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Richard L. Schnake – Partner

Contact Details



  • Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri, 1982
    • J.D.
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
    • Honors: Recipient, Scribes Award for Outstanding Legal Writing
    • Law Review: Washington University Law Quarterly, Member, 1980 – 1981
    • Law Review: Washington University Law Quarterly, Executive Editor, 1981 – 1982
  • Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, 1979
    • B.A.
    • Honors: Cum Laude
    • Honors: Dean’s List
    • Major: History


Richard L. Schnake emphasizes appellate practice in both Missouri and federal courts.

He has handled more than 225 cases in the state and federal appellate courts in some 90 substantive areas and has argued 15 before the Missouri Supreme Court. To date, approximately 90 lawyers from outside of the firm have referred cases to him to handle in the appellate courts. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America, Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyers, and the nationwide Super Lawyers Business Edition in the area of appellate practice. He was nominated for nonpartisan appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, in 2003.

His practice also includes trademarks, copyrights, and litigation. He has handled 300 applications to register trademarks in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has experience in trademark and copyright registration; trademark opposition and infringement claims and litigation; and copyright infringement claims and litigation.

Mr. Schnake received his Bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Southwest Missouri State University in 1979 and his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1982. He was an Executive Editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly, recipient of the Scribes Award for legal writing, and a member of the Order of the Coif, a national law honor fraternity. He served as the law clerk for Judge Warren D. Welliver of the Missouri Supreme Court before joining the firm in 1983. He has been a partner since 1988.

He also has experience in the areas of banking law; commercial and consumer financing; commercial paper transactions; real estate sale and financing transactions; and personal injury and products liability actions.

Mr. Schnake is the author of Civil Rules Practice, Rules 85–88, 17A Missouri Practice (2d ed. 2012), with annual updates, published by Thomson Reuters, the nation’s largest legal publisher. The treatise is Missouri’s leading authority on the Missouri court rules governing prejudgment attachments, condemnation, declaratory judgments, and child support. It has been cited by courts, by lawyers in briefs before the appellate and trial courts, and by other legal writers. He also wrote Chapter 4, “Settlement Conferences,” in Missouri Appellate Court Practice (5th ed. 2002), which is The Missouri Bar’s appellate practice treatise, and he has written several appellate practice articles for the Missouri Lawyers Weekly.

Mr. Schnake regularly speaks on civil appellate and trial practice and other topics at seminars sponsored by The Missouri Bar and the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.


Areas of Practice

Business & Commercial Law
Intellectual Property Law
Real Estate & Construction Law


Bar Admissions

Missouri, 1982
U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, 1982
U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 1989
U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1984
U.S. Supreme Court, 1986


Professional Associations and Memberships

American Bar Association, 1986–present
Member, ABA Council of Appellate Lawyers
The Missouri Bar, 1982–present
Civil Practice & Procedure Committee, 1999–present
Legislative Review Subcommittee, 1996–present
Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, 1983–present
Secretary, 1992
Director, 1993–1995
Law Day Committee, Chair, 1989–1991, 2002
Eighth Circuit Bar Association, 2002-present
Missouri Supreme Court Appellate Practice Committee, 2002–present
Missouri Supreme Court Civil Rules Committee, 1994–2002
Missouri Supreme Court Civil Rules Study Committee, 1989–1992


Honors and Awards

AV – Preeminent 5.0 out of 5.0 peer review rating, Martindale-Hubbell
Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, 2015–present
Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Appellate Practice, 2006, 2009–present
Super Lawyers Nationwide Business Edition, Appellate Practice, 2011–present
Top Rated Lawyer in Intellectual Property, American Lawyers Media and Martindale-Hubbell,
Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Practice, American Lawyers Media and Martindale-Hubbell,
David J. Dixon Appellate Advocacy Award, Missouri Bar Foundation, 1990
Nominee for nonpartisan appointment to the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, 2003
Who’s Who in America
Who’s Who in American Law


Representative Cases

Midcoast Aviation, Inc. v. General Elec. Credit Corp., 907 F.2d 732 (7th Cir. 1990)
McCullough v. Doss, 318 S.W.3d 676 (Mo. 2010) (en banc)
Laclecle County v. Douglass, 43 S.W.3d 826 (Mo. 2001) (en banc)
Stowe v. Spence, 41 S.W.3d 468 (Mo. 2001) (en banc)
Herndon v. Tuhey, 857 S.W.2d 203 (Mo. 1993) (en banc)
Parmley v. Missouri Dental Bd., 719 S.W.2d 745 (Mo. 1986) (en banc)
Murdaugh v. Patterson, 435 S.W.3d 689 (Mo. Ct. App. 2014)
In re Adoption of C.M., 414 S.W.3d 622 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013), cert. denied sub nom. E.M.B.R. v. S.M., 134 S. Ct. 2878 (2014)
Allen v. Titan Propane, LLC, 404 S.W.3d 914 (Mo. Ct. App. 2013)
Carroll Elec. Coop. Corp. v. Lambert, 403 S.W.3d 637 (Mo. Ct. App. 2012)
Cramer v. Smoot, 291 S.W.3d 397 (Mo. Ct. App. 2009)
Valley View South Improvement Ass’n v. Brock, 272 S.W.3d 927 (Mo. Ct. App. 2009)
Vanderpool v. Vanderpool, 250 S.W.3d 791 (Mo. Ct. App. 2008)
In re Marriage of Thomas, 199 S.W.3d 847 (Mo. Ct. App. 2006)
State v. Carroll, 165 S.W.3d 597 (Mo. Ct. App. 2005)
Beavers v. Recreation Ass’n of Lake Shore Estates, Inc., 130 S.W.3d 702 (Mo. Ct. App. 2004) Kimberling North, Inc. v. Pope, 100 S.W.3d 863 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003)
Kleeman v. Kingsley, 88 S.W.3d 521 (Mo. Ct. App. 2002)
State ex rel. Missouri Highway & Transp. Comm’n v. Rantz, 43 S.W.3d 436 (Mo. Ct. App. 2001)
In re Elinor Short Trust, 7 S.W.3d 482 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999)
Meeks Leasing Co. v. Young, 881 S.W.2d 232 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994)
Strunk v. Commercial Plastics Co., 800 S.W.2d 779 (Mo. Ct. App. 1990)


Civic Involvement

Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center, 1987–present
Director, 1987–present
President, 1989–1991, 1995
Secretary, 1992–1994;
Chair, Fundraising Committee, 1995–2010
The Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Society
President, 2014–present
Trustee, 1999–present


Representative Seminars Taught

Annual Law Update, Civil Trial and Appellate Practice, The Missouri Bar, 1993–2010, 2012–present
Appellate Practice Panel Discussion, moderator, Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, 2016
Appellate Practice Webinar: “I’m not John Grisham! Can I write an effective Statement of, Facts?” and “By what measure? The Standard of Review in a civil case,” The Missouri Bar, 2014
Appellate Practice 2005: “What if I’m not John Grisham? Your brief may not be a novel, but here are tips on how to make it persuasive,” The Missouri Bar, 2005
Effective Legal Writing – Finding A Theme and Limiting Issues, The Missouri Bar, 2005
Essentials of Missouri Practice – Basics of Appellate Practice, The Missouri Bar, 2004–2008
Appellate Practice 2003 – Extraordinary Remedies; Mock Oral Argument, The Missouri Bar, 2003
Appellate Practice 1998 – Whether and How To Appeal, The Missouri Bar, 1998
Appellate Practice 1995 – Oral Argument in the Appellate Court, The Missouri Bar, 1995


Past Employment Positions

Hon. Warren D. Welliver, Missouri Supreme Court, Law Clerk, 1982 – 1983



The Order of the Coif
Phi Kappa Phi





Published Works

Civil Rules Practice, Rules 85–88, 17A Missouri Practice (2d ed. 2012) (with annual updates)
Civil Rules Practice, Rules 85–88, 17A Missouri Practice (1999) (with annual updates 2000– 2011)
“Settlement Conferences”, Missouri Appellate Court Practice (5th ed. 2002) (with updates)
“Common Sense Tips for Writing Briefs: Making Life Easy for the Court,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Feb. 25, 2002
“Computerization in Appellate Practice: New Means For Old Tasks,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly, April 23, 2001
“Look Before You Appeal: Five Factors To Consider In Making Decision,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly, April, 3, 2000
“Rule Revision Clarifies Requirements For Points Relied On,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly, April 26, 1999
“Judgment By Any Other Name . . . ,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly, April 27, 1998
“Points Relied On Must Explain How Alleged Trial Court Error is Prejudicial,” Civil Practice & Procedure News, Feb. 1997
“Legislature Makes Major Change Affecting Appellate Practice,” SMBA Newsletter, Sept. 1996

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