As a trial lawyer, Bill is sought out by national and global companies for his litigation strategy and direction. For more than a decade, he has been the national litigation counsel for one of the largest providers of targeted advertising, media and marketing services. He also led numerous litigation matters for a multibillion-dollar vitamin and supplements manufacturer, a global staffing company with more than 300,000 employees and the world's largest retail mall owner. His accomplishments include:
•Defeating a $20 million personal-injury claim by a worker at a manufacturing plant in Florida.
•Blocking multimillion-dollar intellectual property infringement claims in federal courts on behalf of a national manufacturer of paints and specialty coatings.
•Prevailing on behalf of manufacturing facility that was sued by Texas power company over “premium” rates applied to electric power.
Bill has prosecuted and defended commercial/business disputes (including transportation and intellectual property), employment matters, personal injury claims and construction/design issues for corporate clients in arbitrations and state and federal courts in more than 100 venues nationwide. Although Bill's objective is always problem solving, when the dispute cannot be otherwise resolved, he tenaciously defends his clients in court. In addition to trial work, he has appeared in numerous courts of appeal (state and federal) on various matters, including en banc argument and petitions to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Supreme Court.
In the employment arena, Bill has represented hospitals, retailers, staffing companies, greeting-card makers, construction companies, architectural firms, insurance companies and printing companies with favorable results. He has advised on state and federal claims of sexual harassment; age, race, gender, disability, religion and pregnancy discrimination; family leave, wage and hour claims; and restrictive covenant litigation.
Awards and Recognitions
•Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2015
•BTI Consulting Group, Client Service All Star Award, 2009, 2012-2014
• The Hon. Elmo B. Hunter, U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, 1994-1996
Business & Commercial Litigation
•Defended $20 million claim (in Florida state and federal courts) relating to serious personal injuries incurred by a worker in a manufacturing facility in Boca Raton, Fla. The four defendants avoided all liability and were awarded in excess of $1 million dollars against the injured plaintiff based upon Florida's offer of judgment statute.
•Defeated all claims of the Canadian National Railway seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars for shipping expenses based upon claims asserted under the Interstate Commerce Act.
•Defended third-party indemnity claims in a federal trademark infringement matter brought by Michael Jordan in Chicago federal court. All claims were dismissed on summary judgment, and client paid nothing to any other party.
•Achieved voluntary dismissal of multiyear litigation brought against client by an Israeli company claiming breach of requirements contract and related torts. Israeli company was seeking nearly $10 million, but after dispositive motions were filed, agreed to dismissal of all claims for zero dollars.
•Overcame eight-figure claims of Scotts Lawn Care asserted in Ohio federal court against client based upon breach of contract theories relating to national advertising campaign. Before dispositive motions were filed, Scotts voluntarily dropped all claims for zero dollars.
•Prevailed in litigation brought by TXU Energy Retail Co. LLC (Texas power company) seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars from client based upon alleged “premium” rates applied to electric power supplied to manufacturing facility. Following motion to compel production of documents that TXU did not want to produce, all claims were dismissed for zero dollars.
•Lead counsel in prosecution of arbitration claims for breach of contract, tortious interference, conversion and malicious trespass to property (prevailing on all counts) against a nationally recognized newspaper organization. Client was awarded $2.4 million, including $750,000 in punitive damages.
•Concluded multiyear litigation against Benchmark Design Group Inc., seeking contractual indemnity for children's personal injury claims occurring at major shopping mall owned by client. Court affirmed client's indemnity rights, awarded 100 percent of the damages incurred in the underlying personal injury lawsuits, including all client's defense costs and interest accrued, plus 100 percent of the attorneys' fees client incurred in seeking to enforce the indemnity. Total award was seven times the original settlement demand.
•Prosecuted client's claims in excess of $300,000 for printing services provided and defended counterclaims of $140,000 for unjust enrichment. New York Supreme Court entered judgment in favor of client in the amount of $350,000-plus, dismissed opponent's counterclaims with prejudice and granted request for sanctions against opponent and its counsel for assertion of frivolous counterclaims.
•Defended state law claims for misrepresentation, fraud and breach of contract seeking healthcare benefits allegedly promised plaintiff. After removal to federal court, the Los Angeles federal judge granted motion to dismiss the claims as barred by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). After plaintiff failed to timely amend to assert ERISA claims, the court granted the additional request to have all claims dismissed with prejudice.
•Defended national transportation company and driver against personal injury claims asserted by three different plaintiffs following semi-tractor rollover accident. Finding of no liability and complete defense verdict for clients.
•Acquired temporary restraining order (TRO) from New Jersey court, enjoining opponent (Company No. 1) from selling its stock to a third-party (Company No. 2) in violation of client's exercised right of first refusal. Successfully opposed both companies' efforts to undermine client's right to purchase the stock, and client acquired 100 percent of Company No. 1, with Company No. 2's claims being rejected in their entirety.
•Litigated breach-of-contract claim against national sporting goods retailer for improper termination of multiyear services contract in U.S. District Court, District of Colorado. Opponent agreed to return a significant portion of the work to the client, on favorable terms, in exchange for dismissal of the lawsuit.
•Prevailed with a finding of no negligence in wrongful death lawsuit against assisted-living facility following an accidental death.
•Defeated multimillion-dollar alleged intellectual property infringement claims in Missouri and Louisiana federal courts on behalf of national manufacturer of paints and specialty coatings.
•Lead counsel for consolidation and resolution of nearly 100 different claims by trucking carriers and lenders in interpleader action in Johnson County, Kan., including cases pending in U.S. District Courts in Maryland, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
•Lead trial counsel in defense of age and gender discrimination claims brought in Oklahoma federal court. Seven of plaintiff's eight claims were rejected by the court or jury, and for the only claim on which she prevailed, she was awarded less than 10 percent of her last pretrial demand.
•Lead trial counsel defending claims asserted in Oregon state court against client and newly hired saleswoman for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation, tortious interference, unfair competition and defamation. Plaintiff's unfair competition and defamation claims were dismissed on summary judgment before trial; both of plaintiff's trade secret claims were dismissed on directed verdict during trial; all three of plaintiff's tortious interference claims were rejected by the jury. The jury did find former employee had breached her nonsolicitation agreement, but awarded plaintiff only 1 percent of the $17.5 million plaintiff's counsel requested.
•Achieved summary judgments and complete dismissals in numerous employment discrimination cases throughout the United States, including California, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Georgia, Tennessee and Indiana.
Construction & Design
•Arbitrated construction dispute for nonpayment by general contractor on federal project. Respondent denied all liability and asserted a counterclaim seeking delay damages, interest and attorneys' fees. Arbitrator rejected opponent's claims entirely and awarded 100 percent of the damages sought, interest requested and all of client's attorneys' fees, costs and all related arbitration expenses (including expert costs). Circuit court rejected opponent's request to vacate award, confirmed award in its entirety and added interest. Total award to the client was more than triple the settlement demand before arbitration.
•Lead counsel in month-long arbitration and two related and contemporaneous state court matters on behalf of national construction company relating to dispute over new hotel project involving 30 subcontractors, the project owner, the landlord (municipality), construction lender and others. Project owner was ordered to pay nearly $700,000 and client's attorneys' fees.
•Lead counsel defending construction defects claim, including allegations of deceptive practices and liability for the presence of toxic mold. Following two years of litigation, plaintiffs sought multiple six-figure judgments and claimed to have expended $100,000 in attorneys' fees. Jury awarded plaintiffs nearly $3,100 in damages, and court awarded plaintiffs $1,200 in attorneys' fees.
•Prosecuted on behalf of major metropolitan school district claims involving defective construction of numerous mobile classrooms that had caused fires to randomly occur in the buildings with favorable results. Recovered amount in excess of actual damages.
•Spearheaded the collection and recovery of millions of dollars owed to national distributor of construction materials through contract, lien and bond claims in more than 20 states.
•Drafted, revised and/or negotiated numerous multimillion-dollar construction contracts for the construction of schools, churches, detention facilities and other commercial improvements.
•Concluded multiyear representation of construction management firm sued for defective construction of 21 movie theaters from California to Florida during the 1990s. Plaintiff claimed some $60 million in damages and matter was settled for less than 25 percent of what previous counsel had advised the client would be required to pay.
In The News
10.20.14 Husch Blackwell More Than Doubles Its Presence on Benchmark Litigation's 2015 List; 22 Attorneys Recognized
2.28.14 Husch Blackwell Boasts Three 2014 BTI Client Service All Stars
3.20.13 Two Husch Blackwell Attorneys Named 2013 BTI Client Service All-Stars
4.10.12 Husch Blackwell Client Vertis Dismissed Without Prejudice in Case Against Michael Jordan as Plaintiff
2.15.12 Husch Blackwell's Bill Corum Named a 2012 BTI Client Service All-Star
2.06.09 William E. Corum and Melissa Marglous Merlin named among 2009 BTI Client Service All-Stars