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Hal Meltzer is a dynamic trial lawyer with a wide range of trial experience over more than 35 years. He has successfully defended manufacturers involving consumer and professional products and appliances, heavy equipment and component parts, motor vehicles, and pharmaceuticals. He has also successfully defended physicians, and other healthcare providers, lawyers, insurance agents, and other professionals in professional liability cases, commercial motor carriers and their operators in transportation related accident cases, and governmental and private sector entities in both civil rights and employment matters. He has managed and tried lawsuits in both the state and federal courts of Kansas and Missouri as well as other state and federal jurisdictions involving a broad spectrum of subjects and legal issues.

In addition to the defense of catastrophic and serious bodily injury, wrongful death and major property damage claims, his civil trial practice includes commercial litigation, telecommunications, premises liability and security cases, insurance coverage, and the defense of bad faith claims. He currently serves as a member of the Firm’s national coordinating and trial counsel teams for pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and he has been appointed as Special Assistant Attorney General for the state of Kansas to represent the Kansas Healthcare Stabilization Fund in direct actions against the state’s compulsory healthcare liability fund.

Due to his development and use of innovative trial strategies and proven trial tactics, Hal has been an invited presenter and speaker at numerous CLE seminars, college medical school programs, and private sector programs for in-house counsel, risk managers, liability claims directors and handlers, and safety directors.

Hal’s passion is in the analysis and courtroom presentation of complex and technical facts and the application of medical, scientific, engineering and technologic principles. He is experienced in the development of successful and often unique trial strategies and tactics to effectively present cases to juries that accomplish his clients’ goals and objectives.

Hal works with each client to determine their ultimate goals and develop individualized strategies for each case which will accomplish those objectives. Comprehensive analysis, innovative strategies and unique, but proven trial tactics, are his fundamentals for actual and anticipated success in the courtroom. Having an exceptional history and reputation of trying jury cases to verdict – both in number, variety and results – provides the inherent practical leverage of credibility and strength which manifests in significantly better, if not noteworthy, negotiated or mediated resolutions outside of the courtroom when the clients’ interests and ultimate objectives so dictate.

Admissions

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • USDC, District of Kansas
  • USDC, Western District of Missouri
  • USDC, Eastern District of Missouri
  • USDC, Southern District of Illinois
  • USDC, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • Supreme Court of the United States

Education

  • University of Kansas School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, 1979
    • Order of the Coif
    • KU Law Review 1977-79
  • University of Texas at Austin, BA, cum laude, 1975

Memberships & Activities

  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • ALFA International
    • Steering Committee, Transportation Practice Group
    • Steering Committee, Professional Liability Practice Group
    • Member, Product Liability Practice Group
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers

Publications

  • "Brown and Miles, At Last an End to Ambiguity in the Kansas Law of Comparative Negligence," Kansas Law Review (1978).
  • "Comparative Fault and Strict Products Liability in Kansas: Reflections on the Distinction between Initial Liability and Ultimate Loss Allocation," Kansas Law Review (1979).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Healthcare Law: Statute of Limitations and Damage Caps for Liability Claims against Healthcare Providers, A 50-State Survey (Missouri Section) (2003).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation Law: Til Death Do Us Part: A Fifty State Survey of What Happens When a Litigant Ceases to Be (Kansas and Missouri Sections) (2004).
  • ALFA International Transportation Update: Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuropsychological Evidence (with J. Sallings), (April 2005).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Healthcare Law: Long Term Care Licensure and Related Requirements: A 50-State Survey (Missouri Section) (2005).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation: Answers to Questions Every Transportation Company Needs to Know (Missouri Section) (2006).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation: Answers to Questions Every Transportation Company Needs to Know (Kansas and Missouri Sections) (2007).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Healthcare Law: Medical Spa Survey, A Fifty State Survey (Kansas and Missouri Sections) (2007).
  • ALFA International Transportation Update: Strategies for Analyzing and Assessing Traumatic Brain Injury (2008).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Healthcare Law: Document Retention Policies, a Fifty State Survey (Kansas and Missouri Sections) (2008).
  • ALFA International Transportation Update: Practical Tips, Use of NHTSA Research Program Data on Light Vehicle Anti-Lock Brake Systems to Address Emergency Perception and Reaction Time Analysis (2009).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Workers' Compensation Law (Kansas Section) (2009).
  • ALFA International Transportation Update: Update on Negligent Entrustment and Negligent Hiring, Retention and Supervision Claims in Kansas (2010).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Workers' Compensation Law (Kansas Section, with J.E. Benevides) (2010).
  • ALFA International Program Materials, Transportation Practice Group Seminar: Conventional and Unconventional Wisdom - Stompin' Snakes: An Open Forum for Hot Topics and Conundrums (2011).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Workers' Compensation Law (Kansas Section, with J.E. Benevides) (2013).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Healthcare Law: Licensure, Accreditation or Certification Requirements for Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (“APRN”), a Fifty State Survey (Kansas and Missouri Sections) (2013).
  • ALFA International Program Materials, Transportation Practice Group Seminar: Preventability Versus Non-Preventability Determinations - Resolving the Tension Between Safety and Legal (with J.E. Benevides) (2013).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Professional Liability Law (Missouri and Kansas Sections, with Wynn Maxwell) (2014).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation Law (Kansas and Missouri Sections, with J.E. Benevides) (2014).
  • ALFA International Program Materials, Transportation Practice Group Seminar: Engaging the Human Factors Expert, Can We See The Value? (with Wynn Maxwell) (2014).
  • ATA Litigation Center Program Materials, For Your Eyes Only...Or Not-Optimizing the Value of Safety Technology, Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel (2014).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Workers' Compensation Law (Kansas Section, with J.E. Benevides) (2015).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation Law (Kansas and Missouri Sections, with J.E. Benevides) (2015).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation Law (Kansas and Missouri Sections) (2016).
  • ALFA International Program Materials, Transportation Practice Group Regional Seminar: Sleep Apnea (2016).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Workers' Compensation Law (Kansas Section, with J.E. Benevides) (2016).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation Law (Kansas and Missouri Sections, with J.E. Benevides) (2017).
  • ALFA International Program Materials, Transportation Practice Group Seminar: The OSA Screening Dilemma (2017).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Workers' Compensation Law (Kansas Section, with J.E. Benevides) (2017).
  • ALFA International Compendium, Transportation Law (Kansas and Missouri Sections, with J.E. Benevides) (2018).

Presentations

  • Presenter: Truckers on Trial (Mock Trial, Part Two). Cross Examination of plaintiff's Neuropsychologist presented at the American Law Firm Association Transportation Practice Group at Amelia Island, Florida, (April 2005).
  • Presenter: Strategies for Analyzing, Assessing, and Excluding Proposed Testimony Regarding or Based on PET Scans, SPECT Scans, and Quantitative EEGs, American Law Firm Association International Webinar, (February 2006).
  • Moderator: Conventional and Unconventional Wisdom - Stompin’ Snakes: An Open Forum for Hot Topics and Conundrums. American Law Firm Association Transportation Practice Group Seminar, Dana Point, California (May 2011).
  • Panel Member: Preventability Versus Non-Preventability Determinations – Resolving the Tension Between Safety and Legal. American Law Firm Association Transportation Practice Group Seminar, La Quinta, California (March 2013).
  • Moderator: Engaging the Human Factors Expert, Can We See The Value? American Law Firm Association Transportation Practice Group Seminar, Coral Gables, Florida ( April 2014).
  • Panel Member: Emerging Trends in Lawyers Professional Liability Claims. American Law Firm Association Labor & Employment, Insurance & Professional Liability Practice Groups Seminar, New York, New York (June 2014).
  • Speaker: For Your Eyes Only...Or Not-Optimizing the Value of Safety Technology, ATA Litigation Center, Forum for Motor Carrier General Counsel, Marina Del Rey, California (July 2014).
  • Moderator: The OSA Screening Dilemma. American Law Firm Association Transportation Practice Group Seminar, Scottsdale, Arizona (May 2017).

Awards & Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
  • Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers®, 2005, 2013-2015.
  • Selected to United "Who's Who."

Blog Posts

Medical Malpractice: Missouri's Health Care Affidavit Statute is Constitutional - Comply or Face Dismissal

06.22.18 | When will plaintiffs learn? In Hink v. Helfrich, the Missouri Supreme Court has recently added yet another to a long line of Missouri decisions upholding constitutional validity of the health care affidavit requirement for medical negligence actions, and strictly construing the mandatory statutory language.

ANTI-FORUM SHOPPING: Limitation on Joinder in Missouri on the Horizon

06.18.18 | The Missouri Legislature introduced bills during its most recent legislative session to curtail forum shopping of class action plaintiffs in Missouri. This anti-forum shopping legislation, while not ultimately enacted into law, would have limited out-of-state plaintiffs from joining lawsuits involving local claims against out-of-state defendants.

Wrongful Termination in Missouri: "Whistleblower" Claims and the Public Policy Exception to Employment-at-Will

09.11.13 | Missouri adheres to the rule prevailing in most jurisdictions that in the absence of a contract between an employer and employee for a definite term or a contrary statutory provision, an employee can be terminated at any time with or without cause or for any reason, provided the termination does not run afoul of a federal or state anti-discrimination statute. Amaan v. City of Eureka, 615 S.W.2d 414 (Mo. 1981).