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				Coates, Jr.
				P.
				William
Civil defense trial lawyer

William Coates, Jr.

Of Counsel in Kansas City

William P. Coates, Jr. is a trial lawyer whose practice has focused on civil litigation for 50 years. He has tried over 125 cases to verdict, including suits related to commercial motor carriers and alleged products liability. Bill's trial skills have also protected several Class I railroads from potential multi-million dollar liability stemming from FELA claims and grade crossing accidents. 

When not practicing law, Bill enjoys a round or two of golf, almost as much as he appreciates spending family time with his wife Kitty, their two grown sons, and especially their twin grandchildren. 

Examples of trials handled within the last several years include:

  • Obtained a state court defense verdict in three-week long wrongful death case resulting from a railroad grade crossing accident.
  • Obtained a state court defense verdict in grade crossing accident involving a train vs. loaded cattle truck in which engineer claimed his bilateral knee replacements and shoulder replacement were caused by this accident.
  • Obtained a federal court defense verdict in case brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act by a railroad worker claiming injury due to an allegedly defective switching mechanism.
  • Obtained a federal court defense verdict in a case brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act brought by a railroad employee who claimed he sustained injury when he was struck by a co-worker while attending a training session.
  • Obtained a state court defense verdict in a case brought under the
    Federal Employers’ Liability Act by a railroad employee who claimed his spinal injuries were caused as a result of allegedly tripping over debris blocking a company hallway.
  • Obtained a state court defense verdict in a case brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act by a railroad employee who claimed that his neck injury which required spinal surgery was caused by a bump to his head as he was exiting a storage facility.
  • Obtained a state court defense verdict in a case brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act by a railroad worker who claimed his back injury resulted from being required to use allegedly defective railroad equipment.
  • Obtained summary judgment in a state court case brought under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act by a railroad worker who claimed that he was forced to attend a vendor-sponsored social function which brought back memories of a difficult event, thereby causing him to develop post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a state court case in which plaintiff claimed he suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of a car-bicycle accident.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in a state court case in which plaintiff physician claimed her knee injury, requiring surgery, resulted from an intentional blow caused by defendant in a recreational soccer game.

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • USDC, District of Kansas
  • USDC, Western District of Missouri

Education

  • University of Kansas School of Law, J.D., 1972
  • University of Kansas, B.A., 1969

Memberships & Activities

  • American Short Line Railroad Association
  • Earl O. Connor Inns of Court, Master Emeritus
  • Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel
  • Johnson County Bar Association
    • Former Chairman and Member, Ethics and Grievance Committee
  • Kansas Association of Defense Counsel
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Faculty Member
    • Regional Vice President, National Executive Committee
    • Faculty Member, Trial Academy, Dallas, Texas

Awards & Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated

Community Involvement

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • University of Kansas School of Law - Adjunct Faculty Member, Trial Advocacy

Presentations

  • You Can Quit Drooling Now, 'Cause We All Know You're Faking': Dealing With Neuropsychological Evidence, The National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Pacific Meeting, Santa Barbara, CA (2001)
  • A View from the Jury Box: One Lawyer's Perception, The National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel, Pacific Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ (2000)
  • Trying the Automobile Injury Case in Kansas, National Business Institute, Topeka, KS (1997)
  • 2nd Annual Defense Tactics Institute: How to Handle the Defense Case-In-Chief: Adjustments Made at Trial, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (1992)
  • In-House: Deposition Preparations for Witnesses
  • In-House: Taking, Defending, Using Videotapes
  • In-House: Tips and Suggestions for Taking Quality Depositions
  • In-House: Do's and Dont's of Trial Practice/Offers of Proofs
  • In-House: Jury Instructions in Kansas
  • In-House: Kicking Out Plaintiff's Experts
  • In-House: Exhibits 101
  • In-House: Objections: Why, When, How?
  • In-House: Animations 101

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