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Jonathan Sternberg

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Appellate Attorney in Kansas City, MO

Jonathan Sternberg, Attorney, P.C.
2323 Grand Boulevard, Suite 1100
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 816-292-7020
Fax: 816-292-7050
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2021
Selected to Rising Stars: 2010 - 2013
Licensed in Missouri Since: 2007
Practice Areas: Appellate
Languages Spoken: English, French
Attorney Profile

Jonathan Sternberg is an appellate lawyer in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri, representing businesses and individuals in civil and criminal appeals and related matters before state and federal courts nationwide. He focuses his practice strictly on appellate litigation. This includes every stage of a case, not only briefing and arguing appeals and related actions, but also advising trial lawyers on procedure and strategy.

Since opening his practice right after his admission to the bar in 2007, Jonathan has been counsel of record in more than 150 reported appellate decisions in a wide array of subjects, successfully pursuing commercial, constitutional, criminal, estate, family, insurance, tax, and tort cases, among many others. The total amount in controversy of all his cases exceeds $700 million. His clients have included everything from Fortune 500® companies to indigent people. He has written more than 300 appellate briefs and presented more than 150 appellate oral arguments, including 16 before the Supreme Court of Missouri. He is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois, every U.S. Court of Appeals circuit nationwide, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jonathan has been selected for Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and previously its "Rising Stars" list collectively since 2010.  In 2016 and 2019-2021, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers named him to its "Top 100" list for both states and its "Top 50" list for the Kansas City metropolitan area, the youngest person on either list any of those years.  In addition, he has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America© for appellate practice every year since 2015 and has received Martindale-Hubbell®'s highest peer review rating, AV® Preeminent™, every year since 2012.  Jonathan also is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, was the youngest person who Missouri Lawyers Weekly selected to its "Power 30" list of Missouri's top 30 appellate lawyers in 2021, was the only solo practitioner (and youngest person) who Missouri Lawyers Weekly selected as an "Up & Coming Lawyer" in 2009, was peer-selected to the Kansas City Business Journal's "Best of the Bar" list in 2013-2016, and was a member of the Missouri Bar Leadership Academy's 2011 class.  Jonathan is active in a variety of professional and civic organizations, including having chaired the appellate-related committees of both the statewide Missouri Bar and the local Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.

About Jonathan Sternberg

First Admitted: 2007, Missouri

Professional Webpage: http://www.sternberg-law.com/about

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • "Nuts and Bolts of Missouri Appellate Practice and Procedure," numerous times for numerous Missouri audiences, most recently in June 2021
  • "Ethical Issues in Deciding Whether to Appeal," numerous times for numerous Missouri audiences, most recently in June 2021
  • "21st Century Advocacy: Live and Remote," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2021
  • "Nuts and Bolts of Kansas Appellate Practice and Procedure," Kansas Trial Lawyers Association (Wichita, Kan.), 2021
  • "Interlocutory Review in Missouri, Kansas, and Federal Courts," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2019
  • "Appellate Practice Update," University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (St. Louis, Mo.), 2018
  • "Oral and Written Advocacy for Bankruptcy Practitioners," Kansas City Bankruptcy Bar Association (Kansas City, Kan.), 2018
  • "New State and Federal Appellate Rules," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2018
  • "Appellate Practice 101," Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Independence, Mo.), 2017
  • "The Art of Persuasive Modern Brief-Writing," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2016
  • "Preparing the Best Briefs and Records for eFiling and eReading," Bench, Bar, and Boardroom Conference, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Branson, Mo.), 2016
  • "Protecting the Record on Appeal and Preserving Issues for Appeal," Bench, Bar, and Boardroom Conference, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Branson, Mo.), 2016
  • "Preparing the Best Briefs and Records for eFiling and eReading," The Missouri Bar (Jefferson City, Mo.), 2015
  • "Appellate Oral Argument Workshop," Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2014
  • "Making the Best Record on Appeal," Bench, Bar, and Boardroom Conference, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Branson, Mo.), 2014
  • "Issues and Ethics in Managing an Appellate Practice," Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2014
  • "Review in the Supreme Courts of Missouri and Kansas," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2014
  • "Jones, Jardines, and Fourth Amendment Privacy in the Information Age," Bench, Bar, and Boardroom Conference, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Branson, Mo.), 2014
  • "Constructing a Winning Appeal," The Missouri Bar (Kansas City, Mo.), 2014
  • "Electronically Filing 'Tablet-Friendly' Briefs and Records," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2013
  • "Missouri E-Filing from a Practitioner's Perspective," Annual David Prager Appellate Institute, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (Kansas City, Mo.), 2012
  • "A Proposal for Modernizing Aspects of Missouri Civil Appellate Procedure," The Missouri Bar (Jefferson City, Mo.), 2012
  • "Second Annual Oral Argument Workshop," Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association / Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District (Kansas City, Mo.), 2012
  • "The Law of State and Local Smoking Bans," National Business Institute (Overland Park, Kan.), 2012
  • "Oral Argument Workshop," Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association / Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District (Kansas City, Mo.), 2011
  • Editor, Practical Aspects of Practicing Law: A Manual for New Missouri Lawyers (The Missouri Bar: 2011) (and author of § 2, The Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan), www.mobaryls.org/documents/Leadership_Academy_Manual%20RV01202012.pdf
  • Author, Deciding Not to Decide: The Judiciary Act of 1925 and the Discretionary Court, 33(1) Journal of Supreme Court History 1 (March 2008), faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/garson/PS201/sternberg_reading.pdf

Bar/Professional Activity

  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, 2020-present
  • Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society, 2016-present: Board of Trustees (2016-2021)
  • Eighth Circuit Bar Association, 2013-present
  • Kansas Bar Association, 2013-present: Appellate Practice Section
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 2008-present: Board of Directors (2016), CLE Advisory Committee (2015-2016, 2020), Section of Civil Litigation (President, 2016; President-Elect, 2015), Appellate Practice Committee (Chair, 2011-2014; Vice-Chair, 2009-2010, 2020-2021)
  • American Bar Association, 2007-present: Council of Appellate Lawyers, Section of Litigation, Appellate Practice Committee
  • The Missouri Bar, 2007-present: Civil Practice & Procedure Commitee (Vice Chair, 2012-2016), Appellate Practice Subcommittee (Chair, 2012-2016)

Representative Clients

  • National and international corporations (BNSF, Fannie Mae, The Hartford, The Weitz Company)
  • Large regional corporations (Commerce Bank, Price Chopper)
  • Numerous small businesses
  • Numerous individuals

Educational Background

  • B.A., History, with honors, University of Kansas, 2003

Verdicts/Settlements

  • Soetaert v. Novani Flips, LLC, No. WD82933 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Tort - represented statewide association of real estate agents as a friend of the court, held state statute limiting real estate agents' liability applies in actions under state consumer protection law, 2021
  • Schutter v. Seibold, No. WD84011 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Family - reversed dismissals under UCCJEA of challenge to wage garnishment and action to enforce prior child custody judgment, 2021
  • Olofson v. Olofson, 625 S.W.3d 419 (Mo. banc) - Family - reversed dismissal due to husband's death of wife’s action to set aside divorce property division for fraud, holding husband's death did not moot or abate wife's allegation he committed fraud, and the whole divorce did not have to be set aside if wife prevailed, 2021
  • Gonzales-McLinn v. State, No. 2019-cv-109 (Dist. Ct. of Douglas Cnty., Kan.) - Criminal - on post-conviction review, lowered first-degree murder sentence to 25-to-life, rather than 50-to-life, by negotiating settlement with prosecution resulting in judgment holding trial counsel ineffective, 2021
  • Harder v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., No. 20-1417 (8th Circuit) - Tort - along with three companion cases, all of which questioned the threshold requirements for expert testimony on causation in toxic exposure FELA cases; our appeals led to favorable settlements for our clients in each after summary judgments against them, 2021
  • Holmes v. Union Pac. R.R. Co., 617 S.W.3d 853 (Mo. banc) - Tort - questioned the dismissal of a widow’s FELA case against a railroad for her husband’s wrongful death, 2021
  • In re Luebbert, 987 F.3d 771 (8th Cir.)​ - Bankruptcy - upheld finding that a debtor could not discharge a $650,000 breach-of-contract judgment against him, 2021
  • Vallejo v. BNSF Ry. Co., No. 119100 (Kan. App.) - Tort - reversed a $385,000 personal injury judgment against a railroad and obtained judgment for the railroad, 2021
  • In re Estate of Lentz, 476 P.3d 1151 (Kan.) - Estate - reversed a lower appellate court's dismissal of an heir's appeal challenging the valuation of an estate, 2020
  • Berman Deleve Kuchan & Chapman LLC v. 417 Rentals LLC, 598 S.W.3d 915 (Mo. App. S.D.) - Bankruptcy - reinstated law firm's registration of $160,000 bankruptcy attorney fee order that lower court had vacated, 2020
  • Torres v. Torres, 606 S.W.3d 168 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Family - affirmed finding in divorce that $349,000 increase in value of the husband's business was marital property, 2020
  • State ex rel. Koehler v. Midkiff, 596 S.W.3d 630 (Mo. banc) - Family - obtained writ prohibiting determining contested temporary custody of child during divorce without a hearing, 2020
  • SnugglyCat, Inc. v. Opfer Commc'ns, Inc., 953 F.3d 522 (8th Cir.) - Intellectual property - affirmed allowing dismissal of trademark infringement claims "without prejudice" despite prevailing-party attorney fee statute, 2020
  • In re Purported Lien at District at City Center, 462 P.3d 181 (Kan. App.) - Commercial - reversed judgment that had struck subcontractor's bona fide $400,000 mechanic’s lien as "fraudulent", 2020
  • State v. Rigsby, 589 S.W.3d 661 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Criminal - reversed felony DWI conviction and sentence and obtained re-sentencing as first-time misdemeanor, 2019
  • The Weitz Company v. UMB Bank, N.A., No. 18-3447 (8th Cir.) - Commercial - our appeal led to a favorable settlement for a company whose multimillion-dollar claims against a bank were dismissed, 2019
  • In re Marriage of Towle and LéGaré, 439 P.3d 327 (Kan. App.) - Family - reversed order legally separating couple after wife died, and for husband to pay her share to her son, 2019
  • Johnson v. CoreCivic, No. 18-8014 (8th Cir.) - Class actions - defeated defendants’ requests for permission to appeal class action certification in Wiretap Act case, 2019
  • State v. Fitzpatrick, No. 14BS-CR01104 (Circuit Court of Bates County, Mo.) - Criminal - obtained new trial on all charges in felony sexual offense case without having to appeal, 2018
  • Olson v. Olson, 559 S.W.3d 395 (Mo. App. S.D.) - Family - reversed long-distance custody schedule and increase in child support for out-of-state father, 2018
  • Castleberry v. Debrot, 424 P.3d 495 (Kan.) - Medical malpractice - upheld $900,000 wrongful death verdict after physician failed to diagnose impending stroke, 2018
  • G&G Mech. Contractors, Inc. v. Jeff City Indus., Inc., 549 S.W.3d 492 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Commercial - upheld $150,000 award of prejudgment interest on balance due under construction contract, 2018
  • In re A.F., 538 S.W.3d 396 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Juvenile/Family - reversed outright the termination of client’s parental rights over his three children, holding there was no evidence of any abuse, neglect, or inability to parent legally justifying a termination, 2018
  • In re Marriage of Speir, 538 S.W.3d 396 (Mo. App. S.D.) - Family - vacated all proceedings in divorce modification and obtained new proceedings before different judge, holding client had right to change of judge that erroneously had been denied, 2018
  • City of Raymore v. O'Malley, 527 S.W.3d 857 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Criminal - representing city, reversed dismissal of city's prosecution of defendant and upheld city's disorderly conduct ordinance as constitutional, 2017
  • State ex rel. Yoest v. McEvoy, 529 S.W.3d 383 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Constitutional - obtained writ commanding county collector to allow clients to bid at tax sales, 2017
  • Combs v. Cordish Cos., 862 F.3d 671 (8th Cir.) - Civil rights - reversed summary judgment dismissing race-discrimination claim against entertainment district, 2017
  • Consolver v. Hotze, No. 110483 (Kan.) - Tort - reinstated $100,000 attorney fee award that lower appellate court had overturned, 2017
  • Doe v. Hughes, No. WD79064 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Tort - upheld $9 million judgment for disabled woman who repeatedly was raped by her caregiver's husband, 2016
  • Gray v. United States, 833 F.3d 919 (8th Cir.) - Criminal - obtained resentencing for client convicted and sentenced for possessing twice drug quantity he actually did, 2016
  • State ex inf. White ex rel. Clements v. Cacioppo, No. 16CY-CV01441 (Cir. Ct. of Clay County, Mo.) - Municipal - defeated prosecutor’s and mayor’s attempt to obtain writ of quo warranto ousting city councilman, 2016
  • Bereal v. Bajaj, 371 P.3d 349 (Kan. App.) - Medical malpractice - obtained new trial for client paralyzed by air injected into his heart during routine procedure, 2016
  • Greer v. Sysco Food Sys., 475 S.W.3d 655 (Mo. banc) - Worker's compensation - overruled 20 years of case law to uphold $100,000 award for severely injured claimant, 2015
  • In re Alternate Fuels, Inc., 789 F.3d 1139 (10th Cir.) - Bankruptcy - reversed denial of secured creditor's $3.8 million claim, 2015
  • Whelan Sec. Co. v. Kennebrew, 477 S.W.3d 148 (Mo. App. E.D.) - Employment - reversed $235,000 summary judgment against former employee accused of violating non-compete agreement, 2015
  • State v. Capone, 344 P.3d 970 (Kan. App.) - Criminal - vacated felony DWI conviction and sentence, 2015
  • Perren v. Perren, 475 S.W.3d 741 (Mo. App. S.D.) - Family - upheld restraining order protecting client from brother who had attacked and severely injured him, 2015
  • In re Adoption of C.T.P., 452 S.W.3d 705 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Family - prevented wife's former paramour from claiming child custody in husband's stepparent adoption, 2014
  • March v. Midwest St. Louis LLC, 417 S.W.3d 248 (Mo. banc) - Tort - upheld trial court's grant of new trial for personal injury plaintiff due to perjury that lower court had overturned, 2014
  • D.S.K. ex rel. J.J.K. v. D.L.T., 428 S.W.3d 655 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Family - Clarified custody rights of husband who raised children born of wife's extramarital affair, 2013
  • Bateman v. Platte Cnty., 363 S.W.3d 39 (Mo. banc) - Land use - Restored judgment declaring road to be private easement, which lower court had overturned, 2012
  • Rinehart v. Bateman, 363 S.W.3d 357 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Tax - Restored 149,000% reduction in agricultural landowner’s property tax that lower court had overturned, 2012
  • Whelan Sec. Co. v. Kennebrew, 379 S.W.3d 835 (Mo. banc) - Employment - Defended trial court’s ruling that non-compete covenants against client were invalidly overbroad, 2012
  • State v. Fleming, 286 P.3d 239 (Kan. App.) - Criminal - Overturned client's felony theft conviction as unconstitutionally multiplicitous (double jeopardy), 2012
  • D.R. Sherry Constr., Ltd. v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 316 S.W.3d 899 (Mo. banc) - Insurance - Restored policyholder’s $475,000 verdict against its insurer that a lower appellate court had overturned, 2010
  • Mid-Mo. Waste Sys. v. LaFarge N. Am., Case No. 09-3485 (8th Cir.) - Commercial - Our brief for plaintiff who had lost at trial led to major multinational corporation settling on appeal, 2010
  • Phan v. State, Case No. 0816-CV36955 (Mo. 16th Cir.) - Criminal - Vacated decade-old felony conviction and 13-year prison sentence; prosecution did not appeal, 2009
  • Kinnaman-Carson v. Westport Ins. Corp., 283 S.W.3d 761 (Mo. banc) - Insurance - Required insurance company to pay injured couple their $1,700,000 judgment against its policholder, 2009
  • City of Kan. City v. Carlson, 292 S.W.3d 368 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Municipal - Questioned whether city could prohibit bars from allowing smoking indoors when state law permitted bars to do so, 2009
  • In re Estate of Bell, 316 S.W.3d 899 (Mo. App. W.D.) - Estate - Overturned $325,000 settlement forced on beneficiary of estate worth more than twice that amount, 2009
  • Doe v. Merritt, 261 S.W.3d 672 (Mo. App. S.D.) - Constitutional - Required state to delete person from its "sex offender" registry who it had added retroactively, 2008

Honors/Awards

  • "Power 30: Appellate Attorneys" (listed among "the 30 most powerful appellate attorneys in Missouri"), Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2021
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, 2020-present
  • The Best Lawyers in America©, Appellate Practice, 2015-2021, Criminal Defense, 2016-2017
  • "Best of the Bar," Kansas City Business Journal, 2013-2016
  • Peer review rated "AV® Preeminent™" by Martindale-Hubbell®, 2012-present
  • Missouri Bar Leadership Academy, class of 2011
  • "Up & Coming Lawyer", Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2009
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Office Location for Jonathan Sternberg

2323 Grand Boulevard
Suite 1100
Kansas City, MO 64108

Last Updated: 11/16/2021

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