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Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas and Hanschen, LLC in Sikeston, Mo., has been named a Tier 1 law firm for Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Commercial Litigation in the St. Louis Metropolitan by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms in 2021,” and the firm was also named a Tier 2 law firm for Products Liability Litigation – Defendants in the St. Louis Metropolitan.

This is the 11th consecutive year U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® collaboratively announced the rankings, and the third year consecutive Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas and Hanschen, LLC has been recognized.

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

“Our attorneys and staff work hard for our clients, and we are very honored to be recognized again by U.S. News,” said Joseph C. Blanton Jr., partner in the firm.

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

“We are also recognized in Commercial Litigation and Products Liability – Defendants,” added Thomas W. Collins, a partner in the firm. “We continue focus on the best representation in these areas and have been recognized by our peers.”

The 2021 rankings are based on the highest lawyer and firm participation on record, incorporating 8.3 million evaluations of more than 110,000 individual leading lawyers from more than 22,000 firms.

“For the 2021 ‘Best Law Firms’ publication, the evaluation process has remained just as rigorous and discerning as it did when we first started 11 years ago.” Says Phil Greer, CEO of Best Lawyers. “This year we reviewed 15,587 law firms throughout the United States – across 75 national practice areas – and a total of

2,179 firms received a national law firm ranking. We are proud that the ‘Best Law Firms’ rankings continue to act as an indicator of excellence throughout the legal industry.”

Ranked firms, presented in three tiers, are recognized on a national and regional-based scale. Firms that received a tier designation reflect the highest level of respect a firm can earn among other leading lawyers.

U.S News Rankings

and clients from the same communities and practice areas. Awards were given in 75 national practice areas and 127 metropolitan practice areas.

Blanton, Nickell, Collins, Douglas & Hanschen, LLC, specializes in civil litigation in State and Federal Courts, including medical malpractice, products liability, personal injury cases and commercial 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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Firm News

Firm attorneys have continued to represent clients in both transactions and litigation matters during the Covid Virus response while honoring the requests of elected officials.  Throughout the social distancing program, Firm lawyers have remained available to clients with respect to issues relating to the pandemic response and regular legal matters. 

In March, Diedre Peters closed large asset purchases of two separate businesses in the agricultural services sector for a firm client.  In March, Joseph Blanton completed a transaction in which a firm client sold his interests in a farming operation to its other principals.  Bryan Nickell represented a secured creditor in the sale of a cotton gin in the Missouri Bootheel.

Bryan Nickell, Shaun Hanschen and Joseph Blanton recently represented a municipality in an insurance coverage dispute with its liability insurers in the U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.  In that suit, Firm attorneys defended a declaratory judgment action and prosecuted a Counterclaim relating to coverage and were able to help achieve a settlement of the insurance coverage litigation while the underlying suit also settled.

Joseph Blanton completed a five-month course of study and exam through the Harvard Business School and received a CORe certification in Accounting, Economics, and Data Analytics.  

Office Manager Darlene Ferrell recently retired after working for nearly 50 years at the Firm.  Sandy Nelson has been named the new Office Manager.

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July 2017 News

Attorneys Joseph Blanton and Diedre Peters recently obtained favorable rulings from the U. S. District Court in Cape Girardeau dismissing the firm’s client from two professional liability suits.

Attorneys Tom Collins and Bryan Nickell received a favorable ruling in a permanent total disability worker’s compensation case in July.  

Attorney Joseph Blanton obtained a confidential settlement for a firm client in a premises liability case involving the construction of stairs in June 2016.  

The firm was recently engaged in new matters involving the construction of a well for a rural water district, and several transactions relating to the sale of power and the leasing of fiber optic system by a municipal utility.

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By Alan Scher Zagier

Special to Missouri Lawyers Media

A federal jury in southeastern Missouri rejected efforts by three cable installers to recoup unpaid overtime, siding with the Sikeston company that employed the men as independent contractors.

Bryan Pennington of Park Hills, his cousin Stephen Pennington Jr. and uncle Stephen Pennington Sr. sued Integrity Communications of Sikeston in November 2011 in U.S. District Court. Company owners Ray and Holly Rehder, a Republican state representative, were also named as defendants.

Pennington, citing the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, said they were wrongly classified as contractors and paid a per-job rate, regardless of hours worked, even as many of the job’s requirements mirrored those of hourly employees, such as wearing company uniforms, only using approved tools and not simultaneously working for any Integrity competitors.

They were expected to work overtime and pay their own travel expenses while working for Integrity in Missouri, Kentucky and Illinois, the complaint said.

The plaintiffs originally sought class action status on behalf of other cable installers, but Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. rejected that approach. Plaintiffs’ attorneys did not respond to several interview requests seeking comment.

The case went to trial in June, with the jury deliberating for just 90 minutes after four days of testimony, said defense attorney Joseph C. Blanton Jr. of Blanton, Rice, Nickell, Cozean & Collins in Sikeston.

“We believed it was very clear that the plaintiffs were in business for themselves,” he said. “They were not employees.”

"The work is very irregular and very seasonal,” he added. “Companies like Integrity fill the gaps.”

 


 

UNPAID OVERTIME

  • Venue: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • Case number/date: 1:12-cv-00005/June 19, 2014
  • Judge: Stephen N. Limbaugh Jr.
  • Last pretrial demand: $400,000
  • Last offer: $0
  • Caption: Bryan Pennington, Steve Pennington Sr. and Steve Pennington Jr. v. Integrity Communications LLC and Holly and Ray Rehder
  • Plaintiffs’ attorneys: Kevin J. Dolley and Jason Finkes, The Law Offices of Kevin Dolley, St. Louis; Russell Riggan and Samuel W. Moore, Riggan Law Firm, Kirkwood; Mark A. Koupal Jr., Brown & James, St. Louis; Sarah Jane Hunt, Law Office of Thomas E. Kennedy III, St. Louis
  • Defendants’ attorneys: Joseph C. Blanton Jr., Bryan E. Nickell and Shaun D. Hanschen, Blanton, Rice, Nickell, Cozean & Collins, Sikeston





Joseph C. Blanton Jr. Bryan E. Nickell Shaun D. Hanschen

 

Download the Original Article From Missouri Layers Weekly

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