Commercial Litigation

Practice Overview:

The attorneys at Fields & Brown represent Fortune 100 corporations, engaged in manufacturing, retail, distribution and service industries, as well as, governmental agencies and national insurance companies in a wide range of commercial litigation including bankruptcy, creditors’ rights, commercial collections, foreclosures, directors and officers liability claims, quiet title actions, declaratory judgments, professional liability claims and consumer class actions. The firm brings a common-sense, business-oriented approach to both the client’s day-to-day legal issues and any extraordinary occurrences. The firm’s attorneys work in partnership with clients to achieve client objectives. Through creative problem solving and effective advocacy, the firm helps clients avoid unnecessary legal controversies and expenses.

Representative Matters

The firm has extensive experience with complex litigation, and recently represented a Fortune 100 food service manufacturer in the defense of Kansas and Missouri cases that were part of a multi-jurisdictional class action involving millions of dollars in consumer protection act claims. The class plaintiffs claimed they should have received more information about the ingredients in one of the manufacturer’s products. Class certification was denied in the Kansas action, and the class plaintiff dismissed her claims. The Missouri certification order was appealed to the Missouri Court of Appeals and to the Missouri Supreme Court. In 2008, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the class certification order, effectively ending the case.

Successfully defended a Fortune 50 Oil Company against a premises liability claim that involved an alleged intentional tort and a claim of race discrimination under the Missouri Public Accommodations Law. Fields & Brown obtained summary judgment on behalf of its client. This result exceeded expectations because rarely is summary judgment awarded in Missouri State Courts if allegations of race discrimination are involved where motive and intent are usually established through circumstantial evidence.

For over ten years, the firm defended warranty claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 automotive manufacturer. In some instances these claims were litigated to judgment before juries. In most instances they were resolved through mediation on terms satisfactory to the client. The firm also defended a number of product liability claims against the automotive manufacturer.

The firm recently served as counsel for a regional utilities provider in a multi-million dollar preference action in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri. The firm was able to resolve the matter for a fraction of the amount claimed.

The firm also serves as counsel for the Missouri Department of Insurance in cases where insurance companies are placed into receivership. The firm acts a counsel for the Director of Insurance to evaluate and gather all assets, determine appropriate liabilities, and either reorganize companies or take them through the statutory liquidation process.

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