Springfield, MO

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The 50-year-old law

firm represents a

number of local and

national businesses

by Kris Ann Hegle

SBJ Contributing Writer

The employees at the law offices of Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham LLC are proud of their firm's history. So proud, in fact, that they keep a scrapbook filled with newspaper clippings and other memorabilia that detail the firm's activities over the years.

The firm dates back to March 1, 1948, when W. Ray Daniel, William R. Collinson and E. Wayne Collinson formed a partnership to practice law under the name of Collinson & Daniel. Over the years, the name has changed several times as attorneys joined and left the firm, and again when the practice merged with the law firm of Lilley & Cowan in 1984.

Originally, the firm specialized in criminal law. Today, Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham no longer handles criminal cases. The firm now concentrates on civil litigation, such as insurance defense, product liability, medical malpractice, workers' compensation, and municipal, corporate, employment, real estate, probate and banking law.

A local firm, Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham has represented a number of well-known area businesses, such as Empire Bank, the city of Springfield, Ozark Fitness and Justice Jewelers.

In addition, it also represents the local interests of national clients, such as John Deere, the Chrysler Corp., Ford Motor Co., New Holland, AETNA Insurance Co., Travelers Insurance, American Family Insurance and Unisys Corp., according to Doug Harpool, an attorney with the firm.

One of the largest law offices in the state outside the Kansas City and St. Louis metro areas, Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham employees 45 people, 20 of whom are attorneys, according to Mark McQueary, an attorney with the firm.

Springfield's booming economy hasn't escaped the attention of some metropolitan law firms. In the last year, several large legal firms from Kansas City and St. Louis have opened offices in town.

The entrance of these law firms has resulted in some speculation about whether local law firms would change their fee structures or reorganize to become more specialized in certain areas of the law.

According to Harpool, the influx of big-city legal firms hasn't yet had an affect on the way Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham does business.

"Many of our attorneys have developed special skills in particular areas of the law and have limited their practice to their area of expertise," Harpool said. "However, because of the number of lawyers we have with expertise in various backgrounds, we still can provide a wide range of legal services. We expect to be able to continue to compete in providing a broad spectrum of legal services at a very competitive price."

According to McQueary, Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham has more name recognition in the area than firms from either Kansas City or St. Louis, and the firm has an outstanding reputation locally for "getting the job done."

"Our steady growth over the years is the result of serving clients well," McQueary said. "Over time, that develops more business."

In fact, Harpool predicts the firm will double in size during the next five years. He also believes the firm's local ties give it an edge over the new law firms from St. Louis and Kansas City.

"Our personal contacts with the Springfield community keep us in close contact with the legal needs of area businesses and keep us in touch with the values of southwest Missouri jurors," Harpool said.

Indeed, employees at Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham have a long history of civic service, which helps keep them in tune with the needs of the community, according to McQueary. Over the years, attorneys at the firm have served in numerous executive positions on the boards of various local nonprofit organizations, ranging from the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce to the Advisory Committee to Prevent Child Abuse.

Jerry Fritchman, administrator at the firm, is quick to point out that volunteerism isn't just limited to the attorneys at the firm. Many members of the support staff do volunteer work, as well.

"Almost everyone from our receptionist to some of the secretaries is involved in some sort of community group," Fritchman said.

"We have one person who helps adults learn how to read, and we have another who works at a center to stop family violence. We're always looking for ways to give back to the community."


Daniel, Clampett, Powell & Cunningham employs 45 people, including 20 attorneys. The firm is one of the largest in the state, outside of Kansas City and St. Louis.


Attorney Mark McQueary, above, and firm administrator Jerry Fritchman, left, say the 50-year-old law firm takes pride in its local history, and reputation with local and national clients. [[In-content Ad]]


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