In the News

Attorney Patrick Douglas has become a member of the Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association.   The Mississippi Valley Flood Control Association was first organized in 1922 and is comprised of 145-member organization includes levee boards, drainage districts, municipalities, port and harbor commissions, other State agencies and businesses throughout the Mississippi River Watershed which is 41% of the United States of America.  The Association is comprised of a large group of individuals who are businessmen, property owners, conservationists, farmers, attorneys, doctors, wildlife enthusiasts, engineers, accountants, environmentalists, civil servants, and elected officials from all political parties that share common problems and concerns including flood control, navigation, channel improvements, and major drainage in the Mississippi River Watershed which impact the welfare and prosperity of the nation.  Patrick represents a number of local drainage and levee districts in Southeast Missouri.  The Association’s  President and Vice Presidents are members of the Congress of the United States. The principal objective of the Association is the support and sponsorship of the Mississippi River Valley Flood Control and Navigation interests to protecting the nation’s flood control system, by assuring re-investment in water infrastructure for the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

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SIKESTON—Carole Hillis, BSN, RN, was honored as a 2018 Unsung Legal Hero in the Paralegal category by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

Carole Hillis is an in-house, nurse paralegal for Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglass and Hanschen, LLC. Hillis has a broad range of clinical experience that is very valuable to her firm. Since joining the firm, Hillis has had over a decade of experience in evaluation of complex medical issues in medical legal cases. Hillis also provides assistance in representation of the firm’s clients in all types of litigation.

"Carole Hillis is an invaluable member of our legal team. She is an exceptional nurse and paralegal. It is fitting that she has been recognized by this statewide legal publication." said Joseph C. Blanton, Jr, partner, Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas and Hanschen. 


Missouri Lawyers Weekly provides breaking, legal, business and national news vital to attorneys and legal professionals. 


Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas & Hanschen specializes in complex civil litigation in state and federal courts, including medical malpractice, products liability, personal injury cases and business litigation. Since 1914, the firm has established itself as one of the leading law firms in the State of Missouri and actively practices in 30 counties in the state's southeastern region, as well as, in the St. Louis area.

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As you are no doubt aware, a tentative settlement in the amount of $1.51 Billion has been reached between Syngenta Corporation and Farmers who have been damaged economically as a result of Syngenta’s premature marketing of two genetically modified strains of corn Agrisure Viptera® and Agrisure Duracade™ that were outlawed in China. The preliminary settlement is pending in the multi-district litigation in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.

If you are a member of the class eligible to receive recovery from the settlement, you must file your claims with the Court-Ordered Settlement administrator no later than October 12, 2018.  The official website for processing your claims is found here, or you can go directly to the website at   You can print the claim forms, or file them directly on-line.  Please note that any crop share landlords that you have MUST FILE THEIR OWN CLAIM Form.  Please inform any such landlords and provide them with this information as well.

If you are a current client of our firm, and have questions about filing your claim, or if you are seeking to file a claim, please contact Patrick Douglas at (573) 471-1000 or at 

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If you are a farmer, you’ve likely seen the signs of Dicamba damage in our local bootheel counties.  Cupped soybean leaves, stunted growth, and ultimately, reduced yields are a result of this damage.  If you have suffered Dicamba related damage, Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas & Hanschen , LLC is happy to help.  We live in Southeast Missouri, and this is clearly a problem for our local agricultural economy.  We will be happy to discuss your claim and help you obtain compensation for your losses.

Please call us today at (573) 471-1000 or e-mail Patrick Douglas at to discuss your claims. 

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On April 5, Joseph C Blanton Jr. was honored as 2018 Citizen of the Year by the Sikeston Regional Chamber of Commerce. Blanton was described as an example of an individual in leadership, excellence in his profession, and dedication to community organizations. He graduated from Sikeston High School as the class president and valedictorian. After high school, Blanton received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and went on to law school at the University of Texas. After serving as a Federal law clerk, Blanton returned to Sikeston in 1987 to practice law, and has been practicing there ever since. He served on the Missouri Bar Board of Governors and the Scott County Bar Association. Along with those organizations, Blanton served as the president of the Sikeston Jaycees and president of the Sikeston Jaycee Rodeo Board. He is a former president of the Sikeston Rotary Club, and also served as chairman of the Sikeston Board of Municipal Utilities. The Boy Scouts of America are one of his passions. He has served as a Boy Scout district commissioner, district vice chairman, and district fundraiser chairman. Michael Bohannon, previous Sikeston Citizen of the Year, stated, “Joe is very committed to the community of Sikeston and was properly awarded with the Citizen of the Year award.”

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Firm attorney Joseph C. Blanton recently sat for an interview by Litigation Commentary, a publication of Litigation Counsel of America, the trial lawyer honorary society limited to the top ¼ of one percent of litigation attorneys nationally.   The interview dealt with a wide variety of topics, including the history of the Firm and observations and lessons learned during a thirty year career as a litigation attorney.  The interview is available here.
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Summary Judgement
Joseph Blanton and Shaun Hanschen recently obtained a summary judgment on behalf of a farm credit system institution in a dispute with an insurance company over payment of proceeds from a fire insurance policy.   The insurance company decided not to appeal and has satisfied the judgment.  Working with national class action counsel, Patrick Douglas has represented local farmers in claims against Syngenta.   The Syngenta class action has tentatively been settled and it is anticipated that class members will receive their settlement payments later this year or in early 2019.   Joseph Blanton, Shaun Hanschen and Diedre Peters recently negotiated the dismissal of a suit brought against a Southeast Missouri professional without any payment being made.  That dismissal occurred the day before responsive pleadings were due.  Joseph Blanton and Shaun Hanschen successfully represented a local governmental entity that had been sued for an alleged project bidding process irregularity.  The Firm attorneys successfully defended that governmental entity during a hearing in which the Plaintiff had requested a temporary restraining order.   Once the other side’s request for the TRO was denied, the complainant dismissed the suit.  Bryan Nickell recently obtained the dismissal of a lending institution from a mechanic’s lien suit shortly before a trial was to begin without any payment being made.  Firm clients were recently dismissed from a medical malpractice lawsuit without any payment being made.  Attorneys Bryan Nickell and Joseph Blanton were the responsible attorneys for that medical malpractice suit.   Finally, the firm has hired a second nurse consultant.  RN Crystal Nugent, formerly employed by both Missouri Delta Medical Center and Bootheel Counseling Service, joined the firm in April.  She will assist firm attorneys in the representation not only of the firm’s healthcare provider clients, but in all matters which involve medical issues. 
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Lewis Blanton Retires

After a legal and judicial career that spanned over five decades, Lewis Blanton is officially retiring. His retirement was effective January 26, 2018. Both as citizens and members of the firm, we salute his service and appreciate very much his wisdom and general good nature.

Lewis will continue to maintain a personal office at the firm.

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November 2017 News

Sikeston Law Firm Garners U.S. News Best Lawyers Listing 

 SIKESTON -- Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas and Hanschen, LLC in Sikeston, Mo., has been named a Tier 1 law firm for Medical Malpractice Defendant by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms in 2018,” and the firm also was also included in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

Joseph C. Blanton Jr. of the firm was also selected by his peers for inclusion in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® for his work in Commercial Litigation, Medical Malpractice – Defendants and Products Liability Litigation – Defendants.

Attorneys in the firm include: Joseph C. Blanton, Jr., Bryan E. Nickell, Thomas W. Collins, III, Patrick R. Douglas, Shaun D. Hanschen, Lewis M. Blanton and Deidre A. Peters.

“Our attorneys and staff work hard for our clients, and we are very honored to receive this recognition from U.S. News,” said Joseph C. Blanton Jr., partner in the firm.

“This year we are honored to be a Tier 1 law firm for Medical Malpractice.  Our experience in medical malpractice gives us a unique perspective that we pass on to our clients,” added Bryan Nickell, partner in the firm.

Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Best Lawyers methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services. Best Lawyers organization’s belief has always been that the quality of a peer review survey is directly related to the quality of the voters.

Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas & Hanschen, LLC, specializes in civil litigation in State and Federal Courts, including medical malpractice, products liability, personal injury cases and business litigation. Since 1914, the firm has established itself as one of the leading law firms in the State of Missouri and actively practices in 30 counties in the state's southeastern region, as well as in the St. Louis area.
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October 2017 News

Joseph Blanton, Bryan Nickell and Diedre Peters represented a St. Louis area client in a contested arbitration proceeding in St. Louis County. The Firm’s client received an Arbitration Award of all of the damages claimed.

Joseph Blanton served as a member of the trial practice faculty during the Fall Meeting of Fellows of Litigation Counsel of America held on October 18-20, 2017 in Bal Harbour, FL. Blanton spoke on the process of preparing a Closing Argument. Litigation Counsel of America is an invitation only honorary society of trial attorneys limited to the top ½% of litigation attorneys.

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