As an attorney, Kevin Dunaway constantly wears a different hat. His job as partner at Neale & Newman LLP requires he act as a crisis manager, a proactive manager, a defender of the law and a reliable ally – all while putting the client’s future first.
“I have clients who sit across from me every day and have different agendas. My job is to take what the law and facts are, and see what we can do to provide realization to their agenda,” Dunaway says. “A good lawyer doesn’t just echo what the client wants to do, because sometimes what the client wants to do isn’t best for them long term.”
Dunaway’s legal expertise includes general civil litigation, workers’ compensation, general business law, insurance law, employment law, real estate law and business contracts. Managing over 150 clients last year, Dunaway says he’s helped save companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in managing their claims and resolving issues, while providing a plan of action that limits future problems.
“The real art of being an attorney is learning how to apply the facts of the law and knowing how to manage your clients and the opposition,” he says. “It’s a balancing act.”
Dunaway has worked at Neale & Newman since 1983 when he started as a law clerk. Eight years later, he was selected as partner and he’s held that role for the last 26 years. In that time, he’s served on the litigation committee, executive committee, marketing committee and, currently, on the compensation committee.
Dunaway has never stopped learning. For 12 years, he was as an adjunct professor at his alma mater, Drury University, where he worked in the paralegal studies program and acted as faculty chairman of the department.
He also co-authored a chapter in the Missouri Bar’s workers’ compensation law CLE handbook, which is utilized by legal professionals throughout Missouri.
“If you’ve practiced in that arena as much as I have, you know the issues that arise,” he says. “I put together an analysis that listed what the potential issues are and provided the statutory law that relates to those topics.”
Dunaway served as vice chairman for the Missouri Bar’s workers’ compensation committee in 1999, a role he was familiar with having previously acted as chairman for a similar committee for the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association.
“I firmly believe a person who benefits from a community should give back to that community,” he says.
Locally, he has been involved with the Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks, Springfield Metro Rotary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks and Highland Springs Country Club.
His service as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters stands out to him.
“I have really enjoyed working with that organization and helping those kids on a one-on-one basis,” he says. “I really feel that my service there, along with every other board member, has made a huge change with the children that they reach.”
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