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Martha Charepoo is a trial lawyer providing clients with strategic results-oriented representation locally and nationally, supported by knowledge of cutting-edge courtroom technology. Martha focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation in areas such as breach of contract, fraud and unfair trade practices, insurance coverage, subrogation, insurance bad faith litigation, product liability defense, consumer class actions, real estate disputes, and general liability.

Martha handles cases in state and federal courts nationwide from inception through settlement, trial, or other resolution. She works closely with clients to ensure that cases are handled efficiently and cost-effectively and, when appropriate, develops business strategies to reduce the risk of future litigation.

Prior to joining the firm, Martha spent several years with an Am Law 200 firm handling national-scale litigation of complex business issues and product liability claims in the manufacturing, transportation, and health care industries.

Martha is the author of two volumes of the Missouri Practice, Civil Rules Practice, providing commentary on Rules 41-76 of the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure.

Martha is Chairman of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee and a 2019 Fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She is a recipient of the Missouri Lawyers Media Diversity and Inclusion Award (2019). 

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Colorado
  • USDC, Eastern District of Missouri
  • USDC, Western District of Missouri
  • USDC, Central District of Illinois
  • USDC, Northern District of Illinois
  • USDC, Southern District of Illinois
  • USDC, District of Colorado
  • USDC, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Education

  • University of Iowa, J.D., 1997
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 1991

Memberships & Activities

  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Missouri Asian American Bar Association
    • Mentor Program (Mentor), 2018-2019 
  • Missouri Bar Association
    • Committee on Diversity
    • Financial Services Committee
    • Insurance Law Committee
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
  • Mortgage Bankers Association
  • St. Louis Agri-Business Club

Publications

  • Author, Missouri Practice Series, Civil Rules Practice, 2d and 4th (Vol. 16, Rules 56 to 76, Cumulative Supplement), 2017-2018.
  • Author, Missouri Practice Series, Civil Rules Practice, 2d and 4th (Vol. 16, Rules 56 to 76, Cumulative Supplement), 2016-2017.
  • Author, Missouri Practice Series, Civil Rules Practice, 2d and 4th (Vol. 16, Rules 56 to 76, Main Volume), 2016-2017.
  • Author, Missouri Practice Series, Civil Rules Practice, 2d and 4th (Vol. 16, Rules 56 to 76, Cumulative Supplement), 2015-2016.
  • Co-Author, “Compendium of Reported Post-Aerospatiale Cases Citing the Hague Convention (June 1987-July 2003),” American Bar Association, Section of International Law and Practice, International Litigation Committee (2004).

Awards & Recognition

  • Recipient of the Missouri Lawyers Media "Women's Justice" Award (Litigation Category), 2020
  • Recipient of the Missouri Lawyers Media "Diversity and Inclusion" Award, 2019

Community Involvement

  • Legal Aid of Missouri, Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts
  • Eastern District of Missouri Pro Bono Volunteer Lawyer Panel

News & Events

Martha Charepoo Chosen as a 2020 Women's Justice Awards Honoree

03.30.20 | Baker Sterchi Member Martha Charepoo has been chosen to receive the 2020 Missouri Lawyers Media Women's Justice award in the "Litigation Practitioner" category.

Martha Charepoo Receives Missouri Lawyers Media 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Recognition

07.31.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Member Martha Charepoo has received Missouri Lawyers Media 2019 Diversity & Inclusion recognition. Charepoo is the Chair of Baker Sterchi's Diversity & Inclusion Committee, where she has been leading the firm's efforts to better align with American Bar Association Resolution 113 to promote diversity in the legal profession, as well as working to attract and retain diverse talent, and provide diversity related programming and activities for the firm's attorneys and staff.

Martha Charepoo Accepted into 2019 Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Program

02.08.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice attorney Martha Charepoo has been accepted into the 2019 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellows Program. The Fellows Program is designed to connect mid-career high-potential attorneys from preeminent corporations and law firms for a year-long professional development series focusing on...

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Promotes Two to Member Status

01.02.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to announce the promotion of Martha Charepoo and Megan Stumph-Turner to Member status effective January 1, 2019.

Martha Charepoo To Author Volume 15 of Missouri Practice Series, Civil Rules Practice

09.13.18 | Martha Charepoo has been appointed to author Volume 15 of the Missouri Practice Series, Civil Rules Practice. Published by one of the nation's largest legal publishers, Thomson Reuters, Civil Rules Practice guides readers through...

Martha Charepoo Appointed Chair of BSCR Diversity & Inclusion Committee

06.15.18 | The firm is pleased to announce that Martha Charepoo has been appointed as the new chair of the firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Martha is passionate about the importance of cultivating diversity in the legal profession, and looks forward to supporting the firm's efforts to hire and retain talented and diverse attorneys and staff to serve BSCR's diverse client base.

Martha Charepoo Authors Volume 16 of Missouri Practice Series on Civil Rules Practice

03.10.17 | Martha Charepoo has authored Volume 16 of the Civil Rules Practice (Vols. 15-17A, Missouri Practice Series), 2016-2017. Published by one of the nation's largest legal publishers, Thomson Reuters, Civil Rules Practice guides readers through...

Martha Charepoo Joins Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice

01.20.16 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice is pleased to welcome Martha Charepoo, who joins the firm's St. Louis office as Of Counsel. Her practice with the firm is focused on business and consumer litigation including breach of contract, fraud, unfair trade practices, business torts, shareholder disputes, insurance law, and real estate disputes.
  • Kingsland Investments, L.P. v. Schaefer Group, Inc.

    349 S.W.3d 380 (E.D. Mo. 2011)

  • Emerson Elec. Co. v. Rogers

    Lexis 9053 (E.D. Mo. 2006)
  • Utica Mut. Ins. Co. v. BancInsure, Inc.,

    Lexis 71164 (E.D.Mo. 2007)


Results

Baker Sterchi Obtains Dismissal of Vexatious Refusal Action Against D&O Insurer

Baker Sterchi secured a dismissal with prejudice for a D&O insurer on breach of contract and vexatious refusal claims. The plaintiffs sought to recover in excess of $600,000 in attorneys' fees and costs expended in defense of an investor suit against the company's president individually, vexatious refusal penalties, attorneys' fees, and other damages.

BSCR Helps Auto Finance Company Client Avoid Class Action Lawsuit

BSCR secured a dismissal in St. Louis County Circuit Court for an Arkansas auto finance company client facing a potential class action lawsuit comprised of a nationwide class of people who purchased automobiles financed by the company.

BSCR Obtains Dismissal of State Environmental Claim Against Automaker

BSCR, working with our client's national counsel, Sullivan & Cromwell, obtained dismissal of a case filed by the State of Missouri, which sought more than $1 billion in damages. The Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis held that the state environmental claims were preempted by the "clear language" of the federal Clean Air Act.

Accurate Case Assessment at Mediation and Positive Trial Outcome

BSCR successfully defended a bad faith insurance claim in Missouri state court. Mediated shortly before trial, we evaluated the settlement value of the claim at $225,000 and offered that amount at the mediation. Prior to mediation...

Blog Posts

Where There Has Been No Genuine Opportunity to Conduct Relevant Discovery, a Motion for Summary Judgment is Premature

10.08.20 | The Missouri Court of Appeals recently held that a trial court abused its discretion when it granted summary judgment to the defendants before the plaintiff deposed a witness whose testimony could not be secured by affidavit.

Missouri Upholds Principle That Plaintiffs Need Not Sue All Tortfeasors in a Single Action

08.18.20 | In the recent decision of State Ex rel. Woodco, Inc. v. Phillips, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld the long-standing principle that joinder of all tortfeasors in a single suit is not required under Missouri's compulsory joinder rule.

Food Labeling Litigation Under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act: When the Label's Impact on Consumer Choice Doesn't Really Matter

10.22.18 | In a potentially problematic decision for manufacturers and sellers of consumer packaged goods, a federal judge allowed a lawsuit against Atkins snack bars to proceed under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act ("MMPA").

Missouri Criminalizes the Word "Meat": Civil Liability for the Mislabeling of Meat Substitutes as Meat

09.27.18 | On August 28, 2018, with the passing of Senate Bill 627, Missouri criminalized the use of the word "meat" on labels of food products that do not come from an animal and became the first state to do so. The bill states that "[n]o person advertising, offering the sale or selling all or part of

Missouri Upholds Pollution Exclusion to Relieve Insurance Company from Duty to Defend Toxic Tort Claims Arising from Industrial Pollution

11.27.17 | In a recent decision, the Missouri Supreme Court for the first time considered the meaning and application of a pollution exclusion in a commercial general liability policy, landing unanimously on the side of the insurance company in favor of denying coverage to the insured.

Class Action Slack-Fill Litigation in Missouri: How to Keep a Case in Federal Court

10.31.17 | Candy manufacturers nationwide are increasingly finding themselves in Missouri state court, facing class action allegations that their use of over-sized packaging misleads consumers into believing the package contains more product than is actually present.

"Slack Fill" Litigation under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act: Save it for Summary Judgment

08.30.17 | In two consecutive nearly identical opinions, a Missouri federal court ruling on food merchandisers' motions to dismiss indicates that food labeling protections in Missouri strongly favor consumers, including in slack fill cases.

Ponzi Schemes and Bankers: Eighth Circuit Upholds Bank's Right To Presume A Fiduciary Is Acting Lawfully Under Missouri's Uniform Fiduciaries Law

06.21.17 | Martin Sigillito, the former St. Louis Attorney who was convicted in 2011 for his involvement in a $52 million Ponzi scheme, is 7 years into a 47-year federal sentence, but the Eight Circuit for a second time just decided that many of his investors cannot recoup their losses from a bank where Sigillito kept the accounts he used to defraud them.

Rule 55.27(a) Means What It Says: Summary Judgment Rules Apply to Motions to Dismiss That Rely on Matters Outside of the Pleadings

03.14.17 | In Schnurbusch v. West Plains Regional Animal Shelter et al., after a trial court had dismissed a case for failure to state a claim, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the case, because the trial court dismissed the case based on evidence outside of the pleadings without having before it a fully developed summary judgment-type record.

Merchants Beware: Ingredient List Is Not Necessarily a Defense and Losing the Benefit-Of-The-Bargain Counts as an Ascertainable Loss Under the MMPA

11.16.16 | In a recent decision, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Missouri Court of Appeals sided with consumers asserting deceptive labeling practice claims against merchants under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA).

Missouri Appeals Court Rules "Continuing Duty Doctrine" Applies to Deposition Testimony of a Party's Representative

06.01.16 | Rule 56.01(e) of the Missouri Rules of Civil Procedure requires parties to a litigation to supplement responses to interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admission "if the party learns that the response is in some material respect incomplete or incorrect and if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to the other parties during the discovery process or in writing.""

Lackey v. Morris et al.: How to Lose a Motion for Summary Judgment

03.01.16 | If you ever doubted the seriousness of the separately-numbered-paragraph requirement of Missouri Supreme Court Rule 74.04(c), Lackey v. Morris et al., No. SD33918 (Mo. Ct. App. filed February 16, 2016), puts to rest any doubts.
 
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