16:41 PM

MoveMakers & NewsMakers for Sept. 1, 2020


See who is making news and moving where in the weekly Missouri Bar update "MoveMakers & NewsMakers."

St. Louis | Kansas City

St. Louis

Lewis Rice LLC has named Neal F. Perryman chairman of the litigation department. This position was previously held by Richard B. Walsh Jr. who succeeded Thomas C. Erb as firm chairman earlier this month.

Perryman is a longtime member of the management and recruiting committees at Lewis Rice, and is a founding member of the firm's diversity & inclusion committee.

“Neal is a natural choice to step into the role as chair of our litigation department,” said Walsh. “He is a fierce advocate for our clients and has a long track record of success, both in and out of court. More than that, Neal is a wonderful mentor at Lewis Rice. He will do an excellent job leading our diverse team of litigators.”

Perryman focuses his practice on labor and employment law, but he also regularly practices in the areas of Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation, complex commercial litigation, appellate practice, education law, and municipal law. He defends employers and management in personnel-related disputes before state and federal courts, arbitration panels, and administrative agencies. In addition, Perryman represents clients in other types of complex litigation matters, and he has successfully tried cases for clients in various jurisdictions, including in "bet-the-company"-type matters. Perryman has successfully argued numerous appeals in various state and federal appeals courts.

“Neal is an incredible litigator,” said John J. Riffle, corporate department chairman. “He is also a skilled counselor to his clients. There is no playbook for COVID-19. During this pandemic, he and the labor and employment group have done a masterful job advising employers that need to prioritize employee health and wellness while continuing to meet business and customer needs.”

Perryman is a fellow in the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society, Litigation Counsel of America. In 2016, Perryman received the Lifetime Alumni Achievement Award from his alma mater Westminster College for his "significant accomplishments and contributions to society." He is a member of various boards, serving in a number of leadership positions, including the board of trustees of Westminster College, as a board member of the Great Rivers Greenway District, as a member of the St. Louis Metropolitan Zoological Park Advisory Board, as a member of the board of visitors for Southern Illinois University School of Law, and as a board member of the St. Louis-Nanjing Sister Cities Committee, Inc.


Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to announce that Joseph Swift, Zachary Faires, John McLeod, Ashley Moya, and Kenneth Wilks have joined the firm in St. Louis. Swift, Faires, and McLeod join as members, with Moya and Wilks joining as associates. All five lawyers come to Baker Sterchi from the St. Louis office of Brown & James.

Previously chair of Brown & James’ transportation practice group, Joseph Swift joins Baker Sterchi with over 30 years of experience as a successful trial lawyer and numerous favorable jury verdicts under his belt. With a practice focused on representing several of the largest for-hire and private transportation carriers in the United States, he is an active member of the Trucking Industry Defense Association, Trucking Lawyers Association, and the transportation committee of the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance. His practice also includes the defense of premises and product liability matters, and he is routinely called upon by clients and industry groups to speak on transportation and product liability matters. Swift earned his J.D. from Creighton University School of Law and his B.A. from Luther College.

“After spending his entire distinguished career at one firm, we are very excited that Joe has decided to join Baker Sterchi. For more than 30 years, he has enjoyed great success as a trial lawyer in and around St. Louis. He has a sterling reputation and impressive list of clients in the transportation, premises and product liability sectors,” said Mike Hunter, member-in-charge of the firm’s St. Louis office.

On joining Baker Sterchi, Swift commented, “I know and have high regard for many of the Baker Sterchi team, the addition of my group will be a “value add” for all clients. We are eager to help expand the firm’s transportation and product liability practice in St. Louis and Southern Illinois.”

Swift brings with him an experienced team of lawyers practicing in the areas of insurance defense, premises and retail liability, product liability, and transportation.

The team includes members John McLeod and Zachary Faires, both accomplished civil defense litigators. In addition to his casework, McLeod regularly conducts presentations for the insurance, risk management, and transportation industries on Missouri and Illinois law. He earned his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and his B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Missouri at Columbia. Faires has prepared numerous cases for trial and written and argued a multitude of dispositive motions in Missouri state and federal courts. He earned his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and his B.B.A. in economics and finance from McKendree University.

Ashley Moya and Kenneth Wilks are associates working with the team. Moya earned her J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law and her B.A. in international studies from Stetson University. Wilks earned his J.D. from Washington University School of Law and his B.S. in economics from the University of Utah.

McLeod, Faires, Moya, and Wilks expressed enthusiasm at joining Baker Sterchi’s St. Louis office, citing the firm’s “reputable client centered approach to litigation, practical solutions, and collaborative culture.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Joe and his team to Baker Sterchi. Joe is recognized for handling tough cases and his success in the courtroom. He and his team are the perfect fit for us and our goal to be recognized as the top trial law firm in the Midwest,” said Scott Kreamer, managing member.

Kansas City

On Aug. 28, Scott Mann, founder and principal partner of the Mann Tucker Muir law firm in Leawood, Kansas, and treasurer of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), presented a $10,000 grant from the Academy to University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC) Law School Dean Barbara Glessner-Fines, in honor of law school professor Mary Kay Kisthardt.  Professor Kisthardt is being honored for her contributions over 30 years to the Academy, especially to the Academy’s Law Journal, and to the thousands of law students she has guided and influenced.

Professor Kisthardt is the Tiera M. Farrow Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law at the UMKC School of Law. She received her bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and her J.D. from Penn State, where she was a member of the Law Review, the Moot Court Board, and the Woolsack Honor Society. She subsequently received her LL.M from Yale University. Professor Kisthardt teaches courses in family law, alternative dispute resolution, children in the law, mediation and elder law.

The AAML is a national professional organization providing leadership that promotes the highest degree of professionalism and excellence in the practice of family law. There are currently more than 1550 Academy Fellows  who have passed a series of rigorous challenges to gain admission. 

According to AAML President Susan Myres of Houston, Texas, the Academy is honoring the UMKC School of Law for preparing family law students for a career serving children and families by giving them the opportunity to work with nationally recognized family law scholars such as Professor Kisthardt in exploring cutting-edge issues in family law and bringing the highest quality of professionalism to the practice of family law.


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