Recent News and Events

December 27, 2013

New posts to CVDL's Missouri Supreme Court Alert Blog. Click here to see what cvil cases the Missouri Supreme Court has decided to hear.

November 27 , 2013

New posts to CVDL's Missouri Supreme Court Alert Blog. Click here to see what cvil cases the Missouri Supreme Court has decided to hear.

August 27, 2013

In a victory for CVDL's client the Missouri Corrections Officers Association, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District, held that the Missouri Department of Corrections violated a labor agreement with the Association through a mandatory compensatory time reduction policy that contradicted a provision in the labor agreement.

July 25, 2013

A federal district court certified class action treatment for a suit brought by CVDL on behalf of Missouri landowners challenging as unlawful the installation of a commercial telecommunication network on their land without their consent.

June 26, 2013

New posts to CVDL's Missouri Supreme Court Alert Blog. Click here to see what cvil cases the Missouri Supreme Court has decided to hear.

March 20, 2013

John Landwehr obtained approval from a local Planning & Zoning Commission for the conversion of an established 350 home subdivision (where homeowners had always leased their lots) to a “modern” subdivision where homeowners could acquire fee simple title. Initially the original surveys were considered unrecordable because they were prepared under outdated standards. John successfully devised a method to record a preliminary plat and treat the 350 surveys as “lot splits.” Dozens of easement and encroachment issues had to be addressed to obtain approval.  

February 20, 2013

John Landwehr successful defended a $530,000.00 claim for services in a probate estate. Approval of the claim would have rendered the estate insolvent, leaving nothing for the heirs. Missouri sets a high standard for recovery for services rendered by a family member or a person having a “special relationship” with the decedent.  A motion for judgment at the close of Plaintiff’s case was sustained.  

January 15, 2013

As a former Jefferson City mayor, John Landwehr has a working knowledge of Missouri’s Open Meetings Law (Chapter 610, RSMo). John was asked by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office to accompany the AG representative and help conduct a mandatory seminar for elected officials in a northeast Missouri city who had been found in violation of the law. What might have been a contentious session turned out to be very positive.  John provided down-to-earth examples of how openness can enhance public perception of local government and how the Sunshine Law can be strategically helpful in certain situations.

October 25, 2012

CVDL's Heidi Doerhoff Vollet recognized as one of the top 50 women lawyers in Missouri & Kansas in the Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers 2012 nomination, research and blue ribbon process.

September 5, 2012

For the second year running, CVDL's John Landwehr and Dale Doerhoff named top lawyers in Jefferson City by Jefferon City Magazine.

August 1, 2012

In a complete victory for CVDL's client, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a $773,000 fraud judgment and affirmed the dismissal of a multi-million breach of contract counterclaim.  The defendant in the case was found to have committed fraud in the sale of web-based hunting and fishing licensing software that had been represented to be suitable for use for a number of contracts with state governmental entitites.

July 31, 2012

In a victory for CVDL's client, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the official ballot title and fiscal note for an initiative petition seeking to cap interest rates on payday and other consumer loans, paving the way for the issue to appear on the November ballot.

June 21, 2012

A federal disctrict court judge denied a motion to dismiss seeking to stop a class action filed by CVDL and its partner firms on behalf of Missouri property owners. The suit challenges electric cooperatives' unauthorized installment of commercial communications networks on Missouri lands.

October 25, 2011

CVDL's Dale Doerhoff, Matt Clement, Tim Van Ronzelen, and Heidi Doerhoff Vollet selected as Missouri "Super Lawyers."

September 15, 2011

Heidi Doerhoff Vollet honored as one of the top "Up and Coming" lawyers in Missouri.

Missouri Lawyers' Weekly honors CVDL's Heidi Doerhoff Vollet as one of the top 48 "Up and Coming" lawyers in Missouri.  Missouri Lawyers' Weekly gives the honor to attorneys under 40 or in their first 10 years of practice who are high achievers who epitomize excellence in the legal community and are identified as a leader in the community at large. Ms. Vollet also received recognition as a top "Up and Coming" lawyer by Missouri Lawyers' Weekly in 2007 while she was in government service at the Missouri Attorney General's Office.  For a complete list of the 2011 honorees, please click here.

August 2, 2011

District Court denies LegalZoom's Motion for Summary Judgment in Class Action suit brought by Missouri customers.

In a victory for CVDL's class action clients, a U.S. district court denies LegalZoom's motions for summary judgment, paving the way for trial later this month.  The lawsuit alleges that LegalZoom's online legal document service constitutes the unauthorized practice of law under Missouri law and is unlawful. For a copy of the Court's decision, please click here.

July 15, 2011

CVDL launches Missouri Supreme Court Alert blog.

As a service to fellow practicioners and the public, CVDL launches the blog Missouri Supreme Court Alert, blog is intended to provide timely and accurate coverage of the Missouri Supreme Court's civil docket, including transfers, discretionary writs, and non-habeas civil appeals. Posts are tagged by case subject matter and by type of case. Persons interested in following the Court's activities that are posted on the site may subscribe to email alerts or RSS feeds.

June 1, 2011

CVDL's Tim Van Ronzelen helps clients obtain $720,000 wrongful death settlement.

Tim Van Ronzelen recently successfully represented the Estate of Cameron Weider in a case pending in Springfield, Illinois.  Cameron Weider died when he was riding in the backseat of a SUV that was hit from behind in Springfield, Illinois.  Cameron was in his early  20’s and had recently moved back into his parents’ home.  Tim represented Cameron’s family, consisting of his mother, father, and two siblings, in a wrongful death case.  The case settled for a total of $720,000 with the driver of Cameron’s car and the driver that hit their car from behind contributing to the settlement. 

May 13, 2011

Pro Bono website debuted at Mo Bar's Spring Committee meetings.

During The Missouri Bar's annual spring committee meetings in Jefferson City, CVDL's Heidi Doerhoff Vollet showcases progress on a new website that assists attorneys in finding pro bono opportunities.  The website is part of an ongoing effort of The Missouri Bar to encourage, and make it easier for, Missouri attorneys to find opportunities and access resources to provide pro bono service to needy persons and groups, particularly those whose incomes do not allow them to obtain necessary representation through other means. Ms. Vollet is the chair of the subcommittee overseeing the development of the site.

April 21, 2011

Eighth Circuit affirms district court's FLSA analysis in Fast v. Applebees

In a victory for CVDL's clients, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued an opinon today that upheld a district court ruling denying summary judgment to the defendant Applebee’s restaurant chain, in a class action brought by CVDL on behalf of wait staff and bartenders challenging Applebee’s practice of paying them the $2.13 minimum wage for tipped employees for significant time spent performing untipped duties, instead of the standard minimum wage of $7.25. Under the United States Department of Labor's interpretation of the law, if a tipped employee spends a substantial amount of time (defined as more than 20 percent) performing related but nontipped work, such as general preparation work or cleaning and maintenance, then the employer may not take the tip credit for the amount of time the employee spends performing those duties. The district court ruled that the Department's interpretation was entitled to deference and was reasonable, but certified the issue for an interlocutory appeal before a trial on the merits. The 8th Circuit upheld the district court’s decision, finding that the Department's interpretation is “controlling unless plainly erroneous or inconsistent with the regulation,” (quoting Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452, 461 (1997)), and is reasonable interpretation of the regulation. Unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to consider the issue, the case will return to the district court for a further litigation on the merits of the case.

April 1, 2011

CVDL celebrates 45th year of existence.

CVDL attorneys and staff gathered for its annual celebration of "Founders Day." On April 1, 1966, 45 years ago today, the firm was started by the late Winston Cook and current partner Tom Vetter. CVDL remains one of the longest established law firms in Missouri's capital city.

February 9, 2011

Chief Justice Price delivers State of the Judiciary Address.

Missouri Supreme Court's Chief Justice William Ray Price today delivered the 38th annual State of the Judiciary Address to a joint session of the General Assembly. Chief Justice Price's remarks focused on the high and wasteful cost to taxpayers of over-incarceration of non-violent offenders and on political efforts to replace Missouri's non-partisan court plan. He spoke of the better recidivism reductions obtained through drug courts, DWI courts, juvenile diversion programs, and similar programs and of the dangers to the public perception and actual intergity of the court system inherent in judicial selection by direct elections or a federal appointment model.
For the full text of Chief Justice Price’s address, please click here.  

January 3, 2011

Nursing home sued for failing to protect its resident against a sexual assault.

CVDL personal injury litigators Tim Van Ronzelen and Kari Schulte filed suit on behalf of David Russell, the personal representative of the estate of his mother Mildred Russell, to recover for abuse Mildred suffered at Adam’s Street Place nursing home in Jefferson City.  The lawsuit alleges that Mildred suffered a sexual assault while she was in a defenseless and dependent condition and in the care of the nursing home and that she died the day after the assault. The suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages against the nursing home.

December 28, 2010

Missouri Court of Appeals issues writ of prohibition and mandamus ordering trial judge to vacate discovery rulings.

In a victory for CVDL's client, the Missouri Court of Appeals ordered a state trial judge to vacate rulings in which the trial judge had held that Missouri Department of Insurance could withhold documents in discovery.  In 2009, the Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance sued CVDL's client, a national law firm, for providing allegedly bad advice to a troubled insurance company some ten years before.  The documents that the Department sought to withhold from discovery were materials from another national law firm that the Department had retained to provide advice on the same issues for which CVDL's client had been sued. The Court of Appeals noted that the other law firm apparently agreed with the advice given by CVDL's client and further stated that the court could "conceive of no reasoned basis to deprive" CVDL's client of the documents if they had been placed at issue by the allegations of the Director's current lawsuit.

December 14, 2010

Class action certified against LegalZoom

Today the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri certified a class action against the online document preparation service LegalZoom, as requested by CVDL on behalf of three individual plaintiffs. The plaintiffs' lawsuit alleges that LegalZoom's charging of fees for alleged assistance in the preparation of legal documents constitutes the unauthorized practice of law and violates the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. The court found that a class action was an appropriate method for fairly and efficiently resolving the claims of a class of approximately 14,000 Missouri customers.

December 2, 2010

CVDL's Matt Clement completes term as Cole County Bar Association President.

The Cole County Bar Association held its annual Christmas party on December 2, 2010, where it recognized the service of outgoing president Matt Clement and outgoing circuit judge Paul Wilson, announced this year's scholarship awards, and elected a new slate of officers. Jefferson City attorney Anji Gandhi will succeed Matt as the Cole County Bar Association's president.  Jefferson City attorneys David Bandre and Nicki Sublett will serve as next year's Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer respectively. We thank Matt and the other officers for their great work in putting together CLE's and other events that continue to make Cole County a great place to practice law.

November 12, 2010

CVDL obtains stay of trial court judgment on behalf of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

On November 12, 2010, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, issued a stay of a recent judgment by the Ripley County Circuit Court that had set aside three longstanding Missouri hunting regulations as being unconstitutionally vague.  The regulations prohibited hunting from motor vehicles and hunting deer with dogs. CVDL, who was retained to handle the appeal for the Missouri Department of Conservation, had argued on behalf of its client that a stay was needed because the trial court's decision was contrary to several Missouri Supreme Court decisions and would hinder with the Conservation Department's ability to fulfill its duties.

October 26, 2010

Missouri Supreme Court upholds validity of deputy salary supplementation law.

In a victory for CVDL's client, the Missouri Sheriffs' Association, the MIssouri Supreme Court today upheld provisions of House Bill 2224 from the 2008 legislative session creating a new $10 service of summons charge which will be used to supplement deputy sheriff salaries across the state. St. Charles and St. Louis counties challenged the law as imposing an improper county tax in violation of Article 10, Section 10(a) of the state constitution. In an opinion by Judge Teitelmann, the Court unanimously rejected the challenge. Click here to read the opinion.

October 21, 2010

Missouri Supreme Court Judge Michael A. Wolff to step down to resume teaching at SLU law school.

Judge Michael A. Wolff, who has served on the Missouri Supreme Court since 1998, announced yesterday that he will step down next year to return to St. Louis University School of Law's faculty in the fall of 2011, In a written statement, Wolff said that “By next August, I will have served 13 years on the court, and the Missouri Constitution says I must retire in the not-too-distant future.” “Because I am not the retiring type, I am looking forward to the next phase of my life.”

Read more by clicking here for articles by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kansas City Business Journal.

October 13, 2010

Jefferson City's new federal courthouse, scheduled for completion in 2011, opens for a preview.

The Central Division Judges, the Chamber and local attorney Michael Berry arranged for a preview of the new federal courthouse, still under construction and scheduled to open early to mid 2011. A reception was held in Housing Unit 4 in the historic MSP campus next door.  For photos and more information, visit John Landwehr's blog, the High Street Beat.