Media Items

David A. Zobel Promoted to Associate by Danna McKitrick

Litigation Group Continues to Grow

David A. Zobel has been promoted to associate in the litigation department of Danna McKitrick, P.C. Zobel primarily represents individuals and corporations in the defense of civil litigation, including contract, negligence and real estate matters.

In addition to his court room work, Zobel assists in advising clients on contract and employment issues and regarding issues arising under the Sunshine Law.

“As a law student, I was attracted to Danna McKitrick’s breadth of practice areas. I valued the ability to gain experience in a multitude of legal areas working to solve issues for a variety of clients. As an attorney, I continue to value this firm’s coverage which often utilizes several practice areas in quickly and efficiently solving our clients’ matters,” Zobel stated.

Zobel is a great addition to the continually growing litigation practice of the firm, according to the head of the firm’s litigation group.

“We are constantly on the lookout for bright law students, and David has developed into a talented young attorney. Watching him grow over the past year and a half as a law clerk has given us the opportunity to see his strengths, and to know early on that we wanted him as a member of our litigation team,” said Daniel G. Tobben, principal and head of Danna McKitrick’s litigation department.

During law school, Zobel worked as an extern with the Missouri Court of Appeals, reviewing and summarizing appellate arguments and responses and drafting memoranda summarizing claims in preparation for oral arguments as well as memoranda on worker’s compensation, juvenile and criminal appeals.

He worked as a law clerk with Danna McKitrick in the areas of professional malpractice, real estate transactions, pensions and worker’s compensation. Zobel has experience in alternative dispute resolution on personal injury and wrongful death matters as well as client MSPRC lien claims matters, including negotiating lien settlements.

Zobel was an aide to Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham and worked across the state to promote the MOHELA reorganization bill.

He graduated cum laude from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2011, where his credentials include: Dean’s List, Journal of Health Law and Policy Staff Editor, Health Law Association, Legal Research and Writing Teaching Assistant. Zobel earned his B.S., cum laude, in political science with a leadership and public service minor from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2008.

Zobel is admitted to practice in Missouri and the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri. He is a member of the Missouri Bar and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Read “People” … St. Louis Business Journal

Soraghan and Schmitt Named to Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2011 has recognized Joseph R. Soraghan and Jeffrey R. Schmitt as two of the top attorneys in the state of Missouri for 2011.

For the second year in a row, Attorney Joseph R. Soraghan has been named as one of the top attorneys in Missouri by Super Lawyers. Only 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are honored.

Attorney Jeffrey R. Schmitt has been selected for inclusion on the Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars 2011 list. It is a recognition of up to 2.5 percent of “the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state — those who are 40 years old or younger, or who have been practicing for 10 years or less,” according to Super Lawyers.

“I am honored to be recognized on the 2011 Rising Stars list by attorneys around the state of Missouri, as well as by Super Lawyers. To be honored by peers in my chosen profession is truly humbling,” Schmitt said.

Schmitt, who practices in the areas of banking, real estate, construction, pensions and retirement plans, is also the president of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce. He was recognized by The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section in 2010 as a “Young Lawyer You Should Know.”

Soraghan’s primary practice areas include business law, securities, corporate finance, and alternative dispute resolution.

“Thomson Reuters is one of the nation’s premier legal publishers. I am truly honored to be selected again by Super Lawyers, one of its publications,” he said.

Soraghan has been recognized as one of the Top St. Louis Entrepreneurial Lawyers in St. Louis by St. Louis Small Business Monthly, and received the Financial Services Champion, Region VII award from the U.S. Small Business Association. He is the founding director and secretary of the Missouri Venture Forum.

The selection for inclusion in the list is made by the research team at Super Lawyers, which is a service of the Thomson Reuters Legal division based in Eagan, MN. Each year, the research team undertakes a rigorous, multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and good-standing and disciplinary checks.

Thomson Reuters is the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Super Lawyers is located online at, where lawyers can be searched by practice area and location.

Joe Soraghan Named One of the St. Louisans to Know

One of Danna McKitrick’s own, Joe Soraghan, has been named in St. Louis Small Business Monthly’s “100 St. Louisans to Know to Succeed in Business – 2011″.

Soraghan’s motivation to help small businesses first stems from the fact that small businesses constitute the bulk of business in this country and are likely the developers of new ideas, processes and products to improve people’s lives.

Read more… St. Louis Small Business Monthly

Danna McKitrick Named as One of the Best Law Firms

Danna McKitrick, P.C. is honored to be named as a top law firm in the June 2011 issue of St. Louis Small Business Monthly: The Best in Business awards.

Read more… St. Louis Small Business Monthly

Jeffrey L. Michelman joins Danna McKitrick as New Principal


St. Louis, MO – June 1, 2011 – The law firm of Danna McKitrick, P.C., announced today that intellectual property, information technology and entertainment law attorney Jeffrey L. Michelman has joined the firm as its newest principal.

Michelman is involved in intellectual property management and litigation in the U.S. and abroad. He assists his clients with the development, acquisition, use and licensing of products and services under intellectual property law, particularly trademarks, copyrights, and proprietary computer software. Michelman also advises clients on legal issues regarding E-commerce and social networking activities as well as protection of trade secrets and “know-how”.

“There is definitely a different perceived professional ethic in the Midwest,” he says. “We’re perceived as more client-oriented and cost-effective. With technology I can easily stay in contact with my clients nationwide and in foreign countries and provide the same services and quality as the firms on the East or West Coast. What’s more, I can do it at a fee rate that is more palatable than on either coast,” Michelman said.

Michelman’s substantial client work in entertainment law will take Danna McKitrick into a new practice area. Michelman reviews his clients’ print and broadcast material for compliance with copyrights and trade regulations. He also manages his clients’ contracts for publicity and performance work, public appearances, endorsements, licensing, recording contracts, movie and TV options and development deals, and book publication.

His experience in the entertainment field includes: endorsements contracts with A-list actors; recording contracts with Grammy Award-winning artists; reality TV productions; and contracts with Academy Award-nominated producers and American Idol contestants.

Michelman has participated in successful litigation before the Supreme Court of the United States regarding trademark matters and represented KangaROOS U.S.A. against numerous corporations around the world for patent infringement. He has also represented an entertainment conglomerate in trademark and copyright infringement suits against clothing manufacturers that were settled favorably. Michelman recently successfully represented distributors for the South Butt parody clothing line.

“Jeff’s unique legal experience brings additional depth to the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice,” said Ruth Binger, Principal with Danna McKitrick. “Intellectual property issues continue to become more prominent as our lives center around technology. We anticipate Jeff’s extensive experience in this area of law will put the firm ahead of the curve in intellectual property now and into the future.”

Michelman earned his J.D. with Honors from Villanova University, an M.E. from Washington University in St. Louis, and his B.A. from Pennsylvania State University. He has served as an adjunct professor at both St. Louis University School of Law and Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. The founder and co-chair of the E-Commerce and Computer Law Committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Michelman is a frequent speaker and noted author on intellectual property and entertainment law subjects and issues. He holds the honor of being a decorated Captain in the United States Army.

In addition to these professional accomplishments, Michelman has participated in numerous community activities: President, Inventors Association of St. Louis; Vice President, Art St. Louis; Board Member, Edison Theater, Washington University; Chair, Small Business Committee, St. Louis Counts; Graduate, Leadership St. Louis.

Read more … St. Louis Business Journal

Clayton Chamber of Commerce Appoints Schmitt President

St. Louis, MO – Danna McKitrick, P.C. attorney, Jeffrey R. Schmitt is the newest president of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce effective January 2011 for a one-year term. Schmitt succeeds Sabrina Robb in this role. Schmitt’s involvement in the Chamber began in 2006, as a participant in the Chamber’s Leadership Clayton program. He later served as co-chair of the Leadership Clayton program from 2008 to 2009, and joined the Chamber’s board of directors in 2008 for a three-year term.

Schmitt believes this is an exciting time for the Clayton Chamber of Commerce: “Despite a recovering economic climate, the Chamber’s growth exceeded expectations last year. New membership and renewals continue to rise which leads to a resurgence in participation in events and programs.” And his commitment to the Clayton Chamber is inspired, largely, by the high-level of participation of other local business owners and workers.

“Clayton is a unique business community because it combines a true commercial center with thriving tourism, successful restaurants and retailers, and exceptional educational institutions, from K-12 to world-class universities,” explains Schmitt.

“The residents of Clayton understand and appreciate the contributions of the business community and they, along with everyone from savvy entrepreneurs, to major international businesses like Enterprise and Brown Shoe, are deeply invested in Clayton and the city’s impact on our region.”

About what to expect from the Clayton Chamber of Commerce over the coming year, Schmitt has much to say:

“The Chamber continues to offer its members a range of business-related programming such as monthly Power Hour lunches, Leadership Clayton, and the State of the City event, as well as networking opportunities like the Art of Tasting and the Chamber Golf League. And for anyone (member or non-member) the Chamber is making available the opportunity to participate in Discover China—a coordinated trip to China at an incredible price. This is the first event of its kind for us, and we are excited about the early interest in this fall’s trip.

“We also just recently announced that the ever-popular Parties in the Park will, for the first time, move out of Shaw Park into Clayton’s central business district where Meramec Ave. will transform into a pedestrian street for one night a month, complete with food, drink, music and fun. We hope this move will stimulate traffic of local merchants and coincide with the city’s master plan for Clayton.”

About Jeff Schmitt: His commercial and general civil litigation practice includes financial and lending, construction, and real estate law, as well as providing general legal counsel for small to mid-sized businesses. Earning his J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia and B.A. (magna cum laude) from Saint Louis University, he also completed the International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy and Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Trial Academy. He is a member of Transportation Lawyers Association and was named in 2010 as a “Young Lawyer You Should Know” by The Missouri Bar Young Lawyer’s Section. Schmitt is a member of the board at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.

About Clayton Chamber of Commerce: Since its founding in 1952, the Chamber has been an integral part of the Clayton community, helping area businesses uncover new opportunities in St. Louis and beyond. Members benefit from networking opportunities, legislative support, health insurance alternatives and a variety of other resources to increase business’ effectiveness.

Read “People in Business”… St. Louis Post-Dispatch

James Heffner Elected to Cardinal Glennon Impact Board’s Executive Committee


St. Louis, MO –  Effective January 1, 2011, attorney James M. Heffner was elected to serve a on the three-person executive committee of Cardinal Glennon’s IMPACT Board. Heffner joined the board in May of 2010 and has been involved in a variety of projects to benefit the organization.

“Though I’m relatively new to the IMPACT board, I’ve already witnessed the depth to which IMPACT helps the Children’s Medical Center with fundraising through awareness and events, so I really wanted to become more involved,” says Heffner. “I also became a dad this year so I have a new-found appreciation for the needs of little ones and their parents. The work of Cardinal Glennon is incredibly important to the families in our community.”

As a lawyer with Danna McKitrick, Heffner concentrates on banking and finance, corporate, and real estate law. He graduated from Saint Louis University School of Law in 2005 and obtained his B.A., with honors, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He was a graduate of Leadership Clayton in 2009. In addition to serving on the board of Cardinal Glennon IMPACT, Heffner also sits on the Webster Groves Board of Adjustment and volunteers with the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

About the Cardinal Glennon Impact Board: The IMPACT Board is a group of young professionals who volunteer to promote community awareness and to raise funds for the overall betterment of Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. The spirit created through the special events and social functions help to foster a commitment to civic responsibility and to provide opportunity for personal growth. For more information, visit

Three New Principals: Laura Gerdes Long, Sophya Qureshi Raza, and Jeffrey R. Schmitt Are Promoted

St. Louis, MO – Jan. 3, 2011 – Danna McKitrick is pleased to announce three attorneys have been elected to the position of principal: Laura Gerdes Long, Sophya Qureshi Raza, and Jeffrey R. Schmitt. All three are primarily litigators, each with differing areas of focus spanning construction, health care, family, and real estate law as well as insurance defense and complex commercial litigation.

“Many times throughout the past few years, our principals have gratefully observed that we currently have the best group of associates that we’ve ever had—they are truly exceptional. It’s a pleasure watching them grow and evolve as lawyers, bringing insights and strategic changes to our practice, as well as great legal talent. It’s now time to honor these three associates with promotions to principal and welcome them as peers into their new leadership positions,” says Ron Danna, senior principal and co-founder of the firm.

Long’s practice focuses are tort, employment, insurance, and healthcare law. She works with major insurers resolving claims; advises doctors, nurses, psychologists and other health care professionals on licensing, disciplinary, and hospital privilege issues; and consults and trains on employment law policies and processes, especially related to HIPAA privacy and security requirements.

Long earned her J.D. from Washington University School of Law and her B.A. (cum laude) from Vanderbilt University. She also graduated from both the International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy and Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Trial Academy. She formerly served as prosecutor and assistant city attorney for various municipalities in St. Louis County. Long serves as an alternate on the City of Kirkwood Board of Adjustment, and sits on the board of Legal Advocates for Abused Women and St. Genevieve du Bois School Board of Education.

Raza leads Danna McKitrick’s Family Law Department where she concentrates her practice in matters including pre- and post-nuptial agreements, annulments, divorce, child support and spousal support modifications, and probate litigation.

Raza obtained her J.D. from Washington University School of Law and her B.A. from George Washington University. She is also a graduate of the ABA Family Law Trial Advocacy Institute. She joined Danna McKitrick as a law clerk and advanced to eventually head her department. Raza serves on the boards of Angels’ Arms and the Scholarship Committee of Girls, Inc., is a member of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis, and is a former board member of The International Institute.

Schmitt’s commercial and general civil litigation practice includes financial and lending, construction, and real estate law as well as providing general legal counsel for small to mid-sized businesses.

Schmitt earned his J.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia, his B.A. (magna cum laude) from Saint Louis University, and completed both the International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy and Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Trial Academy. He joined Danna McKitrick as a law clerk after clerking for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Missouri.

Schmitt is a member of Transportation Lawyers Association and was named in 2010 as a “Young Lawyer You Should Know” by The Missouri Bar Young Lawyer’s Section. He just became president of the Clayton Chamber of Commerce after serving on the Chamber’s board for two years, and is a member of the board at Lutheran Church of the Resurrection.

Read “People in Business”… St. Louis Post-Dispatch