The Branson law firm of Cantwell, Smith & Trokey has joined with Neale & Newman. Two locations delivering extraordinary legal services.

Richard Schnake Photo
Services Handled
  • Bio

Richard L. Schnake


Richard L. Schnake Best Lawyers

Richard Schanke Best Lawyers 2024

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. 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 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.

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 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.


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

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, 2015
  • Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Practice, American Lawyers Media and Martindale-Hubbell, 2016
  • 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, 1995l 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


  • English
  • German

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

Contact Neale & Newman

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy