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Jim is a co-leader of the firm’s higher education team which works with institutions and their leadership to navigate the complex regulatory, federal enforcement, intellectual property, commercial and litigation challenges such institutions confront on a daily basis. He serves as Acting General Counsel of a multi-campus private university. In addition to his role as Acting General Counsel, he routinely advises higher education clients regarding compliance with all laws and regulations; faculty compensation; Title IX controversies; campus safety; online learning; the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and effective ways to manage and control risks.

In addition to his higher education practice, Jim has vast experience as a commercial litigator and trial lawyer handling a wide range of disputes arising in the U.S. and abroad. Jim serves as the Commercial Disputes Leader for BCLP's Kansas City office.  He routinely represents some of the largest financial institutions, insurance companies and other national and multinational corporations in complex litigation involving loan disputes, breach of contract, fraud and unfair business practices, among other matters. He has successfully represented clients in disputes with more than six hundred million dollars at issue. Jim is experienced in litigation matters including lender liability claims; compliance with federal laws and regulations; breach of fiduciary duty claims; contract disputes; ownership disputes between partners, shareholders, or members of closely held businesses; trade secret and non-competition claims; class action claims; and insurance coverage issues. Mr. Lawrence has experience advising clients from the investigation phase through trial and appeal for matters pending in state and federal court, including representations in bankruptcy court, the Missouri Public Service Commission, and before multiple courts simultaneously.

Mr. Lawrence began his legal career with a law firm in New York City. While in law school, Mr. Lawrence was a member of the Cardozo Law Review and was named an H. Burt Mack Scholar.

Practices

Civic Involvement & Honors

    • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LGBTQ Lawyers Affinity Group / Allies Program Leader
    • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Global Wellbeing Advisory and Action Board
    • Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art: Board of Trustees (2021-present)
    • Kansas City Downtown Council:  Board of Directors (2017-2019)
    • Police Athletic League of Kansas City, Kansas:  Board of Directors (2019-present)
    • The Kansas City Tomorrow leadership program (Class XIX)
    • Carriage Club Country Club:  Board President (2017-2018); Vice President (2015-2016); Board of Directors (2014-2016)
    • The Kansas City Tomorrow Alumni Association: Board of Directors (2020-present)
    • Ingram’s Magazine – Selected as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" business leaders in the Kansas City region (2007)
    • Kansas City Business Journal - selected as one of Kansas City's 25 NextGen Leaders (2018)
    • Kansas City Business Journal - selected "Best of the Bar" recognizing outstanding lawyers throughout the Kansas City area, as chosen by their peers
    • St. Joseph School District Foundation Annual Banquet:  Keynote Speaker (2017)
    • KC CAN! Foundation - Board of Directors
    • National MS Society - Mid America Chapter, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
    • Heart of America United Way - Key Accounts Ambassado
    • The Kansas City Tomorrow leadership program (Class XIX)
    • Carriage Club Country Club:  Board President (2017-2018); Vice President (2015-2016); Board of Directors (2014-2016)
    • The Kansas City Tomorrow Alumni Association: Board of Directors (2020-present)
    • Ingram’s Magazine – Selected as one of the "Top 40 Under 40" business leaders in the Kansas City region (2007)
    • Kansas City Business Journal - selected as one of Kansas City's 25 NextGen Leaders (2018)
    • Kansas City Business Journal - selected "Best of the Bar" recognizing outstanding lawyers throughout the Kansas City area, as chosen by their peers
    • St. Joseph School District Foundation Annual Banquet:  Keynote Speaker (2017)
    • KC CAN! Foundation - Board of Directors
    • National MS Society - Mid America Chapter, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
    • Heart of America United Way - Key Accounts Ambassado
    • Kansas City Business Journal - selected "Best of the Bar" recognizing outstanding lawyers throughout the Kansas City area, as chosen by their peers
    • St. Joseph School District Foundation Annual Banquet:  Keynote Speaker (2017)
    • KC CAN! Foundation - Board of Directors
    • National MS Society - Mid America Chapter, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
    • Heart of America United Way - Key Accounts Ambassado
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Professional Affiliations

    • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association; American Bar Association; Kansas Bar Association; Missouri Bar Association; New York Bar Association
    • Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce
    • Mid-America LGBT Chamber of Commerce
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Representative Experience

  • Acting General Counsel of multi-campus private university
  • Advise higher education clients on a variety of issues including compliance and risk mitigation
  • Prosecution of business defamation, tortuous interference and breach of fiduciary duty claims brought by minority shareholder of defendant corporation
  • Represented major national bank in large fiduciary trust litigation
  • Represented banks in lender liability litigation
  • Represented regulated utility companies in both state and federal courts and before the Missouri Public Service Commission
  • Represented the Professional Golfers Association of America in complex litigation in federal court
  • On-going representation of major building materials manufacturer in a broad range of activities including risk counseling and litigation around the country
  • On-going representation of major big-box retailer in construction, employment, and labor matters
  • Successful defense of class action lawsuits filed against national telecommunications companies and automotive manufacturers
  • On-going representation of international logistics company including counseling, litigation, and risk management
  • Representation of commercial and lending clients in real estate and commercial litigation cases in both state and federal courts
  • Successful arbitration and mediation of various commercial and employment disputes. Claims involve professional negligence, fraud, statutory claims, breach of contract, and products liability
  • Successfully pursued and defended numerous non-competition and trade secret claims in both state and federal courts

Speaking Engagements

Jim regularly provides continuing legal education seminars for Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner attorneys and its clients on a broad range of litigation topics.

Panelist, "The Road to Recovery: Addiction, Gambling and Mental Health," This Can Happen Conference, November 16-17, 2021