Our litigation attorneys try cases coast to coast and for some of the nation’s largest companies as well as closely held and smaller businesses. Our geographic reach is based on a combination of being trial-tested and industry-focused, with relevant industry knowledge that makes us cost-effective in defending businesses across the country.
Trial-tested: Every year, our trial teams fan out nationwide. These cases run the gamut from products trials in Washington state to motor fuel pricing trials in California; we have handled securities arbitrations around the Midwest and franchise disputes on the East Coast, medical malpractice trials, restrictive covenant cases, breach of contract class actions and intellectual property disputes.
Our litigation group is ranked by Chambers, U.S. News and Benchmark Litigation for achieving trial experience with results. The group is often selected to join with or replace other firms when litigation turns to trial. In the past few years, the group has replaced half a dozen Am Law 100 firms as trial counsel midstream, once it became certain the case would be tried. See our Experience section for details.
"An excellent track record of handling cases across the country. Offers representation in product liability, antitrust and securities cases, with a strong reputation for construction litigation. Acts on behalf of household names in the oil and gas, healthcare and automobile industries.” (Chambers USA, 2016)
Industry-focused: Our team is organized around industry groups supported by unique skill sets to better defend our clients. Whether it is health care, energy, securities, franchise and distribution, medical malpractice or a host of other industries, our litigators know that to defend a client's business practices, they must know the business. The depth of our industry knowledge is recognized in Benchmark Litigation’s description of our Energy group:
"For expertise and knowledge in the oil industry, Greensfelder cannot be beat. … A marked focus on diversity and a regional reputation for providing cost-effective, high quality legal services and routinely delivering optimal results." (Benchmark Litigation, 2016)
Our industry knowledge is reflected in the leadership roles our lawyers take — as heads of committees, on boards and as featured speakers in their respective fields.
Cost-effective: Our combination of trial experience and industry knowledge reduces or eliminates the learning curve, enabling us to zealously defend our clients with cost-effective results. By assigning cases to small, discrete teams of three to five lawyers and paralegals who carry them from start to finish, wasteful time for one lawyer to educate another is eliminated. Associates are deeply involved as well, cultivating the skills that allow them to gain trial experience earlier than their peers at larger firms. Supported by top-line technology, we focus on addressing the client’s business and dispute resolution objectives rather than skimming pocketbooks.
Who we are
We are a diverse group of more than 70 legal professionals recognized regionally and nationally for success in handling complex commercial litigation on behalf of businesses of all sizes. We are:
- Previous Benchmark Litigation Missouri Firm of the Year
- Chambers-ranked regionally for general commercial litigation and nationally for our work in franchising and distribution
- Ranked nationally and regionally by the U.S. News Best Law Firms report
- Officers in our group are widely recognized individually by organizations including Best Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Benchmark Litigation, Chambers, Leading Lawyers and other national rankings.
- Gaming company client prevailed over defendants regarding the unlicensed use of images used in online gaming, social gaming and CD/DVD home computer channels. The case was the subject of a February 2019 jury trial that resulted in a $20.7 million judgment for the client involving infringement of copyrights for artwork and graphics for video reel casino slot machine games. As part of this judgment, the judge also awarded a $1.7 million statutory damages award under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and a Permanent Injunction and Order of Destruction. GC2 Inc. v. International Game Technology PLC et al.
- Represented national broker dealer and obtained temporary restraining orders prohibiting former employees who, in total, managed assets in excess of $500 million in assets from soliciting company clients and to requiring the return of all misappropriated client information to their former employer. Edward Jones v. Matthew Peterson; Edward Jones v. James Sirek; Edward Jones v. Debra Feaser and Michael Eisenbraun.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of an major energy company on claims by former franchisees for breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, and fraud (seeking more than $2 million in damages), as well as on the client’s counterclaims for breach of contract, resulting in a judgment in the client’s favor for nearly $2 million, plus attorneys’ fees and costs. Power Quality & Electrical Systems, Inc., et al. v. BP West Coast Products LLC.
- Represented a major national provider and franchisor of vehicle transportation services in a dispute with its largest, multi-unit franchisee for trademark infringement and breach of multiple franchise agreements. Obtained a temporary restraining order prohibiting the franchisee from using our client’s trademarks improperly and then a two-year preliminary injunction upholding the restrictive covenants in the franchise agreements. Auto Driveaway Franchising Systems, LLC v. Corbett et al.
- Successfully defended a hospital from state law claims for temporary restraining order, preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, and declaratory judgment brought by a staff physician who claimed his medical staff membership and clinical privileges were improperly terminated in violation of the hospital’s medical staff bylaws. The Circuit Court dismissed the claims after a full evidentiary hearing on the physician’s petition for a preliminary injunction. The decision was affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District. Antoine Adem, M.D. v. Des Peres Hospital, Inc.
- Represented an oil company when plaintiffs alleged it violated the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act by failing to give them a right of first refusal on gasoline station properties they were leasing that were being transferred as part of a $220 million-plus transaction involving over 200 station properties. The plaintiffs sought a TRO to prevent the transaction from closing. The court denied the TRO motion, allowing the transaction to close. S&M Gulf, et al. v. Gulf Oil, LP, et al.
- Represented a national religious non-profit organization in protecting the federally registered and common law marks it licenses to affiliated local councils and conferences, filing suit against an organization using a confusingly similar trade name and mark. The court entered summary judgment in favor of the client. National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Inc. v. St. Vincent de Paul Community Center of Portage County, Inc.
- Obtained a successful jury verdict in favor of a transportation and logistics company in a case involving a claim over the interpretation of a non-solicitation clause contained in a broker/carrier contract. Our client alleged that another transportation company directly solicited its customer in violation of the terms of the agreement, and the matter was tried before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. Hogan Logistics, Inc. v. Davis Transfer, Inc.
- Defeated class certification in a putative nationwide class action with claimed damages in excess of $25 million, representing a family-owned manufacturer and wholesaler of after-market auto parts. The case later settled for a nominal sum. Williamson v. S.A. Gear Company, Inc.
- Obtained a favorable appellate ruling on behalf of a client in a lawsuit involving the parties’ failed business relationship involving a used car dealership. After a one-week jury trial, we obtained a favorable verdict for $360,000 total. After the judgment was entered, the trial court granted a defendant’s motion for new trial, but the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, reversed the trial court’s order and the Missouri Supreme Court denied additional review. Aughenbaugh v. Williams
- Obtained dismissal of breach of contract claim against software developer related to development of mobile application for sale of legal/medicinal marijuana. Cannatrac Technology, Inc. v. Midax Mobile, Inc.
- After a jury trial, obtained an award of punitive damages on behalf of an incarcerated plaintiff for violation of 4th Amendment rights by a correctional officer. Williams v. Roper
- Represented telecommunication providers in defense of a billion-dollar class action lawsuit alleging they sent unsolicited faxes in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Summary judgment was entered for the clients on all claims. Paldo Sign and Display Company, et al. v. United Marketing, et al.
- Represented a warranty coverage provider in defense against claims of trademark infringement and unfair competition. TrueNorth Companies, L.L.C. v. TrüNorth Warranty Plans of North America, LLC
- Served as counsel in a five-week jury trial defending BP from claims by its dealers that BP had overcharged them for gas and sold them a defective computer system. The jury returned a verdict for BP on the motor fuel pricing claim and a token amount of damages on the computer claims. This was the bellwether trial for claims brought by over 500 present and former ARCO branded dealers with aggregate claims totaling over $1 billion in damages. In 2018, the California Court of Appeals affirmed the defense verdicts returned by the jury and upheld BP’s theory on the elements of a claim for unreasonable pricing under UCC sec 2-305. Hoskin Hogan v. BP West Coast Products, LLC
- Represented two large energy companies when a plaintiff sued for wrongful termination of a fuel distributorship under the Petroleum Marketing Practices Act and sought seven figures of lost profits damages. The distributorship was terminated for failure to purchase the base volume of gasoline required under the parties’ agreement. Hoskins Oil Company, LLC v. Shell Oil Products US and Motiva Enterprises, LLC
- Won a significant victory in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit relating to a $24 million False Claims Act judgment. S. ex rel. Kurt Bunk v. Gosselin Group, N.V., et al.
- Served as co-counsel in a jury trial defending a medical technology company on claims of strict products liability, negligence, breach of implied warranty, and violation of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act related to the manufacture and sale of metal-on-metal artificial hip components. The court dismissed the implied warranty and Missouri Merchandising Practices Act claims, and the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the failure to warn claim. The jury returned a defense verdict on the remaining claims that was affirmed on appeal. Donald S. Deline v. Wright Medical Technology and Dr. Paul Lux
- Represented a truck leasing and rental company in a suit against a defendant that leased a semi-truck under an agreement that included an indemnity provision but failed to indemnify the company in an underlying wrongful death action. Partial summary judgment on liability was granted, and after a bench trial on damages, the court awarded the company its requested damages of over $260,000 and later attorneys’ fees and expenses of more than $177,000. Hogan Truck Leasing, Inc. v. C&C Produce, Inc.
- Represented an owner/operator of service stations and convenience stores, including two locations that had Noble Roman’s pizza and/or sandwich franchises, against Noble Roman’s claims that it had violated franchise agreements. The client obtained a favorable settlement, and the case was dismissed. Noble Roman’s, Inc. v. Hattenhauer Distributing Company
- Lead counsel for major refiner defending against claims brought by a plaintiff seeking to prohibit it from terminating its franchise agreements under which it operates an ARCO ampm station in Northern California. SA Mission v. BP West Coast Products
- Served as lead counsel in a two-week trial defending a major energy company from claims brought by franchisees claiming that it conspired with its franchise broker/distributor to defraud them into the purchase of certain real estate and franchises. The court entered a judgment in favor of the client on all counts. Creative International Retail Services, Inc. et al. v. B&R Oil Company, Inc. d/b/a Atlas Oil Company and BP Products North America Inc.
- Successfully defeated Petroleum Marketing Practices Act claims brought in a case with more than 100-dealers challenging their termination of certain ARCO sites in Southern California for a big-six refiner. BP West Coast Products LLC v. Crossroad Petroleum, Inc. et al.
- Regional counsel in product liability multidistrict litigation for claims arising out of alleged defects in knee, hip and other implant devices. Plaintiffs alleged that various medical implantation devices were negligently designed and manufactured.
- Defended an employer against a former employee’s claim on behalf of a putative class alleging a violation of Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).
- Represented a student loan service provider against claims under the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and other common law claims. The plaintiff wanted to certify a class of student loan borrowers based on her allegation that she was not informed of alternative, income-driven repayment options.
- Represented a municipal client facing a putative class action related to the quality of drinking water, specifically pertaining to the level of disinfection byproducts tested in the water. The case was settled, with the defendants jointly committing to fund water-quality improvements and a settlement fund.
- Represented a utility company facing a putative class action alleging that the Public Service Commission had unlawfully approved surcharges it collected from residents. The trial court granted our client’s motion to dismiss, and the Missouri Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal. Agnew v. Missouri-American Water Company.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of local construction company on its breach of contract claim and declaratory judgment action against former officer and director of the company. Magruder Construction Company, Inc. v. Philip Gali
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of major oil refiner against plaintiffs seeking to invalidate the deed restrictions on their properties in California. Salkhi et al. v. BP West Coast Products LLC
News & Insights
- April 23, 2020
- February 5, 2020
- February 2020
- Franchise Times, January 15, 2020
- Law360, January 1, 2020
- October 2019
- September 25, 2019
- August 15, 2019
- August 2019
- April 2019
- March 18, 2019
- November 2018
- November 2018
- October 15, 2018
- July 2018
- May 3, 2018
- October 2017
- May 26, 2017
- May 2017
- March 2017
- November 2016
- October 21, 2016
- May 27, 2016
- March 10, 2016
- February 12, 2016
- November 2, 2015
- October 26, 2015
- August 17, 2015
- November 6, 2014
- May 23, 2014
- November 1, 2013
- June 1, 2013
- February 8, 2013
- Greensfelder earns top-tier national, regional rankings in U.S. News-Best Lawyers 'Best Law Firms' 2013 EditionNovember 1, 2012
- May 7, 2012
- Congratulations to the Construction Practice Group, ranked nationally by U.S. News–Best Lawyers 2011-2012 Best Law FirmsDecember 8, 2011
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- National Business Institute video webcast, April 5, 2019
- June 25, 2020
- April 22, 2020
- Illinois State Bar Association Real Property newsletter, April 2020
- Illinois State Bar Association Real Property newsletter, April 2020
- April 13, 2020
- April 10, 2020
- April 7, 2020
- April 3, 2020
- April 2, 2020
- March 25, 2020
- ABA Business Law Section Month-In-Brief, October 2019
- ABA Business Law Section Month-In-Brief, November 2018
- Litigation News, Winter 2018
- "Court of Chancery Finds Company Liable for Breach of Contract for Failing to Employ 'Diligent Efforts'"Business Law Today Month in Brief, November 2017
- Business Law Today Month in Brief, November 2017
- Litigation News, Fall 2017
- Today’s General Counsel, April/May 2017
- Missouri Business, May 1, 2017
- Missouri Lawyers Weekly, April 3, 2017