Blog Archives

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Names Lisa O. Stump President

    Wednesday, February 21, 2018 (St. Louis, Missouri) – Lashly & Baer, P.C., one of the oldest law firms in Downtown St. Louis, has named Lisa O. Stump as President. She succeeds Kenneth C. Brostron, who is stepping aside as President of the Firm, after over 30 years. Stump, who has practiced at Lashly & Baer for her entire career, becomes the first woman President of the Firm. Stump, 53, is also Chair of the Firm’s Governmental and Education practice group.

    “I am honored to serve as Lashly’s President,” said Stump. “Ken has been a great leader for our Firm, and he has been a mentor to me. My goal is to continue to focus on the outstanding client service that Ken has championed.”

    “Lisa is first and foremost a great lawyer,” Brostron said. “She is one of the best government and education lawyers in the State of Missouri. She has grown to be a leader of the Firm, and I am confident that the Firm will have great success in the future.”

    Under Brostron’s leadership, Lashly’s reputation grew from a leading Midwestern litigation Firm to a full-service law firm including governmental and education, health law, business and finance practices. The leadership transition is part of the Firm’s strategic plan which was developed in 2013. Stump has been serving side-by-side with Brostron as the Firm’s President-Elect for the past year. Brostron will remain as a member of the Firm’s Board of Directors.

    Stump believes that the transition will be seamless. “We’ve been planning this transition for the past five years. We will continue to focus on delivering outstanding legal services for our clients in an efficient manner,” said Stump. “We continue to look for talented attorneys who share our culture and vision for the future.”

    Lashly joins a small percentage of major law firms that have a woman chief executive. Stump, who along with her husband Steve, raised their four children while practicing at the Firm, believes that Lashly has been a leader in recognizing workplace flexibility and embracing families, while still instilling and supporting a work ethic with the ultimate goal of serving clients. “Lashly allowed me to practice on a flexible schedule when I had small children, which was rare in the early 1990s,” Stump said. “Collectively, the Firm found ways to ensure that client service remain unchanged. Our clients want accessibility and results. That can happen from outside the traditional four walls of the office,” Stump added. “Our Firm has seen productivity rise when attorneys are given the tools to work in the manner which best serves them and their clients.”

    Stump practices primarily in the areas of governmental and public institutions law including the representation of educational institutions. She advises public agencies on governance issues, contracts and procurement, governmental immunity, public employment, constitutional restrictions on taxation and bond issues, the use of public monies, elections and public records laws. She is the City Attorney for the City of Crestwood, and represents the Bi-State Development Agency, Rockwood School District, St. Louis County Library, St. Louis Public Library, and Downtown STL, Inc. Stump received her J.D. from Washington University School of Law where she was a member of the Order of the Coif and the Washington University Law Quarterly.

    Brostron is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was counsel to the Board of Education for the City of St. Louis for over 25 years. During that time he was lead counsel in the St. Louis Desegregation Case which generated billions of dollars for services to provide area children with educational opportunities for decades. For over 17 years, he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the fields of Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, most recently in 2018. He was elected the 2016 Lawyer of the Year for St. Louis in the area of Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants by The Best Lawyers in America®.

    Lashly has also named the following attorneys as officers and members of the Board of Directors: Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, Executive Vice President, Stephen G. Reuter, Vice President Personnel, James C. Hetlage, Vice President Operations, and Mark R. Feldhaus, Vice President Finance.

    Celebrating 106 years in business in 2018, Lashly has offices in Downtown St. Louis and Belleville, Illinois. Lashly & Baer has been named one of the Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World Report, and received national ranking in Health Care Law, while receiving top St. Louis ranking in Corporate Law, Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Law – Defendants.

    For more information, contact Kara Brostron at 314-436-8366 or For a copy of the release click here.

  • Breanne Sergent Speaks To SIUC Law School Students

    January 10, 2018, Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney Breanne E. Sergent recently participated on a panel at the SIU School of Law’s Business Boot Camp. The camp, in its fifth year, was held on January 10th with more than 30 students who enrolled. The course was created to help law students understand basic business concepts that they are likely to encounter in their future work as attorney, such as employment and labor law, basic business planning and an introduction to health benefits in small businesses. Sergent was a part of the panel discussions and covered topics surrounding her career in transactional and health care law. To read more about the program visit the SIU Law School website here.

  • Attorney Peter Gullborg Nominated to Fill Whittington Circuit Judge Vacancy in St. Louis County

    January 28, 2018, Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney Peter W. Gullborg was been nominated by The Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission to sit on the panel of nominees to be submitted to Governor Eric Greitens to fill the circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County created by the retirement of Judge Carolyn Whittington. Congratulation to Peter on this honor and good luck in the steps ahead. To read the full announcement from the commission see the full press release below.


    Missouri: 21st circuit commission announces nominees for Whittington circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County
    Jefferson: The Government of Judicial Branch, Missouri has issued the following news release:

    The Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission announced the panel of three nominees to be submitted to Governor Eric Greitens to fill the circuit judge vacancy in St. Louis County created by the retirement of Judge Carolyn Whittington.

    Those nominated by the commission are:
    Judge Joseph L. Green – Green graduated in 1982 from what is now Truman State University in Kirksville and in 1987 from Saint Louis University School of Law. He is currently an associate circuit judge in St. Louis County.

    Peter W. Gullborg – Gullborg graduated from University of Missouri-Rolla in 1984 and from University of Maryland School of Law in 1994. He is currently an attorney at Lashly & Baer PC.

    Judge Mary Elizabeth Ott – Ott graduated in 1982 from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and in 1985 from Saint Louis University School of Law. She is currently an associate circuit judge in St. Louis County.

    The commission conducted one day of public hearings and interviewed 24 applicants. The commission believes these candidates, chosen from a field of extremely qualified individuals, possess those qualities essential to the fair and efficient administration of justice. The commission is confident any of these individuals is capable of serving well and honorably if selected by the governor. Pursuant to Supreme Court of Missouri Rule 10.29, the commission reports the final votes received by each nominee were: Green received five votes, Gullborg received four votes, and Ott received five votes.

    The members of the Twenty-First Circuit Judicial Commission are: James M. Dowd, chief judge of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, and chairman of the commission; Tiffany Mapp Franklin; William P. Grant, Thomas K. Reedy and Jeffrey D. Sigmund.



  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Ranks Top Five On Multiple Small Business Monthly’s 2017 Best In Business Lists

    Small Business Monthly’s Best in Business section features Lashly & Baer, P.C. among companies nominated by SBM readers as being one of the top 5 companies in multiple categories. Lashly & Baer, P.C. was ranked top 5 for Best Law Firm and also Best in Value. Lashly & Baer was also honored as being a Best In Customer Service award recipient as well. The lists will appear in the 2017 Best in Business Listings.  To view the lists click here.

  • 2017 Missouri Legislative Update

    The bills approved by the Missouri General Assembly go into effect on August 28, 2017. There were a number of bills passed by the House and Senate of interest to local governments. The following is a list of several of the bills passed by the General Assembly which cities and governmental bodies in the region should review carefully:

    House Bill 451 – Many statutes relate only to cities within a certain population range, some of which are very broad, and some of which are quite narrow. This bill would clarify that, if a city is subject to a statute that is applicable only to cities with a certain population, such city remains subject to the statute if it subsequently loses population and falls out of the statutory range. A recent decision from the Court of Appeals, Missouri-American Water Co. v. Office of the Public Counsel, had suggested that only the City of St. Louis remained subject to such laws upon a loss in population. That case was ultimately decided by the Missouri Supreme Court on other grounds. This bill would resolve any uncertainty by amending the statute to explicitly state that any city is still subject to a statute with a population range if the city loses population and falls out of the range. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 7.

    House Bill 130 – This bill provides authorization for Uber, Lyft, and other ride-sharing services to operate statewide, establishes a regulatory framework for such companies, and preempts local ordinances in conflict with state law. Drivers for traditional taxicab companies regulated by the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission are no longer required to undergo a background check by the Highway Patrol. The Commission can adopt its own regulations to conduct background checks through third parties. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on April 24.

    House Bill 1194 – This bill repeals local minimum wage ordinances that exceed the minimum wage established by state law. Only the City of St. Louis had such an ordinance remaining in effect. The Governor took no action on this bill, so it will become law on August 28, 2017. This law will preempt St. Louis’ minimum wage ordinance. Additionally, this bill will preempt the higher minimum wage that was approved by voters in Kansas City earlier this month.

    Senate Bill 111 – This bill would require political subdivisions with a bond rating of AA+ or higher to issue such debts through a competitive process unless such political subdivision employs the services of a “municipal advisor,” which is defined in the bill. Additionally, this bill provides that a conviction for a federal misdemeanor would no longer disqualify a person from holding public office. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 11.

    House Bill 190 – This bill provides that community colleges can adopt traffic regulations on streets within their campuses. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on June 20.

    Senate Bill 112 – All political subdivisions must submit an annual financial report to the State Auditor. This bill would require the State Auditor to report any political subdivision failing to submit an annual financial statement to the Department of Revenue, which can fine the political subdivision $500 per day of noncompliance. Under current law, this penalty only applies to transportation development districts. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on July 11.

    Senate Bill 128 – This bill was vetoed by the Governor on July 14. The bill would provide that the county prosecuting attorney or a police department may request an audit of any political division by the State Auditor. It also provides that a municipal judge can serve more than five municipalities if they are part of a consolidated court system (such as the consolidated courts established in St. Ann and Normandy).

    Additionally, this bill provides that if a defendant is held in custody on a warrant for a minor traffic violation, the judge can waive or reduce the fine. Furthermore, it provides that all tickets for minor traffic violations must state the date and time of the court hearing or the ticket is void. Some cities presently write “TVB” in the box for a court date or only provide notice of a court date if the ticket has not been paid through a traffic violation bureau within 30 days. This practice would be prohibited under this bill. Finally, this bill provides that any person found guilty of driving while intoxicated must attend a victim impact panel.

    Senate Bill 182 – This bill provides that political subdivisions, in letting contracts for repair, remodeling, or demolition of a facility, cannot require bidders to enter into a project labor agreement, or give preference to bidders that offer to enter into such agreement. This bill was signed into law by the Governor on May 30.

    Senate Bill 5 – 2nd Special Session – This bill enacted numerous restrictions and regulations relating to abortion. The bill grants authority to the Attorney General to prosecute violations of state laws relating to abortion anywhere in the state. Further, this bill preempts cities from enacting an ordinance that prohibits, restricts, or adversely affects an “alternatives to abortion agency” or its employees. The bill states that cities may enforce their zoning, land use, and building code regulations with regard to such agency. The bill also preempts local ordinances requiring real estate agents to conduct real estate transactions with abortion providers, and local ordinances requiring health plans to include benefits not required by state law. This bill was signed by the Governor on July 26. Since it was passed at a special session, it will go into effect ninety days after the Governor’s signature, which will be October 24, 2017.

    Legislation passed during the regular session that was vetoed by the Governor could become law by a vote of two-thirds majorities of both the House and the Senate during the veto session in September. The Governor has indicated he may call additional special sessions. Local governments should pay close attention to any legislation passed in a special session that would undermine or erode the authority of local governments.

    For more information, please contact Brian J. Malone at, or at 314-436-8375, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

  • Recent Changes in Missouri’s Firearms Laws

    For the past fifteen years, local governments throughout Missouri, and throughout the country, have had to navigate a rapidly changing landscape regarding firearms laws. Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions, such as DC v. Heller, and McDonald v. Chicago, have invalidated city ordinances banning handguns. Many changes to Missouri’s laws relating to firearms went into effect on January 1, 2017. Others went into effect on October 14, 2016, after the General Assembly overrode Governor Nixon’s veto of Senate Bill 656. Ensuring the safety of the public is one of the core responsibilities of local government. It is now legal in Missouri for most people to carry a firearm in all but a few specified places. These recent changes have forced cities to consider new strategies to adapt to the recent court decisions and new state laws.

    Recent History in Missouri

    As recently as 2002, it was a felony to carry a concealed firearm most anywhere. Openly carrying a firearm was not generally a crime in Missouri, though some cities banned open carrying. In 2003, Missouri authorized the issuance of concealed carry (“CCW”) permits. Since 2003, the statutes regulating firearms and CCW permits have been amended numerous times. In 2014, the Missouri Constitution was amended to declare the right to bear arms “unalienable,” and to subject any restriction to strict scrutiny. In 2016, Senate Bill 656 was passed, decriminalizing carrying a concealed firearm in all but a few locations. Currently, anyone able to possess a firearm can legally carry a concealed firearm in most places, except those places listed in section 571.107, of the Missouri Revised Statutes (“RSMo.”).


    While a CCW permit is no longer necessary to carry a concealed weapon, a permit has advantages. As of 2014, city ordinances banning openly carrying a firearm are no longer applicable to persons holding a CCW permit. While a CCW permit doesn’t authorize carrying a concealed firearm into the places listed in 571.107 (police stations, polling places, jails, courthouses, certain gov’t. buildings, taverns, schools, & several others), it’s not a crime for CCW permit holders to do so. A CCW permit holder can be refused entry and fined $100 if he or she refuses to leave. Non-permit holders could be charged with the crime of unlawful use of a weapon under section 571.030, RSMo. The provisions of the unlawful use of a weapon statute banning carrying firearms at a church, polling place, government building, or a school do not apply to CCW permit holders. However, CCW permit holders carrying a concealed firearm can still be denied entry or cited for refusing to leave.

    Local Governments

    Under section 21.750, RSMo., cities cannot enact firearms laws more restrictive than state statutes. The Missouri General Assembly has preempted local ordinances relating to firearms, and has left only a few narrow areas in which a city can regulate. Cities can still regulate discharging firearms within the city, carrying concealed weapons into government buildings, and openly carrying firearms (though CCW permit holders can still openly carry in those cities). Though most people can carry a concealed weapon without a permit in many places, the law treats CCW permit holders very differently from non-permit holders.

    Generally speaking, there are four pertinent questions local officials must consider to determine whether a person can carry a firearm to a particular location:

    1. Is carrying a firearm in a particular location the crime of unlawful use of a weapon under section 571.030, RSMo.?
    2. Does section 571.107, RSMo. prohibit carrying a concealed firearm in the location?
    3. Has the city enacted an ordinance prohibiting openly carrying firearms? and
    4. Does the person carrying a firearm have a CCW permit?

    The circumstances under which a person can carry a firearm, openly or concealed, can be quite confusing. There are exceptions to laws and, in some cases, exceptions to the exceptions. City officials should carefully review the Missouri statutes and city ordinances and consult with their counsel to ensure that the public is kept safe and the state’s firearms laws are adequately and accurately enforced.

    UPDATE – June 23, 2017 – A circuit judge for the City of St. Louis has entered summary judgment in favor of the St. Louis Zoo in its lawsuit for an injunction preventing Jeffry Smith from openly carrying a firearm on the Zoo’s property. The Zoo posts signs at its entrances stating “no firearms or weapons allowed on this property.” The City of St. Louis has enacted an ordinance banning openly carrying firearms. Smith, who holds a CCW permit from Ohio, believed the Zoo’s ban on firearms was illegal and would not apply to him as a CCW permit holder. He announced his intent to openly carry a firearm on the Zoo grounds. In 2015, the Zoo was granted a preliminary injunction to prevent Smith from carrying a weapon on the Zoo grounds.

    The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting Smith from carrying a firearm at the Zoo (whether carried openly or concealed). The court found that, though the City’s open carry ban did not apply to Smith as a CCW permit holder, he was nevertheless prohibited from openly carrying a firearm by section 571.107, RSMo., which provides that a CCW permit does not authorize a person “to carry concealed firearms into: …” the seventeen enumerated locations, including educational facilities, day cares, and amusement parks. The court found that the Zoo qualified as a school facility and an amusement park. Critically, the court’s judgment indicates that the City’s open carry ban remained in effect, even as to CCW permit holders, at the locations listed in section 571.107. Therefore, carrying a firearm, whether openly or concealed, at the locations listed in 571.107 is prohibited in the City of St. Louis. Furthermore, the court found that the Zoo’s policy did not conflict with the Missouri Constitution’s declaration that the right to bear arms is unalienable, and that any restriction on that right is subject to strict scrutiny.

    Smith can appeal the court’s decision to the Missouri Court of Appeals. Until the court’s judgment is reversed or amended (or the pertinent statutes are amended by the General Assembly), section 571.107, RSMo. prohibits carrying a firearm, openly or concealed, to all the locations listed therein, even if the person carrying the firearm has a CCW permit. The case is styled Zoological Park Subdistrict of the Metropolitan Park Museum District v. Smith, 1522-CC09876.

    For more information, please contact Brian J. Malone at, or at 314-436-8375, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.


  • Toennies Wins Appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals

    Andrew G. Toennies recently won an appeal in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals when they overturned a verdict at the District Court level on a Spoliation case against Brand Energy Services LLC and Dynegy Inc.  The appellate court reversed the District Court’s decision dismissing the case and sent the case back to the US District Court in Benton, IL for a trial on the merits.  Mr. Toennies also was able to secure a judgment for the same client against the employer before the Illinois Industrial Commission on two separate occasions.  He is now seeking sanctions and attorney’s fees against the employer Brand in state court in Randolph County, IL.

  • Lashly & Baer Hires Three New Associates

    Michael P. McGinley, Hannah M. Nelson and Emily M. Slaten have joined Lashly & Baer, P.C. as associates.  McGinley holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and practices in the area of business litigation. He is a 1997 graduate of Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in English. Nelson holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and practices in the area of health care.  She is a 2010 graduate of Saint Louis University, cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minors in Spanish and Legal Studies. Slaten holds a J.D. from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and focuses her practice in the areas of governmental and public institutions law and education law.  She is a 2007 graduate of Saint Louis University, summa cum laude, with a bachelor’s degree in History and a certificate in Business Administration.

    CLICK HERE to download the press release.

  • Missouri Courts Examining Possible Exceptions to When a Plaintiff Can Pursue Other Imputed Theories of Liability Against an Employer Even After Respondeat Superior Liability is Admitted

    Missouri follows the majority rule that a jury cannot generally assess a defendant employer’s fault based on imputed theories of liability, such as “negligent entrustment” or “negligent hiring,” after an employer has admitted the wrongdoer was its agent acting within the scope of his/her agency at the time of the accident. McHaffie v. Bunch, 891 S.W.2d 822, 826–27 (Mo. banc 1995). In other words, in cases where respondeat superior liability is admitted, it is generally improper to allow a plaintiff to proceed against the employer on any other theory of imputed or derivative liability. The rationale is that allowing other theories of imputed liability “serves no real purpose,” wastes the time and energy of the court and litigants because the employer’s liability “is fixed by the amount of liability of the employee,” and opens the door to potentially inflammatory and irrelevant evidence. McHaffie, 891 S.W.2d at 826. Importantly, however, the Missouri Supreme Court in McHaffie left open the possibility for several exceptions to the general rule. Id. at 826. For instance, “an employer or entrustor may be held liable on a theory of negligence that does not derive from and is not dependent on the negligence of an entrustee or employee,” or “an employer or an entrustor may be liable for punitive damages which would not be assessed against the employee/entrustee.” Id.. The contours of these possible exceptions to the general rule are the subject to recent appeals in Missouri.

    First, in Coomer v. Kansas City Royals Baseball Corp., WD73984, 2013 WL 150838 (Mo. App. W.D. Jan. 15, 2013), the Missouri Western District Appellate Court held that negligent supervision and training claims, like negligent hiring and negligent entrustment claims, are based on theories of imputed liability. Imputed liability claims involve those which there is no evidence that the “employer’s lack of care” caused a plaintiff’s injuries “in the absence of the negligence by the employee.” Id. Therefore, negligent supervision and training claims, like negligent hiring and negligent entrustment claims, are generally barred when the issue of agency is admitted.

    Second, whether there is a so-called “punitive damages exception” to the general rule is currently before the Missouri Western Appellate Court. See Wilson v. Image Flooring, LLC, et al., WD 751412012 (Mo. App. W.D. 2012). Although never before formally recognized by a Missouri appellate court, many jurisdictions allow a plaintiff to proceed under other imputed negligence theories after respondeat superior liability is admitted when punitive damages are at issue. Likewise, several federal district courts while applying Missouri law have recognized a “punitive damages exception.” See e.g., Jackson v. Wiersema Charter Serv., Inc., 2009 WL 1310064 (E.D.Mo. 2009); Miller v. Crete Carrier Corp., 2003 WL 25694930 (E.D.Mo. 2003); Burroughs v. Mackie Moving Systems Corp.,  2010 WL 576799 (E.D.Mo. 2010); Kwiatkowski v. Teton Transp., Inc.,  2012 WL 1413154, 4 (W.D.Mo. 2012). These federal decisions, though persuasive and authoritative, are not of course binding on Missouri state courts. The ruling in the Wilson case, which is expected this spring or summer, will likely help resolve whether Missouri allows for a “punitive damages exception.”

  • UIM Insurer Allowed to Intervene After Initial Denial of Coverage

    Consumers Insurance Company provided underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage to Bradford Charles.  Charles was subsequently injured in a motor vehicle accident with Christina Ranum.  Charles’ attorney subsequently made a UIM claim on the Consumers UIM policy.  Initially, Consumers denied UIM coverage, but subsequently determined that there may be UIM coverage under its policy.

    After Consumers initial denial of coverage, but before its determination that there may be coverage, Charles filed suit against Ranum and entered into a partial settlement whereby Charles agreed to limit his recovery to Ranum’s policy limits without conceding that his damages were limited to that amount.  Immediately after the settlement between Charles and Ranum occurred, Consumers moved to intervene in the action for the purposes of contesting Ranum’s liability and/or Charles’ damages.  Charles did not object to the motion and the trial court allowed Consumers to intervene.  Charles subsequently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment contending that consumers should not be allowed to intervene because it initially denied coverage and, therefore, forfeited any right it had to defend Charles’ allegations against Ranum.  The trial court eventually granted that Motion for Summary Judgment, finding that Consumers had initially denied coverage, but then changed its position.  This, according to the trial court, resulted in Consumers forfeiting its right to intervene.  The trial count then conducted a hearing at which Ranum did not appear to contest Charles’ case and entered a judgment in favor of Charles in the amount of $350,000.  Ranum had only $50,000 in liability coverage.

    The Missouri Court of Appeals for the Western District overturned the trial court’s judgment and found that Consumers should have been allowed to intervene.  In doing so, it distinguished between first party and third party claims.  The trial court acknowledged that an insurer may forfeit all of it rights under the contract should it deny coverage on a third party claim.  However, an insurer’s right to intervene in a cause of action when there is litigation which may affect a potential first party claim such as UIM coverage, the insurer’s right to intervene arises out of the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure rather than the insurance contract.  Therefore, even after an initial denial of coverage, Consumers claim that coverage may apply was sufficient to establish that Consumers had an interest in the litigation to justify its intervention.

    This case is important for a couple of reasons.  First, in a potential first party claim situation, an initial denial of coverage will not necessarily prevent an insurer from intervening in underlying litigation against a third party.  Thus, claims representatives should keep in mind that an initial denial of coverage does not necessarily foreclose intervention.  Second, this case also makes clear that an insurer does not have to admit coverage in order to intervene.  The insurer only has to acknowledge that coverage may apply and that the disposition of the underlying litigation may, as a practical matter, impair or impede the insurer’s ability to protect its interests.

    Charles v. Consumers Insurance

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