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John J. Gates


John handles a wide variety of legal issues ranging from disputes between business owners to personal injury lawsuits to non-compete allegations to defective construction claims to interpreting insurance policies.  It is his broad practice that enables him to see all sides of a client’s problems and help develop effective solutions.

Many lawyers call themselves “transactional” attorneys, as they prepare documents for business transactions.  Others call themselves “commercial litigators” because they handle disputes involving business transactions.  John does both.  His experience as a commercial litigator aids in the preparation of legal documents to further reduce the risk of disputes arising, and his knowledge regarding document preparation serves him well in litigating cases.


John’s caseload over the years has been filled with every type of personal injury case imaginable.  He has litigated a number of high-exposure wrongful death and personal injury claims from workplace accidents, product defects, trucking accidents, insufficient security, and highway design, but he also handles cases with less severe injuries in the areas of premises liability, automobile accidents, and property damage.  

Aside from his business and personal injury practice, John handles insurance claims, defective construction, and non-compete matters.  With regard to insurance claims, he performs coverage analysis and litigates bad faith claims, declaratory judgment actions, subrogation claims, and equitable garnishments. John’s defective construction cases involve the design, materials and construction in residential and commercial projects. Finally, John represents both employers and employees in cases involving non-competes and trade secrets.  His article, “25 Questions Before Enforcing a Non-Compete,” was recently published by US Law Magazine.


John has tried several high-exposure jury trials in Missouri and Kansas, including three of the largest defense verdicts in Missouri and Kansas in the last fifteen years.  He has also obtained dismissals in large-loss personal injury and commercial litigation cases. John routinely speaks at continuing legal education seminars on trial tactics, ethics, and civil procedure. 

During law school, John served as a judicial law intern for United States Magistrate Judge Gerald L. Rushfelt in the District of Kansas, and he was an Articles Editor on the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.  John was also a certified law intern during law school at the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in Kansas City, Missouri, where he successfully second-chaired first-degree murder and first-degree armed robbery trials.


  • AV® Preeminate Rating, Martindale-Hubbell

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Construction Litigation, Best Lawyers

  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Insurance Litigation, Best Lawyers

  • Super Lawyers® in Missouri and Kansas, Thomson Reuters

  • Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal, 2012-2014

  • Fellow of the Bar, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association


  • Missouri

  • Kansas

  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

  • U.S. District Court, Kansas

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit



  • Vanderbilt University

  • University of Kansas School of Law


Professional Organizations

  • The Missouri Bar

  • Kansas Bar Association

  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA), Construction Law Committee

  • Legal Aid of Western Missouri, Volunteer Attorney Project

  • The Missouri Bar Fee Dispute Resolution Program, Facilitator & Mediator

  • Board of Directors, Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers (MODL), 2018-2019

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