An Insider’s Guide to Workers’ Comp – Kevin Dunaway

Attorney Kevin Hays Dunaway was featured in an article published by Biz 417.

Winter weather can create a higher risk of employee injuries, which potentially means a greater workers’ compensation cost for businesses. Attorney Kevin Dunaway specializes in workers’ compensation and shares some of the unknowns of injury claims and measures businesses can take to protect themselves.


Read Full Article Here : An Insider’s Guide to Workers’ Comp

Kevin Hays Dunaway


Estate Planning for Digital Assets – Ryan D. Frazier

December 2, 2016

More and more of the way we live our daily life is conducted online. Where we once documented our lives through photo books, scrapbooks, letters, etc., now we have transferred the means of such documentation to the digital world. Where we once kept track of our financials through bank statements and checkbooks, now we simply check an app on our phone. We have transferred these assets to the digital world. Our digital assets include email accounts, social network accounts, photograph and video sharing accounts, online sales accounts, websites, blogs and other online accounts and they need to be protected and preserved just as our tangible assets do.

There is an abundance of Federal and State law that is in effect to protect people’s physical assets after they pass away. We as a people want to make sure that our houses, cars, jewelry, and other assets are left to the right people after we are gone. Generally, clients are eager to create a will and/or trust to protect their physical assets, but fail to consider their digital assets in their estate planning. As we have grown towards a more digitized world, the need for digital asset estate planning is imperative. The Law Firm of Neale and Newman has kept pace with the evolving needs of our society and are always thinking ahead for ways to further assist our clients.

So what happens to our digital assets when we pass away? This change in our lifestyle has prompted lawmakers to enact laws that account for our digital assets. The Uniform Law Commission has drafted the “Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act” in an attempt to bring uniformity to the issue. However, some states, including Missouri, have not enacted this statute. This could leave certain individuals with digital assets vulnerable to losing some of their most cherished assets, whether they are sentimental or financial in value. It could also leave certain individuals and estates vulnerable to identity theft after they have passed away.

There are a few federal laws such as the Stored Communications Act (SCA), the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) that attempt to protect individuals from the unauthorized use of protected computers and other electronic communications. However, they can also have the effect of denying certain family members or fiduciaries the right to access their loved one’s digital assets. There are also restrictions found in some digital accounts Terms of Service Agreements that attempt to prohibit any account holder from disclosing information to third parties and prohibit third parties from accessing the accounts. Therefore, it is possible that a fiduciary may violate the Terms of Service agreements to some accounts if he or she attempts to access the account. Simply giving your account information and passwords to a loved one is not a viable option to ensure that your digital assets are protected. In fact, it is possible that you could be in violation of federal law if not done properly.

Missouri has not enacted legislation to fix this problem. Until such legislation is enacted, fiduciaries and family members must proceed cautiously, through federal laws, state estate planning laws, and Terms of Service agreements to protect their client or family members’ digital assets. The fact that there are no clear Missouri laws on the issue makes it even more important for you to contact an attorney to ensure these matters are handled appropriately.

Gather your Data

So how do we plan for the handling of digital assets? It is imperative that you take an inventory of all of your digital assets. Once you have that list, we can begin to assist you in ensuring that those assets are protected.

The Law Office of Neale & Newman has over one hundred years of experience in helping clients protect their assets through detailed estate plans. Our firm has witnessed cultural changes over the last century and has adapted appropriately to protect our clients. There are certain things that individuals might need to do to protect and preserve their digital assets post mortem. This is a relatively new area of the law that is developing day by day. However, the experienced estate planning attorneys at Neale & Newman can help each individual by looking at their digital assets, as well as any other assets they have, and helping them determine the best way to protect and preserve them, whether financial or sentimental in nature.

Please contact us to further discuss your estate plan and how we can ensure that all of your assets are protected. Our phone number is 417-882-9090.

Ryan D. Frazier : Associate with Neale & Newman LLP

Ryan D. Frazier : Associate

2016/2017 Super Lawyers & Best Lawyers

2016/2017 Super Lawyers & Best Lawyers

2016/2017 Super Lawyers & Best Lawyers

J-Richard-Owensby | Springfield Missouri Attorneyh

J. Richard Owensby
• 2016 Kansas & Missouri Super Lawyers
– Estate Planning & Probate
• 2017 The Best Lawyers “Lawyer of the Year” for Springfield, MO
– Estate Planning & Probate

Springfield Attorney Richard L. Schnake

Richard L. Schnake
• 2016 Kansas & Missouri Super Lawyers
– Appellate
• 2017 The Best Lawyers in America
– Appellate


Kevin Hays Dunaway
• 2016 Kansas & Missouri Super Lawyers
– Workers’ Compensation

Brian K. Asberry Attorney Springfield MissouriBrian K. Asberry
• 2016 Kansas & Missouri Super Lawyers
– Business Litigation

Pat_PlatterPatrick J. Platter
• 2016 Kansas & Missouri Super Lawyers
– Workers’ Compensation

Ryan D. Frazier – Associate

Ryan D. Frazier : Associate with Neale & Newman LLP

Ryan D. Frazier : Associate

The Law Firm of Neale & Newman, LLP, is pleased to announce that Ryan D. Frazier has become associated with the firm.  Frazier is a Springfield native, who graduated Cum Laude from The University of Missouri with a bachelor of science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and a Minor in Economics.  Frazier attended law school at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Law.  During law school, Frazier was widely recognized for his skill and passion for advocacy, competing on the Mock Trial Team and traveling to competitions across the country.
     Frazier hopes to develop his practice in the areas of civil and commercial litigation as well as Business law.

Best of CLE Spotlight — recognizing outstanding leadership and dedication to MoBarCLE

Republished with permission from the The Missouri Bar.

For over a decade, Brian K. Asberry has made substantial contributions to the continuing legal

Brian K. Asberry Springfield Missouri Attorney

Brian K. Asberry
The Law Firm of Neale & Newman, LLP

education of Missouri’s attorneys as a recurrent speaker at the MoBarCLE seminar, Stepping Up and Stepping Out: The New Lawyer Experience.  He has also presented at The Missouri Bar Real Estate Institute and Bankruptcy Institute.  Asberry is the author of “Fraudulent Transfers, Receivers and Lis Pendens,” in The Missouri Bar Creditors’ Remedies Deskbook.

Asberry joined The Law Firm of Neal & Newman, LLP in 1990 following graduation from law school, and he became a partner in 1996. He obtained his undergraduate degree from The School of the Ozarks and his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. In law school, he was a member of the Journal of Dispute Resolution.

Asberry’s practice is generally divided between commercial litigation and general corporate work, emphasizing commercial litigation in state, federal and bankruptcy courts, creditors’ rights, condemnation law, mediation and arbitration, and general business and corporate work. He serves as outside general counsel for several financial institutions, commercial real estate companies and manufacturing concerns.

Asberry holds licenses to practice in Missouri and the U.S. Supreme Court, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Missouri and the District of Kansas. He is a member of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, The Missouri Bar and the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Volunteer Lawyers Project, as well as being a member of the Greater Springfield Apartment and Housing Association advisory board. He has been named as a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyer.

Asberry is active in civic affairs, having served as national legal counsel for the U.S. Junior Chamber as well as past president of the Missouri Jaycees and the Springfield Jaycees. He has served as a member of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, a member of Mt. Zion Lodge #327, A.F. & A.M., and was formally a member of the board of directors of Big Brother/Big Sisters of the Ozarks and the board of the Ronald McDonald House of the Ozarks.

Asberry serves as an adjunct professor to Webster University, Drury University and the American Institute of Banking. In addition, Asberry is frequently invited to present lectures and seminars on a wide range of topics for the legal community and area businesses. He is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

For all of his service on behalf of the legal community, please join The Missouri Bar in thanking Brian K. Asberry!

Link to original article at

Leadership Academy aims to link new lawyers with bar resources

Republished with permission from the The Missouri Bar.

The Missouri Bar’s Leadership Academy – a group of 11 lawyers from across the state – has undertaken a public service project with the goal of better connecting new Missouri Bar members to the services, resources and solutions available to them through the state bar.

The project, scheduled to launch in tandem with the Fall Enrollment Ceremonies, involves a 12-week social media campaign designed to link the state bar with its newer members. The campaign – entitled “So Now You’re a Lawyer” – will provide tips, insights, and links to resources while serving as a point of connection for new Missouri Bar members.

Each member of the Leadership Academy class has developed blog posts and photos to answer common questions of news lawyers, such as how to find a job, how to file a document, or how to act in front of a judge. The content will be shared across social media platforms utilized by The Missouri Bar, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat. Connect with and join the conversation using #NewMOLawyers. Although geared toward new lawyers, the project will also serve the bar’s overall communication strategy by providing information to new and seasoned lawyers alike about the services and information available from the organization.

The 2015-2016 Leadership Academy class consists of:


  • Kathleen Croker, Phelps County Regional Crisis Center, Rolla;
  • Christopher Dandurand, The Gorny Law Firm, Kansas City;
  • Damien de Loyola, Missouri State Public Defender, Kansas City;
  • Matthew Diehr, Husch Blackwell LLP, St. Louis;
  • Bryan Fisher, Neale & Newman LLP, Springfield;
  • Amanda Johnson, Supreme Court of Missouri, Jefferson City;
  • Tiffany Frazier, Attorney at Law, St. Louis;
  • Catherine Larrison, Harvest Productions, Kansas City;
  • Steven Ramsey, Department of Health & Senior Services, Jefferson City;
  • Emma Schuering, Polsinelli PC, Springfield; and
  • Laurie Washington, Legal Services of Southern Missouri, Springfield.

Advising co-chairs for this year’s class are Jose Caldera of Jefferson City and Michael Miller of Springfield.

The Leadership Academy was envisioned under the leadership of 1999-2000 Missouri Bar President Michael P. Gunn. His vision continues under the stewardship of current Missouri Bar President-Elect Dana Tippin Cutler, who serves as the academy’s guiding force.

The Leadership Academy encourages diversity among the leadership of The Missouri Bar by recruiting young or recently admitted lawyers (under age 40 or less than 10 years of practice) who are already outstanding leaders in their communities for participation in the program and a commitment to work for the bar.

Since the program began in 2000, a total of 162 lawyers have been involved. Nearly all graduates have subsequently participated in multiple Missouri Bar activities, including service on the Board of Governors, active work within state bar committees, or serving as speakers, moderators or authors for MoBarCLE programs and publications.



Bryan D. Fisher – Associate


Link to the original article at


J-Richard-Owensby | Springfield Missouri Attorneyh

J. Richard Owensby

Springfield Attorney Richard L. Schnake

Richard L. Schnake

Springfield attorneys J. Richard Owensby and Richard L. Schnake have been named in the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers In America.

Owensby has been named in the field of Trusts and Estates, and Schnake has been named in Appellate Practice.  

Both are partners in the Springfield law firm of Neale & Newman, L.L.P.

Owensby, the firm’s senior partner, concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and probate.  He is a 1968 graduate of the University of Missouri School of Law.  He obtained his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Arizona and holds a master’s degree in accounting from the University of Missouri.  

He has practiced law with Neale & Newman since 1968 and has been a partner since 1974.

He is a past president of the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association and received its Distinguished Attorney of the Year award in 2011.

Schnake practices in the areas of appeals and intellectual property.  He has have handled more than 225 cases in the state and federal appellate courts in some 60 substantive areas and has argued 15 before the Missouri Supreme Court.  He has also handled nearly 300 federal trademark applications and regularly deals with federal trademark and copyright registration and enforcement matters.

Schnake graduated from (Southwest) Missouri State University in 1979 and received his law degree in 1982 from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis.

He joined Neale & Newman in 1983 after serving as the law clerk to Judge Warren D. Welliver of the Missouri Supreme Court.  He has been a partner since 1988.

Both Owensby and Schnake are members of The Missouri Bar and the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.

Neale & Newman, Springfield’s oldest firm, is a full-service civil practice firm founded in 1903.  More information about Owensby, Schnake, and the firm appears at
For additional information, please contact Ray L. Dees, Firm Administrator, at (417) 882-9090 or

Must Drones Get Registered for Hobby Use in Missouri?

Patrick Platter is a partner with the law rm of Neale & Newman LLP of Spring eld.

Patrick Platter is a partner with the law rm of Neale & Newman LLP of Spring eld.

Christmas is over and you are looking at your new recreational drone. Now, how do you get started? Don’t just take it outside and fly it like you flew your model airplanes when you were young. You may need to register your drone before you use it. The Federal Aviation Administration issued rules on Dec. 21 stating how drones, aka unmanned aircraft systems, must be registered.

The FAA provides a website to register drones used for hobbies. You need not register a drone if it weighs less than 0.55 pounds, which is equal to about two sticks of butter. You must register it if the drone weighs more and may register it on the website if it weighs more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds.

Other registration questions to consider: Will you operate your drone outdoors? Is your drone homemade? Did you purchase one before Dec. 21? You must register in all those situations. You must be a U.S. citizen and at least 13 years of age to register.There are other fine-print details that Neale and Newman Attorneys can answer today for Missouri drone registration.

If you purchased your drone before Dec. 21, you have until Feb. 19 to register. If you purchased your drone after the 21st, you must register before operating it.

You can start your registration with your purchase information and a credit card and logging onto the website at Registration is free if you register by Jan. 19, but technically the FAA will bill you $5 and then rebate your credit card. The registration deadline is Feb. 19. You must register a drone before operating it. One registration can apply to several drones. You can own as many drones as you wish. If you received the drone as a gift, you must register it if the person who gave it did not register it.

Once you are registered, the FAA will send you a certificate with a unique registration number, the issue and expiration dates. You also can download your certificate. You must place the registration number on the drone by permanent marker or label, and it must be legible. You must have the paper certificate or its electronic equivalent with you when you operate the drone, much like a driver’s license while driving. Certificates last three years and renewals currently cost $5. If you loan your drone to someone, that person must have either the paper or electronic certificate while operating.

Registration may seem tedious, but it serves important purposes.

The Washington Post recently reported there were 1,000 near accidents between drones and aircraft – some of those commercial airliners – in 2015. This does not include accidents or near accidents between drones and other objects or property. If an accident with a drone happened, it is vital investigators have full information about ownership and operation of the drone. Registration also gives the FAA opportunities to update safety training to drone operators.

If public interest does not persuade you to register, your checkbook will. The maximum civil penalty for failing to register is $27,500. The maximum criminal penalty for failing to register is $250,000 and/or three years of imprisonment.

Many business owners are discovering drones can be useful. If you are a farmer, utility services contractor, real estate agent, subdivision developer or government watchdog, chances are good some of your competition already operates drones.

Drones used for business purposes must be registered with the FAA using the existing paper system. This also applies to drones weighing more than 55 pounds. This process usually takes 60 to 90 days. Want more information? See the FAA’s frequently asked questions page at That page will link you to a Recreational UAS Weights document. It is a very useful document telling you what drones likely need not be registered.

So, get legal and have fun.

Patrick Platter is a partner with the law firm of Neale & Newman LLP of Springfield. He can be reached at

This article originally appeared in the Springfield Business Journal

Missouri Security Deposit Law – Information for Landlords

           Security deposits and how landlords use them can be a source of much dispute and litigation between landlords and tenants. In fact, earlier this year, the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, decided Younker v. Investment Realty, Inc., 461 S.W.3d 1 (Mo. Ct. App. 2015), which centered on such a dispute. That case ruled in favor of the tenants and held that the statutory requirements imposed by Missouri law on residential landlords cannot be contractually varied or altered, regardless of lease terms agreed to by the tenant.

            Missouri landlords should be aware of several statutory and common law rules that govern how security deposits may be applied for repairs and the manner in which a tenant’s security deposit must be returned. Failure to understand the relevant Missouri law, as Younker v. Investment Realty, Inc. demonstrates, could leave a landlord exposed to potentially costly legal disputes and litigation. Specifically, there are at least three sets of important statutory and common law rules governing security deposits in Missouri that landlords should discuss with an experienced attorney. The Law Firm of Neale & Newman is proud to have represented and advised Missouri landlords for decades and can assist you in understanding each of these important areas of Missouri landlord-tenant law.

3 Key rules in the Missouri Security Deposit Law

        First, any Missouri landlord should be aware that Missouri law limits how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit. The amount that may be charged depends on the type of property being rented and the amount of the rent. Landlords should review with an attorney the amount charged to tenants as a security deposit in order to insure compliance.

        Second, Missouri law sets a time limit for how long a landlord may wait before returning that portion of the security deposit, if any, that is owed to a tenant after the termination of the rental agreement.   In the event the full security deposit is not returned to the tenant, Missouri law imposes certain notice requirements with which a landlord must comply. A failure to comply with these notice requirements can expose a landlord to civil liability for damages and statutory penalties. Landlords thus should review their security deposit refund practices with an experienced attorney to insure compliance with the relevant Missouri law.

        Third, Missouri law limits what types of repairs and charges a landlord may bill against a tenant’s security deposit. This is often one of the most troublesome issues between landlords and tenants. Notably, it was this precise issue that prompted the tenants in Younker v. Investment Realty, Inc., to sue their landlord and continue to prosecute the case all the way to the Missouri Court of Appeals.

        Although there are many reasons that may justify a landlord’s withholding of sums from a tenant’s security deposit, there are also many limitations. For example, generally a landlord may withhold money from a security deposit if the tenant fails to pay rent or fails to properly notify the landlord that he or she is terminating the rental agreement. Similarly, a landlord may generally withhold money from a tenant’s security deposit to restore the leased property to its condition prior to commencement of the rental agreement, if the tenant damages the leased property. What constitutes actual damage, however, as opposed to ordinary wear and tear, has been the subject of significant litigation.

        Before withholding money from a tenant’s security deposit, a landlord should talk with an attorney to understand what type of charges may be appropriately against the security deposit. This is especially true because the relevant statutes do not define “ordinary wear and tear,” and thus the definition of the phrase is defined by Missouri case law in decisions like the recent Missouri Court of Appeals case. Additionally, landlords should review any cleaning fees or other charges with an attorney because billing certain fees for cleaning or related activities may not be proper, depending on the specific facts of the case.

        When a tenant actually damages the leased property and the landlord intends to withhold all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit, the landlord should keep all receipts for repairs and photos of any damage on file. This precaution will help a landlord if a tenant challenges the landlord’s withholding some time down the road. Because the statute of limitations for landlord-tenant disputes can run for many years, a landlord who fails to keep such receipts and photos may have difficulty defending against the tenant’s claims.

         No plan to avoid a landlord-tenant dispute over a security deposit will avoid all conflict; however, landlords can take important steps to protect their interests by following the pertinent Missouri law that applies to tenant security deposits. The Law Firm of Neale & Newman has been providing legal services in Missouri for over 100 years, and the attorneys at Neale & Newman understand the importance of complying with Missouri law as it pertains to landlords and tenants. Our attorneys can help you determine whether your business is charging tenants a permissible security deposit amount and whether your processes and procedures for returning a tenant’s security deposit or, when necessary, withholding amounts from it are appropriate under the most recent Missouri law. Discussing with experienced legal counsel these and other issues that may arise is a landlord’s best bet for avoiding liability.