On April 9, 2012, Rick Morefield was one of two lawyers who spoke to students at the University of Kansas School of Law on the topics of judicial independence, damages caps and mandatory arbitration. Morefield is a strong proponent of an independent judiciary and contends that Kansas and Missouri should continue to use merit selection of judges as opposed to judicial elections.
The Illinois Court of Appeals has upheld dismissal of a class action against Yocum’s bank client. Plaintiff filed a putative seven-count class action lawsuit in Cook County, Illinois alleging that the bank charged improper interest using a 360-day year. At the heart of the litigation was a dispute regarding the calculation of interest rates for commercial loans. The Court concluded that use of a 360-day year for purposes of computing interest on a commercial loan did not violate the Illinois Interest Act, nor did it violate the terms of the promissory note.
The decision was very helpful to commercial lenders who were facing numerous class action lawsuits asserting claims under the Interest Act. The court’s decision represented the first time the Illinois appellate courts found that the Interest Act did not apply to commercial loans.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment for Yocum’s insurance client in an insurance coverage dispute. The Court found that the Plaintiff Banks’ loan losses did not fall within the coverage requirements of the financial institution bond at issue. The appellate court agreed with the District Court that the loan losses did not directly result from forged documents. Rather, the Court concluded that the loan losses were caused by worthless collateral.
Ms. Yocum is experienced in insurance and banking litigation issues.
Pat Bottaro, Rick Morefield and Beckie Yocum completed mediation training at the UMKC School of Law March 26-28, 2012. Each of the firm’s shareholders are now qualified to conduct mediations and to be listed on court mediator rosters under Missouri Rule 17. Each of the firm’s shareholders are available to serve as mediators in civil litigation matters.