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Madison (Maddie) Johnston Wins Defense Judgment

Maddie Johnston won a Defense Judgment following a bench tried legal malpractice case in Franklin County, Missouri in favor of a local law firm. Plaintiff alleged that her attorney wrongfully withdrew from her case after she was unable to pay any more of her legal fees. The defendant law firm filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s claim, as well as a counterclaim to collect Plaintiff’s unpaid balance. The motion was granted, so the trial moved forward on the law firm’s counterclaim. After presenting evidence that 1) Plaintiff breached her contract with the law firm by failing to pay her legal fees, and 2) Plaintiff unjustly retained the benefit of “free” legal services, the court entered judgment on behalf of the law firm and ordered Plaintiff to pay her outstanding legal bills.

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Sarah Mangelsdorf Reappointed as Chair for the Missouri Bar’s Administrative Law Committee

Sarah Mangelsdorf has been reappointed Chair for the Missouri Bar’s Administrative Law Committee for 2019-2020. Sarah concentrates her practice in environmental and administrative law. For several years, Sarah has provided legal counsel to numerous governmental agencies on a variety of matters pertaining to environmental law and policy, administrative law, energy efficiency, and hazardous substances in the workplace. As a former Assistant Attorney General in the Agriculture and Environmental Division, Sarah litigated cases involving various Missouri environmental laws and regulations.

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Meggie Gentzen Wins Defense Judgment

Meggie Gentzen won a Defense Judgment following a bench tried defamation case in Williamson County, Illinois in favor of a local restaurant. Plaintiff alleged her supervisor made defamatory statements to a third party regarding Plaintiff’s work-related conduct. The defense focused on establishing that Defendant did not make a defamatory statement, as well as application of a qualified privilege applicable to Defendant, Plaintiff’s supervisor. At the close of Plaintiff’s case-in-chief, Meggie moved for a directed judgment which the Court granted in favor of Defendant.

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Colter Kennedy joins Fox Smith, LLC

Colter Kennedy, a Washington University School of Law graduate, recently joined the Fox Smith team. After law school, Colter worked for the Missouri Public Defender where he was the recipient of “Get in the Way of Injustice” Award for drafting and arguing outstanding legal motions.  Later, Colter practiced at a large St. Louis defense firm.  While in law school, Colter interned for the Honorable William G. Cobb of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada.  Colter focuses his practice in the areas of maritime law, commercial litigation, insurance law, and premise liability.

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Suzanne Smith named Vice Chair of DRI Product Liability Hand and Power Tools Group

Suzanne Smith has been named Vice Chair of DRI Product Liability Hand and Power Tools Group.  DRI (Defense Research Institute) is the leading organization of defense attorneys and in-house counsel. DRI, serving the defense bar for more than 50 years, hosts 29 substantive committees, including the Product Liability Hand and Power Tools Group, whose focus is to develop ongoing and critical dialogue about specific areas of practice and cutting edge trends in litigation. Membership in DRI provides access to resources and tools for attorneys who strive to provide high-quality, balanced and excellent service to their clients and corporations.

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Ron Fox Successfully Enforces Venue Selection Agreement

Some employers have their new hires sign an agreement saying that if a suit is filed by either party, it can only be filed in certain specified courts.  Recently, a maritime employee filed suit in the City of St. Louis against Fox Smith’s client where such a venue agreement existed.  Plaintiff’s suit in the City of St. Louis violated the agreement as it was not an agreed to venue.  A motion to dismiss was prepared, filed, and argued.  The plaintiff’s attorney vehemently opposed the motion to dismiss, arguing that it was an unjust and unfair agreement which, though signed by the plaintiff, he never read.  The court agreed with our position and granted the motion to dismiss finding that the venue agreement was proper and that none of the claims made by plaintiff were supported.  The court went so far as to tell the plaintiff’s attorney that if suit was re-filed, it had to be filed in one of the two permissible venues identified in the agreement.  In many cases, venue agreements can be very helpful to our clients as an effective risk management tool.  If you believe a venue agreement might be an effective risk management tool for you or you have questions, please call Ron Fox at 314-588-7001 or email him at  

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Fox Smith, LLC Annual Client Seminar

Fox Smith, LLC held its 2nd Annual Client Seminar – 2019 Updates on June 6, doubling attendance over last year. Clients who attended left comments such as: “Fantastic seminar! I learned a lot and was tasked with doing some follow-up research based on the subject matter;” “Very engaging and thought provoking! Thanks;” “Very beneficial material delivered in a clear and concise manner;” “Thank you for inviting us! Many eye openers included.” The Seminar, moderated by Ron Fox, included hot topics presented by Fox Smith attorneys: Liability for Biometrics – Ted Lucas; Negligent Hiring/Handling Termination – Meggie Gentzen; Whistleblower Update – Sarah Mangelsdorf; Cannabis Law Update – Tom Smith; Current Causation Standard of Missouri – Tom Smith; Mediation/Arbitration of Employment Disputes – Richard Korn; Recent Developments on Preservation & Discovery of ESI – Ryan Mohr; and Up to the Minute Info on Data Breaches – Scott Schaffer, Blade Technologies. If you would like a copy of the PowerPoint and/or handouts from the seminar, please contact

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John Smith One of Seven Missouri Attorneys Selected for Pharmaceutical Product Liability Recognition

John Smith has been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Who’s Who Legal List for top product liability lawyers in the Life Sciences (Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology) sector.  Only seven attorneys in the State of Missouri received this recognition.

Only those nominated and confirmed by WWL research are included.  Nominees must have received at least four independent nominations from their clients and peers.  WWL then conducts research and circulates preliminary lists of nominees to groups of private practitioners and corporate counsel with an interest in the area.  Subsequent telephone and face-to-face interviews are conducted to refine the listing to a group who, by general agreement, are considered to be pre-eminent in the field.

Who’s Who Legal identifies the foremost legal practitioners in multiple areas of law in over 100 countries.  For more information, see (