Norman E. Siegel

Kansas City - Partner | 816-714-7112 (Direct) | siegel@stuevesiegel.com

Norman E. Siegel is a founding member of the firm. Over the last 20 years, Norm has gained a reputation as a stand-out trial lawyer both locally and nationally. He has successfully tried to verdict a wide range of cases including obtaining several multi-million dollar jury verdicts. Norm has also been recognized for obtaining some of the largest settlements in the country, successfully securing hundreds of millions of dollars for his clients over the course of his career.

Norm was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He received a degree in political science from Tufts University, and his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. At Washington University he served as Articles Editor of the Washington University Journal of Urban Contemporary Law. Norm has been named to Best Lawyers in America, has been elected a Missouri Super Lawyer, and has been named “Best of the Bar” and "Kansas City Newsmaker" by the Kansas City Business Journal. Norm was also named to Lawdragon Magazine’s 500 Leading Plaintiffs’ Lawyers in America, and named a “Local Litigation Star” by Benchmark Plaintiffs. Norm is rated AV – the highest designation a lawyer can achieve from publisher Martindale-Hubbell. Prior to starting Stueve Siegel Hanson in 2001, Norm served as an Assistant Attorney General and as a partner at what is now Dentons.

Norm serves on the Boards of the Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City Bar Foundation and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

  • EXPERIENCE
  • HONORS & AWARDS
  • EDUCATION
  • BAR ADMISSIONS
  • COMMUNITY

RECENT LITIGATION HIGHLIGHTS

In Re: Target Consumer Data Security Breach Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm was recently named to a team of four lawyers to represent consumers in this Multi District Litigation against Target Corporation following the announcement that hackers had apparently stolen 40 million customers' credit and debit card information and compromised 70 million customers' names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. The case is consolidated in the District of Minnesota.  

Payday Loan Bank Processor Litigation (Business Litigation) Norm is leading a dozen suits around the country alleging several banks known as Originating Depository Financial Institutions (ODFIs) processed illegal payday loans on behalf of payday lenders operating in states that have banned or restricted payday loans. The cases allege that the ODFIs have facilitated illegal payday lending and include claimed violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and seek damages associated with the illegal loans. 

In Re Peregrine Financial Group Customer Litigation (Business Litigation) Norm is on the leadership team pursuing U.S. Bank and JP Morgan for their alleged role in the $200 million fraud perpetrated against customers of Peregrine Financial Group. Plaintiffs in the case allege that the banks were aware – or should have been aware – of the fraud undertaken by Russell Wasendorf Sr., Peregrine’s founder, chief executive officer and owner. The scheme collapsed in July 2012, following Mr. Wasendorf’s suicide attempt and suicide note describing the fraud. Thousands of Peregrine customers learned they were victims of the fraud, and that over $200 million had been misappropriated.

Mortgage Backed Securities Litigation (Securities Litigation) Norm is currently representing several banking institutions in cases claiming the banks were sold mortgage backed securities under false pretenses.  In particular, the cases claim the securities were sold as safe investments but were in fact far riskier than represented.  Several of the cases claim the sellers did not adhere to the underwriting standards outlined in the offering documents, making the securities much less stable than the buyers were led to believe.  Other cases claim the banks were sold "off-label" mortgage backed securities that were sold as safe alternatives to government backed MBS.

Mobile Captions Co. v. Hamilton Relay et al. (Business Litigation) Norm represents Mobile Captions Company, a start-up technology company that had developed an innovative system to provide written "captions" on cell phones to aid hard of hearing customers.  The suit alleges that Defendants Hamilton Relay and CapTel conspired to put Mobile Captions Company out of business to squash competition and build their own business around the technology. Following a two week arbitration, Hamilton was found to have breached its agreement with Mobile Captions and Mobile Captions was awarded damages. The case continues against CapTel. 

H&R Block Compliance Fee Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm is leading a class action lawsuit against H&R Block claiming the tax preparation giant unfairly charges customers a bogus "compliance fee." The suit alleges that beginning with the 2010 tax year, H&R Block began charging a "compliance fee" to its tax preparation clients ranging from $2 to $4 for each return.  H&R Block represents that the "Tax Preparer Compliance Fee consists of costs incurred by H&R Block to comply with new U.S. tax preparation registration requirements." However, the IRS does not mandate a compliance fee and does not charge any compliance fee for filing individual tax returns.

In re: Simply Orange Orange Juice Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm has been designated lead counsel in this consumer case alleging that the Coca-Cola Company misrepresents its Simply Orange product.  The lawsuit alleges that the Defendant has been falsely claiming that its Simply Orange orange juice is "100% Pure Squeezed Orange Juice" and "a pure, natural orange juice with a taste that's the next best thing to fresh-squeezed." In truth, the Complaint alleges, Coca-Cola's Simply Orange is heavily processed and flavored - it is not 100% pure or natural.

Crossroads Wireless Litigation (Business Litigation) Norm successfully litigated this securities case against investment bankers and brokers for statutory and common law fraud. Norm represented more than a dozen independent telephone companies and not-for-profit co-ops in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Kentucky seeking to recover nearly $40 million they invested in the now-defunct Crossroads Wireless project. Defendants in the case included investment banks Brown Brothers Harriman and George K. Baum. A confidential settlement was reached in 2010.

In re: Underfilled Propane Litigation (Consumer Litigation) Norm was lead counsel in this multi-district litigation related to underfilled propane tanks in the Western District of Missouri. Plaintiffs generally alleged that Defendants AmeriGas and Ferrellgas conspired to reduce the propane sold in replacement barbeque-type propane cylinders but continued to sell the cylinders as "full." More than 15 cases were filed around the country and eventually consolidated by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. In 2010, the Court approved a class action settlement between Plaintiffs and AmeriGas for $10 million. In October 2011, the Court approved a class action settlement of $25 million between Plaintiffs and Blue Rhino.

In re: Auction Rate Securities Marketing Litigation (Securities Litigation) Norm has been named lead counsel in several of the cases brought against sellers of so called auction rate securities or ARS. The cases generally allege that the broker-dealers involved in the sale of ARS materially misrepresented the liquidity and risks of the securities to individual investors and corporations by labeling these securities as cash equivalents in press releases, monthly account statements, individual communications with investors, and other investment guidance material. The claims, brought under the securities laws on the United States, allege that the promised liquidity of the auction rate securities was created through artificial intervention in the auctions by the broker-dealers. The litigation was initiated when the market for auction rate securities collapsed when all of the major broker-dealers announced that they will no longer purchase auction rate securities for their own accounts to ensure that the securities would remain liquid.

Hopkins v. Premcor, et al. (Environmental Litigation) Norm represented landowners and residents of Hartford, Illinois who are living on top of a four million gallon underground gasoline plume. Residents of Hartford, which is located between the refineries to the East and the Missouri River to the West, have experienced severe gas fumes in their homes, fires in water wells, and a substantial impairment to their living environment. After several years of litigation, the plaintiffs reached a $39.5 million settlement agreement with refiners Premcor, BP, Shell, Apex and Sinclair.

Monsanto Pension Fund Litigation (ERISA Litigation) Norm is lead counsel in a certified class action pending against Monsanto and two of its sister companies, Solutia and Pharmacia, alleging that the companies violated the pension laws by terminating a certain interest credit at age 55, rather than at normal retirement age of 65. 

Heartland v. HCA Midwest Division, et al. (Antitrust Litigation) Norm recently completed the successful prosecution of a groundbreaking antitrust case on behalf of Heartland Surgical Specialty Hospital, a physician owned specialty acute care hospital. Heartland claimed that the dominant hospital systems in the Kansas City area conspired among themselves and with the dominant managed care organizations in the region to prevent Heartland from obtaining in-network provider contracts. Heartland also alleged the defendants tortiously interfered with Heartland's ability to obtain provider contracts. Following three years of intense litigation including nearly 100 depositions and the exchange of over 3 million pages of documents, Heartland settled with all defendants. Norm scored a key admission regarding the conspiracy in the depositions, when a defense witness testified there was an unwritten, but understood agreement to keep Heartland out of the market.

In re: H&R Block Express IRA Litigation (Consumer Litigation). Norm was appointed by the Court to serve as lead counsel against H&R Block in this class action alleging that the tax firm misled consumers in the marketing and sale of the "Express IRA" product. Plaintiffs alleged that consumers who opened Express IRAs lost money because H&R Block's fees for the accounts exceeded the interest earned by the accounts. The lawsuit further alleged that H&R Block failed to adequately explain the Express IRA's financial consequences and limitations and that H&R Block knew that the Express IRA was an unsuitable investment for most of its clients. In 2010, the firm achieved a settlement for $24.4 million.

Parkinson v. Hyundai Motor America, Inc. (Consumer Litigation) Norm was appointed lead counsel in this consumer class action against Hyundai Motor America alleging that Hyundai marketed and sold vehicles with defective flywheel systems. The case was settled in June 2010 in favor of the plaintiffs. Eligible class members received cash reimbursements for money spent on certain flywheel/clutch parts repairs to their 2003 Hyundai Tiburons.

Kelly, et al. v. State Farm. (Business Litigation) In August 2005, Norm (along with partner George Hanson) won a $26.5 million jury verdict for five State Farm agents who had accused State Farm of violating their agents' agreements. The verdict came after a three-week trial in Independence Missouri. The agents argued that they were improperly terminated after publicly criticizing management's policies as to policyholders. The agents, who collectively had over 115 years service with State Farm, spoke out following a series of substantial verdicts and settlements against State Farm that revealed improper claims handling, fraudulent use of medical utilization reviews, specification of non-OEM replacement parts, and other practices considered harmful to policyholders. Norm delivered the closing argument at trial, and the jury returned a verdict in the amount sought by the agents.

In re: Hyundai Horsepower Litigation (Consumer Class Action Litigation) Norm was co-lead counsel in the Hyundai Horsepower Litigation, which netted class relief totaling between $75-$125 million. The case was aggressively litigated over nearly two years and was fought on numerous fronts. The nationwide litigation began in September 2002 when Hyundai announced it had overstated horsepower ratings in more than 1 million vehicles sold in the United States over a 10 year period. SSH was one of several firms around the country that filed class actions against Hyundai, but in early 2003, Hyundai announced it had settled the case on a nationwide basis with two lawyers in Beaumont, Texas. SSH was part of a leadership group of intervenors in Beaumont who were provided 90 days to conduct discovery and challenge the settlement. Norm took the lead in discovery; processing more than 80,000 pages of Hyundai documents and taking the depositions of top Hyundai management, including the CEO of Hyundai Motor America, and a corporate representative of HMA's parent in Seoul, South Korea. This discovery led to lengthy briefing and ultimately a ruling by the Beaumont Court that the proposed settlement was unfair to class members. Following that ruling, Hyundai entered talks with Norm's group, resulting in the settlement valued at $75-$125 million.

Weld Racing Inc. v. Gragg's Paint Co. (Business Litigation) In 2003, Norm continued his successful streak in jury trials, winning a $1.5 million jury verdict on behalf of SSH client Weld Racing against Gragg's Paint Company. Weld Racing is a high-end manufacturer of forged chrome wheels, run by a former Indy 500 racer Greg Weld. Weld historically forged all its wheels and outsourced its chrome plating, but in 1999 began to construct an in-house plating facility. Gragg's Paint Co., the defendant, recommended a lining for the metal tanks in the chrome plating line. The lining failed, resulting in significant delays in the chrome line and substantial expenses related to scrapped wheels. Weld made breach of warranty and negligent misrepresentation claims against Gragg's and the case proceeded to trial. After a week long trial, the jury awarded exactly what Weld claimed in damages - $1,589,426.13.

Robert Half of Kansas City v. Robert Half International. (Franchise Litigation) This arbitration pitted a long-time franchisee against its franchisor, Robert Half International - a $4 billion company that bills itself as the worldwide leader in specialized employment placement. RHI began buying back franchisees in the mid 1980s and by the late 1990s, only a few of the original 100+ franchisees remained. Our client, who had been a RHI franchisee since 1971 and was the last holdout - came to SSH seeking to enforce his rights under the RHI franchise agreement. A contentious arbitration ensued, resulting in a confidential settlement. Along the way, Norm took the lead in prosecuting the case, including deposing RHI's second in command.

United States of America v. Supreme Insulation. (White Collar Criminal Defense) In late 2001, Norm obtained an acquittal in a federal price-fixing case after a seven week federal jury trial in Houston, Texas. The case followed several convictions of individuals in the same industry, and one witness who pled guilty and testified against Norm's client. Norm was responsible for several key direct and cross examinations in the case, including the cross examination of an ex-employee, and the direct examination of the defendant's expert witness. The Government had sought jail sentences of 4 years or more.

Multi-Media International, LLC v. PROMAG Retail Services, LLC (RICO). Norm defended a RICO and business tort action brought in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Of particular significance, Norm briefed a motion to dismiss the Complaint in which the Court was persuaded to overrule its own prior decision on an important issue of statutory interpretation concerning RICO's national service of process provision, 18 U.S.C. 1965(b). Norm also successfully persuaded the Court to dismiss the corporate defendant for failure state a RICO claim under 18 U.S.C. 1962(c) because of plaintiff's failure to allege a RICO enterprise distinct from the defendant persons. The Court's decision is reported at 343 F. Supp. 2d 1024 (D. Kan. 2004). Shortly after these decisions, the case was dismissed by stipulation of the parties.

Sheldon v. Vermonty, 269 F.3d 1202 (Appellate/Arbitration Defense) Norm won a victory in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, making new law on the power of arbitrators to dismiss claims with prejudice based solely on the pleadings. The case was on appeal from the District Court of Kansas, where the trial judge endorsed SSH's technique of obtaining results through a motion to dismiss before the arbitration panel. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit indicated that the issue was a "matter of first impression at the Circuit level." The Court ruled in favor of SSH and its clients, holding that an "arbitration panel has full authority to grant a pre-hearing motion to dismiss with prejudice based solely on the parties' pleadings so long as the dismissal does not deny a party fundamental fairness." Norm's work in the case won national praise, was a featured case in many journals covering securities arbitration, and has been cited in over 40 cases decided since.

Formula1.com v. FIA (Antitrust/Domain Name Litigation) Norm played a significant role in the Firm's representation of Formula1.com, handling the expert depositions and pre-trial expert evidentiary issues. The Formula1.com case raised timely and complex issues of trademark and antitrust law which were litigated to a settlement in January 2002. This marks a continuation of Norm's work in Trademark litigation, which is discussed in more detail below.

Shlomovitch v. Aquila (Corporate Governance Litigation) Norm represented Aquila Inc. in defense of numerous class action lawsuits stemming from Utilicorp's tender offer for Aquila stock. The class plaintiffs generally alleged that Aquila 's board failed to take appropriate steps in response to the tender offer, and sought to block the tender offer and subsequent short-form merger of the companies. In early 2002, a Delaware Chancery Judge denied plaintiffs' claims for immediate injunctive relief, paving the way for the successful tender offer and merger of the two companies.

OTHER SIGNIFICANT CASES (LISTED BY AREA OF PRACTICE)

Trademark and Intellectual Property

Since starting in private practice, Norm has successfully litigated several cases involving trademark rights, claims of product disparagement and domain disputes.

In Joannou v. Lincoln Hockey LLC, et al., Norm represented  a Washington D.C. area artist in a lawsuit against the owners of the Washington Capitals, a National Hockey League team, for copyright infringement. The lawsuit alleged that defendants copied and misappropriated the plaintiff's copyrighted logo designs throughout all forms of media and merchandising. This matter has been settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties.

In IGA v. Home Town Grocers Norm represented Home Town Grocers against allegations that Home Town Grocers had violated IGA's "Home Town Proud" trademark. After winning at the preliminary injunction stage, Norm was able to procure a successful settlement, allowing Home Town Grocers to maintain its name.

Norm acted as plaintiff's counsel in Hoechst v. Schering Plough, a Lahnam Act case in which Hoechst alleged that Schering Plough disparaged Hoechst's Allegra brand of non-sedating antihistamine in an effort to promote its own brand, Claritin. Norm handled several witnesses at the preliminary injunction hearing and helped force Schering Plough to change the way it promoted its drugs as part of a favorable settlement.

In Primedia Intertec Corp. v. TMC, 35 F. Supp. 2d 809 (D. Kan. 1998), Norm successfully defended Technology Marketing Corporation in a dispute with Primedia. Primedia had alleged that TMC infringed on its "Telephony" trademark by producing a publication entitled "Internet Telephony." Norm handled all aspects of trial preparation and obtained a favorable settlement when he was successful in excluding Primedia's experts on Daubert grounds.

In Chemidex v. Chemdex, Norm acted as lead counsel for Chemidex, a small Internet start-up at the time, in its trademark infringement suit against Chemdex, a leading business-to-business Internet site serving the life sciences industry. Norm handled all witnesses and argument at the preliminary injunction hearing, and his performance there forced a favorable settlement. Chemdex has since changed its name to Ventro.

Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act

Norm has the rare distinction of prosecuting and defending two of the largest cases brought in Missouri under the federal racketeering law known as RICO. While at the State of Missouri, Norm was part of a team assigned to unravel the Second Injury Fund scandal that resulted in convictions of lawyers, doctors and an administrative law judge in the Eastern District of Missouri. The subsequent civil case, Missouri v. Roussin, resulted in nearly $1 million in settlements with the criminal defendants - money that was returned to the citizens of Missouri. Norm also defended the largest criminal indictment ever brought in the Western District of Missouri, a RICO case brought against a former officer of the J.C. Nichols Company.

Insurance

While at Blackwell Sanders, Norm cut his teeth in the insurance industry by representing dozens of insureds in cases ranging from personal injury and medical malpractice, to trade disparagement and civil rights. When he joined Sonnenschein, he acted as lead counsel on several cases where the insurance company itself was a defendant. These cases typically involved allegations of bad faith and unfair claims practices. Several recent cases illustrate Norm's depth and successes in this area.

In Bishop v. Empire Fire & Marine, 47 F. Supp. 2d 1300 (D. Kan. 1999), Norm made new law in the State of Kansas regarding the standard for waiving underinsured motorist coverage. The insured had alleged that the coverage had not been waived, but Norm convinced the court otherwise, and was successful on summary judgment.

In Tran v. Allstate, Norm successfully defended Allstate Insurance Company against claims that company had improperly accused its insureds of violating the Kansas fraudulent insurance act. In the underlying case (where Norm was not involved), the Trans had alleged that Allstate failed to pay on their homeowner's claim following a purported robbery. Allstate counterclaimed, alleging that the Trans had falsified claim information. The Trans were successful on their claim and Allstate lost its counterclaim. Norm was retained to represent Allstate on the Trans' subsequent suit for malicious prosecution, and was able to successfully argue that Allstate should be entitled to summary judgment.

PHILANTHROPIC, BAR AND COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

  • Chairman of the Board, Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City
  • In 2005, Attorney General (now Governor) Jay Nixon appointed Norm to serve on the Community Advisory Committee of the $450 million Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City. Norm served as Chair of the CAC before being elected to the Board of Directors of the Foundation in 2008. While serving on the Board, Norm served as Vice-Chairman, and in 2009 was elected to serve as Chairman of the Board.
  • Board Member, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation
  • Cy Pres Committee, Legal Aid of Western Missouri
  • Rule 45 Subcommittee, Federal Rules Committee

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

After graduation from law school, Norm began his legal career at the Missouri Attorney General's Office where he represented State officials and agencies in state and federal tribunals. Within two years of joining the office, Norm had argued before the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Missouri Supreme Court and the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and successfully tried three federal jury trials - all resulting in defense verdicts. He also actively participated in Missouri v. Jenkins, the Kansas City desegregation case, and wrote large portions of the United States Supreme Court brief that were later adopted by the Supreme Court in its opinion. For his efforts in Jenkins, Norm was awarded the Best Brief Award by the National Association of Attorneys General.

As an Assistant Attorney General, Norm also served as a special prosecutor for the State, investigating and prosecuting cases involving gambling and election fraud. He also was instrumental in the investigation and civil prosecution of those accused of bilking the State's Second Injury Fund, which resulted in settlements totaling nearly $1 million. Since leaving the office, he has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General.

In 1995, Norm began private practice at Blackwell Sanders where he continued to develop his litigation practice, successfully representing a broad spectrum of clients including the Kansas City Royals, Haas Baking Company, KFC International, and the United States Postal Service.

In 1997, Norm joined the Kansas City office of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, a national law firm with over 600 lawyers. There, he continued his commercial litigation practice representing individuals, small companies and several Fortune 100 companies in matters ranging from antitrust and environmental disputes to insurance coverage and securities litigation. He also expanded his practice in the areas of technology and intellectual property, having represented several companies in trademark, copyright and other intellectual property disputes. Norm has also developed a white-collar criminal defense practice, representing clients under indictment for price fixing and racketeering.

Just two years after joining Sonnenschein, Norm was elected partner, and at the time he left Sonnenschein to form Stueve Siegel, he was the youngest to hold that distinction.

 

 

Missouri

U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri

U.S. District Court District of Kansas

U.S Court of Appeals 7th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

United States Supreme Court

Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri
J.D.
Law Journal: Washington University Journal of Urban Contemporary Law, Articles Editor

Tufts University
Major:  Political Science

Best Lawyers® in America - Commercial Litigation (2014, 2015)

Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, 2006 - 2013

Named "Best of the Bar" by the Kansas City Business Journal

Named to Lawdragon Magazine's 500 Leading Plaintiffs' Lawyers in America

Local Litigation Star for the State of Missouri - Benchmark Plaintiffs (2011, 2012, 2013)

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City – Board of Directors (2008-present)

2008                    Elected to the Board of Directors

2009                    Elected Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors

2010-2011           Elected Chairman of the Board of Directors

2012-present      Elected Chairman of the By-laws Committee

 

Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City – Community Advisory Committee (2003-2007)

2003               Appointed by Attorney General Jay Nixon to the Community Advisory Committee

2004               Elected Vice-Chair of the Community Advisory Committee

2005               Reappointed by Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes to the Community Advisory Committee

2005-2007      Elected Chair of the Community Advisory Committee

 

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation – Board of Directors (2008-present)

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum - Board of Directors (Present)

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