMO, 2006 Leonatti & Baker, P.C. represented the City of Valley Park along with Co-Counsel in defending an employment ordinance which required contractors and employees to verify the citizenship or immigration status of their employees. Action by the City Council amended the ordinance to bring it into compliance with judicial decisions. Court of Appeals held that the Plaintiff’s appeal was moot as a result of the actions of the City Council.
  • King v. Columbia Public School District, 464 F. Supp. 2d 892, WDMO, 2006 – This was an employment discrimination case brought by an African American Woman. Summary Judgment was granted by the district court and reversed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. A verdict was rendered in favor of the School District and against the Plaintiff in a subsequent jury trial.
  • Gatewood v. Columbia Public School District, 415 F. Supp. 2d 983, WDMO, 2006 – Leonatti & Baker, P.C. represented the Columbia Public School District in a employment discrimination lawsuit brought by an African American Male. Partial Summary Judgment was awarded to the Columbia Public School District.
  • Goe vs. City of Mexico, 64 S.W. 3d 836, (Mo. App E.D. 2001) – This case involved the City of Mexico’s building code which provided for the condemnation and removal of property after appropriate notice and the opportunity of the land owner to appeal. The Court of Appeals declared that the only appropriate method for condemning and removing a building was to conduct “a due process hearing” prior to the removal of the structure in accordance with a specific Missouri statue.
  • Millard vs. Corrado, 14 S.W. 3d 42 (Mo. App E.D. 2000) – Our Firm filed an Amicus Brief on behalf of the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers. The issue involved was whether or not a Doctor who was on call had formed a physician/patient relationship with an accident victim who presented herself at the Emergency Room for treatment.
  • King vs. A.P. Green Industries, 991 S.W.2d 223 (Mo. App.E.D. 1999) – This is a worker’s compensation appeal in which we represented the employer/insurer. The Administrative Law Judge’s decision in favor of the employer/insurer was affirmed by the Appellate Court.
  • Union Electric Company and City of Mexico v. Mexico Plastic Company, 973 S.W.2d 170 (Mo.App. E.D. 1998) – The law firm represented the City of Mexico. This involved a test of the Constitutionality of the utility gross receipts tax based on exemptions granted to different industries. The Court of Appeals upheld the Constitutionality of the exemptions.
  • American Family v. Wemhoff, 972 S.W.2d 402 (Mo. App.W.D. 1998) – The law firm represented American Family in a dispute regarding whether a minor child of divorced parents was an “insured”. The Trial Court issued Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law upholding American Family’s position that the minor child was an “insured” under the policy. The matter was appealed to the Western District Court of Appeals and in a case of first impression, a unanimous opinion, found that the minor child was an insured under the policy.
  • Mo. Rural Electic Coop vs. City of Hannibal, 938 S.W. 2d 903. – We represented the City of Hannibal in this annexation matter. We won in the Trial Court but the Missouri Supreme Court declared the annexation by the City to be invalid because the property annexed was not contiguous (as that term was defined by the annexation statute).
  • Baker v. Baker, 923 S.W. 2d 346 (Mo. App E. D. 1996) – Our firm represented Mid Missouri Legal Services. Sanctions were imposed upon Mid Missouri Legal Services by the Trial Court in this dissolution action. The Sanction consisted of Mid Missouri Legal Services being ordered to pay the opposing parties attorney fees. On Appeal, we were able to reverse the Trial Court’s Order and eliminate the sanction.
  • Jones v. Brand, 902 S.W. 2d 888 (Mo. App W. D. 1995) – We represented one of the Co-Defendants at trial. the Jury returned a verdict in favor of both Defendants. this was a no contact motor vehicle accident case. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Judgment for the Defendants.
  • Sharp v. Boyland, et al., 899 S.W.2d 945 (Mo. App.E.D. 1995) – The Trial Court ruled in favor of the law firm’s client by granting a directed verdict. The case involved a question of “undue influence” regarding a contractual agreement. The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District, by unanimous opinion, upheld the Trial Court’s decision directing a verdict for the Defendants.
  • State ex rel. Wedemeier v. McKenzie, 889 S.W.2d 99 (Mo. App. E.D. 1994) – The firm represented the landowner in this case. The landowner sought to disqualify the Circuit Judge from hearing the case prior the appointment of commissioners. This relief was denied by the Circuit Judge. A Writ of Prohibition was granted by the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District and the Court held that it was appropriate to disqualify the Judge at the initial stage of the condemnation proceedings.
  • State ex rel. Missouri Cities Water Company v. Hodge, 878 S.W.2d 819 (Mo.banc. 1994) – This firm represented the City of Mexico and the Respondent, Judge Edward D. Hodge in a Writ sought by Missouri Cities Water Company. The case involved the condemnation of a privately owned water utility in the City of Mexico. The Circuit Court and the Court of Appeals held that the City could condemn the utility. This decision was reversed by the Missouri Supreme Court citing a lack of statutory authority.
  • State ex rel. Ehrlich v. Hamilton, 879 S.W.2d, 491 (Mo.banc. 1994) – The firm represented Mr. Ehrlich in a case involving pretensive joinder. The Supreme Court held that it was inappropriate to venue a case in Boone County when the Plaintiff resided in Randolph County, the accident occurred in Randolph County and the Defendant resided in Marion County. The pretensive basis for venue in Boone County was the premature joinder of a claim against the Plaintiff’s underinsured motorist carrier.
  • Stephen B. McCarney v.Nearing, Staats, et al. v. Conley, 866 S.W.2d 881 (Mo. App. W.D. 1993) – Our firm represented Reinhardt Construction Company and Judge Frank Conley in a Writ sought by a building owner. The owner sought to avoid an arbitration clause in a construction contract. The Court of Appeals, in a lengthy Opinion, analyzed the law concerning arbitration clauses and enforced the arbitration clause. This was the remedy sought by Reinhardt Construction Company.
  • In re the matter of Elgene C. v. Ver Dught, 825 S.W.2d 847 (Mo.banc 1992) – Our law firm represented, before the Missouri Supreme Court, the Missouri Bar Ethics Committee in disbarment proceedings against a lawyer. The Supreme Court upheld the disbarment for suborning perjury.
  • Koester v. Wellsville-Middletown School District, 960 F.2d 69 (8th Cir. 1992) – Our firm represented the Wellsville-Middletown School District in a case under the Education of Handicapped Children’s Act. The District Court and Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the School District holding that it had provided a free and appropriate education and educational placement for a severely handicapped student.
  • Cochran v. Board of Education of Mexico, Missouri, 815 S.W.2d 55 (Mo. App. E.D. 1991) – In this case our firm represented the Mexico Board of Education. The Board’s dismissal of a tenured teacher was upheld by the Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District. The case is significant because it approved the methods used by the Board in investigating and terminating the teacher.
  • Selby v. North Callaway Board of Education, 777 S.W.2d 275 (Mo. App. W.D., 1989) – This is a tenured teacher case in which the firm represented the Board of Education. The Board voted to dismiss a tenured teacher for instructional reasons. The dismissal was upheld by the Circuit Court of Callaway County but reversed by the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District because adequate time was not given to the teacher to correct her deficiencies.
  • State ex rel. Fisher v. McKenzie, 754 S.W.2d 557 (Mo.banc 1988) – In this case the Missouri Supreme Court affirmed the Plaintiff’s right to dismiss his case without prejudice as to its refiling.
  • State of Missouri ex rel. v. Mo. Highway & Transp. v. Dooley, 738 S.W.2d 457 (Mo. App. 1987) – This case contains a thorough discussion and evaluation of the attorney work product privilege in eminent domain cases.
  • Harrison v. Monroe County, 716 S.W.2d 263 (Mo. 1986) – Our firm represented Monroe County officials in a lawsuit brought under the Hancock Amendment to the Missouri Constitution. The suit sought to contest pay hikes granted to County Officials. The action of the County Commission was upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • A.B. Chance Company v. Schmidt, 719 S.W.2d 854 (Mo. App. 1986) – This case involved a thorough discussion of trade secret law in Missouri and the confidentiality obligation of an employee.
  • Henderson v. City of Mexico, 798 F 2d 320 (8th Cir. 1986) – This case involved the successful defense of a racial discrimination claim brought by the demoted head of a city department.
  • Baker v. McCue-Moyle Development Co., 695 S.W.2d 906 (Mo. App. 1984) – This case involved an extensive discussion of a general partner’s ability to bind the partnership to the sale of a million-dollar asset.
  • Chase Manhattan Bank v. George Pontiac-Olds-GMC, 662 S.W.2d 312 (Mo. App. 1983) – Struck down holder in due course doctrine where supplier of goods was in bankruptcy and product was defective.
  • National Garment Company v. City of Paris, Missouri, 655 S.W.2d 515 (Mo.banc 1983) – This case affirmed the right of a municipality to repossess and market an industrial building.
  • Kaiser Aluminum v. Ill. Cent. Gulf R. Co., 615 S.W.2d 470 (8th Cir. 1980) – Permitted recovery for our client under the Carmack Amendment for goods contaminated in interstate shipping.
  • Federated Mutual Insurance v. Gray, 475 F. Supp. 679 (1979) – Permitted Defendant to seek contribution from a non-party to the primary litigation after the determination of the Defendant’s liability in the primary litigation.
  • Epple v. Western Auto Supply Co., 557 S.W.2d 253 (Mo.banc 1977) – This case led to the adoption of comparative negligence in the State of Missouri.
  • Friederich v. Chamberlain, 458 S.W.2d 360 (Mo.banc 1970) – This case adopted the skidding doctrine in the State of Missouri.