Michael L. Matula

Shareholder Kansas City

Michael Matula is a shareholder in the firm’s Kansas City office. Mike concentrates his practice in the areas of employment litigation and counseling. He has represented employers in a wide variety of employment matters including discrimination, retaliation, harassment and wrongful discharge cases, non-competition/trade secrets disputes, and EEOC administrative proceedings. Mike, who has been given an AV Martindale-Hubbell rating, also has significant experience in commercial, tort, and insurance litigation, and continues to handle select matters in those areas. Mike also represents attorneys in disciplinary proceedings, serves on the firm’s Ethics Committee, was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court as a Disciplinary Hearing Officer, and is a co-author of the ABA treatise “Professional Responsibility in Litigation.” He is a member of both the firm’s Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets Practice Group and its Records Retention And E-Discovery Practice Group.

Chambers USA stated that Mike “has a very accomplished skill set” with “a great reputation for his broad knowledge base” and is regarded as “responsible and flexible.” Mike’s trial experience of more than a dozen jury trials includes a case resulting in the fourth most significant defense verdict in Missouri in 2001, and being part of a trial team in one of the most significant defense verdicts in Missouri in 2006, both as reported by The Missouri Lawyers Weekly. He has argued before both the Eighth and Tenth Circuit Courts of Appeal, and taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

Mike has authored numerous publications including “The Law of Jury Selection in Missouri State Courts,” published in the Journal of the Missouri Bar. Mike has also been selected to speak on a variety of employment law topics, notably being asked by The Federal Judicial Center to speak on employment law issues at the National U.S. Magistrate Judges’ Workshop.


Experience

In addition to serving as lead counsel in multiple employment arbitrations resulting in defense awards, Mike has tried more than a dozen jury trials and has argued before both the Eighth and Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Mike’s litigation and trial accomplishments include serving as counsel in a case resulting in the fourth most significant defense verdict in Missouri in 2001, and being part of a trial team in one of the most significant defense verdicts in Missouri in 2006, both as characterized by The Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

Mike is a member of the firm’s Restrictive Covenants and Trade Secrets Practice Group, and routinely advises on and litigates disputes in these areas. He has experience both enforcing restrictions and defending against enforcement actions in state and federal courts in Kansas and Missouri.

Mike has represented attorneys in disciplinary proceedings in both Kansas and Missouri, was appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court as a Disciplinary Hearings Officer, and serves on the KCMBA Fee Dispute Resolution Committee.

Coupling his membership of the firm’s Records Retention And E-Discovery Practice Group, with his litigation background, Mike uses his experience to best assess record retention and e-discovery risks and the practical considerations for managing those risks. In additional to routinely being responsible for e-discovery in many single-plaintiff cases, his more notable experience with regard to e-discovery preservation and production efforts includes:

  • A class action against a national transportation company brought by employees claiming they were denied accrued vacation pay
  • A wrongful termination suit brought by an in-house attorney against one of the country’s largest insurers
  • An FLSA “off the clock” collective action against a national security/alarm company brought by installers and technicians
  • An FLSA “off the clock” collective action against a casino brought by table game floor supervisors
  • An FLSA “off the clock” collective action against a national security company brought by security guards
  • A wage-payment claim brought against a national retailer brought on behalf of sales associates across the county for unpaid commissions
  • Class action/multiple-plaintiff litigation against a school district brought by former school administrators claiming age discrimination

Professional Activities and Speeches

Professional Activities:

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Disciplinary Hearing Officer, Region IV Disciplinary Committee
  • KCMBA Fee Dispute Resolution Committee
  • Adjunct Professor - University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • Defense Research Institute (Employment Law Committee)
  • Defense Employment Law Institute

Speeches:

  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Professional Responsibility in Employment Litigation'' - Kansas City - June 2017
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - ''Ethical Dilemmas for In-House Counsel'' - Colorado Springs - October 2016
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Professional Responsibility Issues in Employment Litigation'' - Kansas City - October 2014
  • Aon Law Firm Symposium - ''Employment Practices Liability Issues for Law Firms Today'' - Chicago - October 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive Seminar - ''FRCP Amendments and Other Developments-Is Relief for E-Discovery Woes in Sight (or Are They Just Getting Bigger)?'' - Dana Point - September 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Professional Responsibilities Faced by In-House and Outside Counsel'' - Des Moines and Omaha - September 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Ethics Law Briefing'' - Kansas City - June 2014
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - ''Wearing Two Hats: Ethical and Related Issues That Arise When Acting in Business and Legal Roles'' - Charleston - November 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Recurring And Emerging Professional Responsibility Issues in Employment Litigation'' - Overland Park - June 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies Seminar - ''Emerging Professional Responsibility Issues in Employment Litigation'' - New Orleans - May 2013
  • Kansas Society of Human Resource Management (KSHRM) - ''Employment Investigations - Who is Protected From What?'' - Topeka - February 2013
  • Society of Human Resource Management - Kansas City (SHRM-KC) - ''Learning from Others' Mistakes - A Practical Primer in Preventing and Winning Employment Claims'' - Kansas City - December 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Recurring and Emerging Professional Responsibility Issues in Employment Litigation'' - Kansas City - June 2012
  • The Missouri Bar, Ethics in Litigation - ''Rule Book, Lawbook, Facebook: Ethics of Social Media'' - Kansas City - December 2011
  • Aon Large Law Firm Symposium - ''Professional Responsibility and Liability in E-Discovery (moderator)'' - Chicago - October 01, 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''Diagnosis Of A Deposition Gone Bad'' - Kansas City - February 2010
  • Ogletree Deakins Seminar - ''The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: Selective Case Law Review'' - Kansas City - February 2010

Published Works

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Our Insights

Media

Media Quotes

January 2017 - Bloomberg BNA - "Southwestern Bell Worker Can't Get Retroactive Job Accommodation"
October 11, 2010 - Law360 - "6 Tips for Success at the Settlement Table"

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