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Noteworthy Cases

MISSOURI STATE COURT OPINIONS

1. In the Interest of M.K.R., 515 S.W.2d 467 (MO 1974) [Sterilization of mentally retarded children to prevent unwanted pregnancies as the result of rape or sexual promiscuity] I wrote the Brief on behalf of the Juvenile Officer for the 21st Judicial Circu

2. Higgins v. MFA Mut. Ins. Co., 550 S.W.2d 11 (MO. App. 1997). [Does an increase in the state’s financial responsibility law operate retroactively on existing policies of insurance?] I wrote the Brief on behalf of Appellant.

3. Skinner v. Henderson, 556 S.W.2d 730 (MO. App. 1977). [Enforceability of restrictive covenants in a subdivision] I wrote the Brief on behalf of Appellants.

4. Mitchell v. Buchheit, 559 S.W.2d 528 (Moe en banc 1977). [Changed wrongful death case law to establish that parents of a minor child could continue to expect monetary and support damages after the child reached his or her majority] I wrote the Brief and argued the case on behalf of Appellants.

5. Canada v Moore, 578 S.W.2d 597 (MO 1979). [Changed the wrongful death case law to establish that a parent of an unmarried adult child without issue may recover damages for his or her death] I wrote the Brief and argued the case on behalf of Appellants.

6. Dorin v. Union Electric Co., 581 S.W.2d 852 (MO. App. 1979). [Instructional error] I wrote the Brief and argued the case on behalf of Appellants.

7. Bituminous Casualty Corporation v. Aetna Life and Casualty Company, 599 S.W. 2d 516 (Mo. App. 1980). Declaratory Judgment action. I tried case, wrote the Brief and argued the appeal concerning the applicability of the “severability of interest clause” in insurance policies.

    8. Schultz –v- Murphy, 596 S.W. 2d 51 ( MO App. 1980). [Title to automobile sold in Missouri does not transfer until the actual Title is assigned as part of purchase]. I wrote the brief and argued the case. My name was omitted from the reported case by West.

    9. Thomas v. Barnes, 634 S.W.2d 554 (MO. App. 1982) [city ordinance creating liability for a landowner is unconstitutional and in derivation of the Missouri common-law] I wrote Brief and argued the case for Appellant.

    10. Smith v. Ted Oakland Systems Driver Training, Inc. 650 S.W.2d 1 ( Mo.App.1983) [Jury instruction which assumes a higher burden of proof does not overcome legal presumption of joint control prohibiting “res ipsa loquitur” as a defense. Student over steered and then hit accelerator instead of brake. Instructor had a second brake petal available for use in an emergency.] I wrote the Brief, and argued the appeal for Respondent. My name was omitted by West Law from the reported cases.

    11. Cordell v. American Family Mut. Insurance Co., 677 S.W.2d 415 (MO. App. 1984). [Uninsured Motorist Coverage has no primary or secondary coverage-the coverage is always pro-rata] I wrote the Brief and argued the case on behalf of Respondent.

    12. Powell v. Norman Lines, Inc., 674 S.W. 2d 191 (MO App. 1984). [Jury instructional error, inconsistent verdicts (different jurors signed different verdict forms) and use of depositions and statements at trial. I wrote the Brief and argued the case on behalf of Respondent.

    13. Apperson v. Bi-State Development Agency, 685 Southwestern Porter 2d 594 (MO. App. 1985) [physical impossibility rule-not grounds for appeal]. I wrote the Brief and argued on behalf of Appellants.

    14. Goodman v. Saint Louis Children’s Hospital, 687 S.W.2d 89 (MO 1985). [Minor’s statute of limitations requiring a minor to file his or her lawsuit by age 12 is unconstitutional as a denial of access to court]. I wrote the Brief but left firm before case was argued.

    15. State ex. re., L.Y. v. Davis, 743 S.W.2d reporter 74 (MO. App. 1986). [Statement made to wrong insurance carrier was still protected by attorney-client privilege. Fact that carrier later denied coverage was irrelevant]. I wrote the Brief and argued on behalf of Petitioner.

    16. Cannon v. Venture Stores, Inc. 743 S.W.2d 473 (MO. App. 1987) [Instructional error in use of converse instructions]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    17. Friedman v. The Caring Group, 750 S.W.2d 102 (MO. App. 1988). [Established that a party who was not in default for failure to appear was entitled to notice of the entry of a default judgment]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    18. Ingham v. R.W. Beal & Co., 74 S.W.2d 235 (MO. App. 1989). [Real party in interest vs. expiration of the statute of limitations] I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    19. Titsworth v.Powell, 776 S.W. 2d 416 (Mo. App. 1989). [Closing argument. Retaliatory comment for improper or strategically flawed argument by opposing counsel and failure to preserve instructional error]. I tried the case, wrote the Brief and argued the appeal.

    20. American Visions Center of St. Louis Centre, Inc. v. Carr Optical, Inc., 810 S.W.2d 121 (MO. App. 1991). [Improper standard applied in the use of summary judgment]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    21. Holtmeier v. Dayani, 862 S.W.2d 391 (MO. App. 1993). [Apparent authority and Statute of Frauds in a contract for employment which included stock options]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    22. Sanfillippo v. Oehler, 869 S.W.2d 159 (MO. App. 1993). [Covenant not to compete survives the death of the not competing party]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    23. Mediq PRN Life Support Services, Inc. v. Abrams., 899 S.W.2d 101 (MO. App. 1984). [Instructional error case. Reversed on the other grounds. Re-established that the only defense to a negligence per se submission is justification]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    24. State Farm Mut. Insurance Co. v. Sommers., 954 S.W.2d 18 (a MO. App. 1997). [Stacking of under insured motorist not allowed-no conflict between limits of coverage language and limitations in subsequent portions of the policy]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    25. Schneider v. Guilliams, Inc., 976 S.W.2d 522 (MO. App. 1998). [Re-established that the statute of limitations for commercial claims under the UCC is four years. Also, a judgment of dismissal for negligent destruction of evidence was overruled. Missouri courts continue to refuse to adopt a Spoliation of evidence rule.] I wrote the Brief but left the firm before the case was argued.

    FEDERAL APPELLATE CASES

    1. Haines v. Powermatic Houdaille, Inc., 661 F.2D 94 (C.A. 8 (Mo.), 1981). [Product liability case appealed on alleged evidentiary and instructional errors.]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    2. U.S. v. Hadley, 671 F.2d 1112, (C.A. 8 (Mo.) 1982). [Court-appointed criminal case raising issues of administrative double jeopardy]. I wrote the Brief and argued the case.

    3. In re: White Motor Credit, 761 F.2d 270 ( C.A. 6 (Ohio) 1985). [Product liability case. Constitutional right to a jury trial in a bankruptcy preserved]. I wrote the Briefs and argued the case.

    4. Hurley v. Motor Coach Industries, Inc., 222 F. 3d 377 (C.A. 7 (Illinois) 2000) Certiorari Denied, 121 S. Ct. 1647 (2001). [Product liability case involving the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution and federal preemption under the federal motor vehicle safety standards act]. I wrote the Briefs and argued the case.

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    Testimonials

    Tom has represented me on a couple of matters.. Two worker's compensation cases and the accidents that caused my work injuries. He handled my cases quickly and efficiently and although they were not big cases he handled them like they were important cases. If any of my friends or co-workers get injured, I always give them Tom's name.
    - O.B.

    I was in an industrial accident, stairway collapse, and Tom handled my case against the owner of the building. When the topic of settlement came up before the start of the trial the defense lawyer mentioned a small amount, Later, Tom and I were in the elevator with the defense lawyer and Tom looked at him and said, you're going down. Watching Tom try my case and object and control the evidence was great. The jury gave Tom every single penny that he asked for. Tom and I stay in touch. I call him Big Tom.
    Alan C.

    "For nearly two decades, Thomas C. DeVoto has made substantial contributions to the continuing legal education of Missouri’s attorneys by sharing his experience and knowledge at various Missouri Bar CLE programs."
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