News & Announcements

Attorney Daniel W. Fort Joins Danna McKitrick as Of Counsel


Adds Depth to Firm’s Real Estate, Banking, and Title Insurance Practices

Daniel W. Fort Of Counsel

Daniel W. Fort
Of Counsel

St. Louis, Mo. – December 3, 2013 – The law firm of Danna McKitrick, P.C. is pleased to announce that Daniel W. Fort has joined the firm as Of Counsel. Fort’s practice spans a variety of areas including residential and commercial real estate, landlord tenant law, business formation, and other transactional matters.

Prior to joining the firm Fort developed a successful St. Louis area law practice serving a variety of individual and corporate clients; and before that he was a Staff Attorney at Investors Title Company.

“We’re delighted to welcome Daniel to the firm,” said Ruth Binger, principal and head of the firm’s transactional practice. “Daniel adds depth to our strong real estate, title insurance, banking and business law practice groups. His broad transactional experience will make him a valuable strategic advisor to our clients.”

Fort earned his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law (2004) and a B.A. in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia (2001). He is licensed in Missouri and before the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. Fort is a member of the American Bar Association, The Missouri Bar, and the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis.

Read “People” in St. Louis Business Journal

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Attorney Misty Watson Discusses Air Travel for Persons with Disabilities


With all of its security precautions, flight delays, connecting flights, etc., air travel for any passenger is stressful. Just imagine the difficulties of air travel for persons with special needs.

Attorney Misty Watson discusses the legal rights of passengers with disabilities with Christine Buck on KPLR11-TV.

Watch the video:

For more information on travel for persons with special needs, read Misty’s blog post “Lessening the Stress of Travel for Travelers with Disabilities.”

More:

Misty A. Watson Honored at 2013 International Women’s Day Celebration


Misty A. Watson Attorney at Law

Misty A. Watson
Attorney at Law

St. Louis, Mo. – April 16, 2013 – Danna McKitrick, P.C. Attorney Misty A. Watson has been recognized by the Washington University Women’s Law Caucus as an International Women’s Day 2013 Honoree. The Women’s Law Caucus celebrated its 40th anniversary and the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day by recognizing Watson and eight others for their volunteer work in the legal community and their contributions to the advancements of women in law.

Watson was honored for her work as a volunteer lawyer at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM).  Watson is the co-founder of the Guardianship and Older Adult Life Planning Project (GOAL Planning Project), a new project offered by LSEM in conjunction with Washington University School of Law. The GOAL Planning Project provides legal assistance for those seeking guardianship over another individual and assists individuals age 60 and above with preparing life planning documents, such as wills, living wills, or durable powers of attorney, and medical care directives. Individuals must qualify financially for assistance through LSEM.

Past honorees include: Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, U.S. Supreme Court; Jean Carnahan, former U.S. Senator; Robin Carnahan, former Missouri Secretary of State; and Hon. Catherine Perry, Chief Judge, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. Continue reading »

Kevin E. Myers is Newly Elected Principal at Danna McKitrick, P.C.


Law Firm Promotes Insurance Lawyer

St. Louis, Mo. – February 12, 2013 – The law firm of Danna McKitrick, P.C., is pleased to announce the election of Kevin E. Myers to the position of principal, effective February 1, 2013. Myers advises and represents clients in matters involving insurance coverage and disputes over policy analysis. He also represents individuals, insurers and businesses in tort and contract matters throughout Missouri and Illinois, with a concentration in insurance coverage, extra-contractual and bad faith litigation.

“Kevin is an excellent lawyer,” said Dan Tobben, principal and head of litigation at the firm. “Kevin is very bright and hard working. He is committed to zealously representing his clients, and understands the need to do so in a cost-effective manner. These traits, along with his extensive experience in representing insurance companies and tort defendants, help Kevin to consistently obtain the best results possible for his clients. We are extremely pleased and proud that he has agreed to become a principal in our firm.”

When asked why he joined Danna McKitrick, Myers stated,

“I like the challenge of examining complex issues from many angles and finding solutions in areas of law that are constantly changing, which I regularly get to do at Danna McKitrick. I’ve found that close attention to detail and rigorous logical analysis have been the two most important tools in my practice, whether in advising a client as to the rights and duties under a contract or insurance policy or in formulating an argument for a brief in a trial or appellate court,” said Myers. “Working at Danna McKitrick provides the opportunity to test my opinions, analyses and strategies by collaborating with a number of attorneys bringing multiple perspectives to an issue and come to the best conclusion for the client.”

Prior to joining Danna McKitrick, Myers practiced at a litigation firm in St. Louis. He is admitted to the bar in Missouri and Illinois, as well as the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Seventh and Eighth Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois. He is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Missouri Bar, the St. Clair County Bar Association, and the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers.

Myers earned his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law, where he was the executive editor of the Saint Louis University Public Law Review. He graduated summa cum laude from Saint Louis University with a B.A. in Russian studies and political science.

James M. Heffner Elected Principal at Danna McKitrick, P.C.


Real Estate and Banking Attorney Promoted by Law Firm

St. Louis, Mo. – January 16, 2013 – The law firm of Danna McKitrick, P.C., is pleased to announce the election of James M. Heffner to the position of principal, effective January 1, 2013. A transactional lawyer, Heffner concentrates his practice in banking and finance, corporate, and real estate law.

“James came to our firm as a law clerk, and it has been a great experience to work with him and watch him grow into such a strong lead attorney,” said Ron Danna, senior principal and co-founder of the firm. “His representation for his clients is thorough, thoughtful, and strategic. We are proud to have him as a member of our firm.”

In addition to his law practice, Heffner co-chairs the firm’s marketing committee and mentors younger attorneys in the firm.

“I am very pleased to be elected as a principal of Danna McKitrick. When I was given the opportunity as a law clerk to join the firm, I knew this was a firm where I would be able to gain the experience necessary to become the attorney I wanted to be,” said Heffner. “From day one, they have encouraged me to grow my practice, and have provided me with the indispensable resources, support and tools I needed.”

Admitted to the bar in Missouri and Illinois, Heffner is also admitted in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Missouri. He is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, the Missouri Bar and the Illinois State Bar. Heffner is a frequent speaker for real estate law CLE’s and seminars.

Heffner serves on the Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center Development Board and the Webster Groves Board of Adjustment. He is a graduate of Leadership Clayton and was the recipient of the Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Corporate Achievers Leadership Award.

Heffner obtained his J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law and his B.A., with honors, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He also earned a German Proficiency Certificate from the Universität Tübingen.

 

Patrick Murphy, Attorney and CPA, on “Fiscal Cliff” Legislation


Attorney and CPA Patrick J. Murphy updated KPLR News anchor Christine Buck on the “fiscal cliff” and what the last-minute legislation passed by the Senate and the House means to businesses and individuals – now and down the road.

Click below to watch the interview:

 

Attorney Misty Watson on Planning for the Care of Your Pets


People love their pets, and often treat them as they would their own children.

However, as estate planning attorney Misty Watson has observed, difficulties arise when a pet owner is no longer able to care for a pet – and no legal provisions have been made for the care of the pet.

See below for recent interviews Watson provided on planning for the care of your pet if/when you are no longer able:

Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis Sues City over Its Firemen’s Retirement Plan


As issued by Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis:

Asks for Temporary Restraining Order, Preliminary Injunction During Litigation, Permanent Injunction on Changes to Existing Plan

St. Louis, MO – January 2, 2013 – After almost a year of hearings in the St. Louis City Board of Aldermen and the Missouri State Legislature, and following two trials resulting in preliminary injunctions being granted in favor of the Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis Board of Trustees (FRS), FRS has filed a lawsuit to stop the City of St. Louis from proceeding with its most recent pension ordinance, Board Bill 109, now known as Ordinance 69353.

In its 37-page petition, the FRS Trustees detail the flaws, contradictions, illegality and unconstitutionality of Board Bill 109, which the Board of Aldermen passed on Dec. 14, 2012.

The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction during litigation to prevent the amendment of city ordinance and any amendment to the existing pension plan, as well as to order the parties to continue to operate under the existing FRS plan during this litigation.

In addition, the lawsuit asks for a declaratory judgment that Board Bill 109 is illegal, unconstitutional, and that it fails to correct the multiple flaws pointed out by Judge Robert Dierker when he issued an injunction against enforcement of Board Bill 12.

FRS requests the court to declare Board Bill 109:

  • Void and invalid as being unconstitutional;
  • Violates Missouri Statutes;
  • Invalid; Board Bill 109 cannot go into effect as a matter of law because the cost study was not in compliance with state law;
  • Unconstitutionally impairs the contractual rights of fire fighters with more than 20 years of service, especially because it allows the City to limit or escape liability;
  • Unconstitutionally violates the contractual rights of fire fighters with less than 20 years of experience, and
  • Contrary to several Supreme Court decisions, including those in prior lawsuits between these parties.

In addition, the lawsuit warns of the potential of a “multiplicity” of new lawsuits should Board Bill 109 take effect.  This is, in part, due to the conflicts and confusion created by Board Bill 109; FRS also will have a different Board of Trustees, be structured in a different manner, and possibly have a different agenda.

BACKGROUND

Preliminary Injunction Against City for Fire Fighter Ordinances Awaiting Final Ruling

The prior lawsuit regarding Board Bill 11 and Board Bill 12, which was joined by Local 73 and St. Louis fire fighters, has revealed many problems with the City’s attempt to wrest control of FRS from the State of Missouri, which currently has jurisdiction of FRS and fire fighter retirement issues.   For example:

  • Ordinance 69183 removed the duty and authority of FRS Trustees to challenge City action relating to FRS and made those that do so civilly liable for costs,
  • Ordinance 69245 was designed to create a new Firemen’s Retirement Plan,
  • Ordinance 69149 invoked the City’s home rule charter as authority to eliminate its guarantee to pay benefits, changed the minimum age of fire fighters to receive benefits, and increased fire fighters’ contribution to their retirement from eight percent refundable to a nine percent non-refundable contribution.

Judge Dierker issued preliminary injunctions regarding Ordinances 69149 and 69245 (Board Bills 11 and 12), after which the City conceded that portions of those ordinances were illegal.

In an effort to address those portions of the ordinances, the City passed Board Bill 109, which reinstated the authority for FRS but froze the accrual of benefits except for the purpose of vesting.

FRS states that the attempt by Board Bill 109 to correct deficiencies in the prior ordinances has created new constitutional and legal violations (as noted above).

The court will set hearings regarding the restraining order and preliminary injunction sought by FRS and its Trustees.

# # #

About FRS:  Established on July 26, 1944 in accordance with Ordinance #43009, the Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis was created to provide a program of security for the welfare of St. Louis City firefighters and their families. On January 1, 1960, the System was revised through enabling legislation by the Missouri Legislature and then by the Board of Aldermen of the City of St. Louis to further ensure the continued security for all active fire fighters, retirees and their families.  The Firemen’s Retirement System of St. Louis provides retirement, disability, death and survivor benefits to nearly 2,000 active and retired participants and their beneficiaries. FRS supports its membership by maintaining a pension plan that will attract and retain firefighters.  It seeks to maximize investment returns by following a prudent investment policy.

About Danna McKitrick P.C.:  Located in St. Louis, Mo., Danna McKitrick, P.C. delivers legal representation to businesses (emerging to national), insurers, government-related entities, individuals and regarding public pension issues throughout the Midwest. www.dannamckitrick.com  (314) 726-1000