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For nearly 20 years, Patrick has practiced in state and federal courts throughout the Midwest. His practice focuses on products liability, insurance defense, commercial litigation, and construction law. Patrick is also a certified mediator, part of the Federal Court Mediation and Assessment Program.

Patrick has been involved in all phases of trial preparation and case resolution. He currently oversees matters for numerous clients across several jurisdictions and has been involved in high profile cases garnering national media attention.

Patrick frequently presents on ethics topics, emerging topics in insurance coverage and litigation, and is a member of several state and national legal associations. He also advises small business owners regarding legal issues that arise in the course of their operations.

Prior to joining Rasmussen Dickey Moore, Patrick was a judicial law clerk for the 29th Judicial District of Kansas. He represented clients in default services and bankruptcy proceedings for close to 10 years. Patrick currently acts as a Judge Pro Tem for the 10th Judicial District of Kansas and is involved in coaching youth sports.

Construction litigation and more.

When you need an experienced construction litigation team on your side, talk to Patrick and the attorneys at RDM. Our extensive knowledge and experience can lead you to the best outcome for your case.

Education

  • University of Missouri - Kansas City

    Juris Doctor 2003

  • Kansas State University

    Bachelor of Arts 1999

Admissions

  • State of Missouri
  • State of Kansas
  • State of Illinois
  • State of Wisconsin
  • State of Nebraska
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Nebraska
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court District of Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court District of Kansas

RDM's Knowledge Blog Posts by Patrick D. Murphy

The Missouri Capitol. Missouri legislators recently amended laws pertaining to "065 agreements." Photo by Paul Sableman.

On June 29th, 2021, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law SS HB 345, which will go into effect on August 28th. The law amends Missouri’s unique statutory law, predominantly viewed as favoring policy holders and plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking garnishments and third-party actions against insurance companies.  

Insurance carriers who believe they have a defense to coverage have faced complex risk analysis in Missouri. While the duty to defend is generally broader than the duty to indemnify, third-party claims against carriers in Missouri have become an increasingly popular weapon.

When faced with a claim, a carrier has a few options: 

  • Accept the defense of the claim without any reservation of rights, which triggers a duty to indemnify;
  • Defend under reservation of rights and file a declaration action to determine coverage; or
  • Outright deny coverage and a defense.

What is an 065 Agreement?

In Missouri, when there is a dispute as to coverage between a defendant and its insurer, R.S.Mo. § 537.065 allows plaintiff and defendant to enter into an agreement that a plaintiff will only collect on a judgment from the defendant’s insurance carrier. These agreements usually arise when there has been a disclaimer of coverage or a rejection of a reservation of rights defense which is treated as a denial of coverage in Missouri.

Prior to HB 345, parties could enter into an 065 settlement agreement to shift liability to one party or insurer. Parties could provide notice only at the eleventh hour before a judgment in the matter was entered, and the insurer would then be bound by the judgment.  Several recent cases—Britt v. Otto, Aguilar v. GEICO, and Geiler v. Liberty (see our recent analysis of this case)—illustrate how the past provisions of 537.065 had been used by plaintiffs to set up insurers for bad faith claims, obtain rulings in alternative dispute resolution settings, and effectively wipe away the insurer’s ability to do anything to protect its own interests unless it agrees to provide full coverage from the outset.

What are the new changes to 537.065?

Timing

In 2017, an amendment was passed and signed into law requiring that before a judgment could be entered in an 065 agreement, an insurer needed to be provided with written notice of the execution of the contract and be given thirty days to intervene as a matter of right in pending litigation involving the claim for damages. The most recent amendments attempt to close the timing loopholes that allowed gamesmanship of notice to carriers with specific timelines for different scenarios of litigation:

If any action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor is pending at the time of the execution of any contract entered into under this section, then, within thirty days after such execution, the tort-feasor shall provide his or her insurer or insurers with a copy of the executed contract and a copy of any such action. 

If any action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor is pending at the time of the execution of any contract entered into under this section but is thereafter dismissed, then, within thirty days after the refiling of that action or the filing of any subsequent action arising out of the claim for damages against the tort-feasor, the tort-feasor shall provide his or her insurer or insurers with a copy of the executed contract and a copy of the refiled or subsequently filed action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor.

If no action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor is pending at the time of the execution of any contract entered into under this section, then, within thirty days after the tort-feasor receives notice of any subsequent action, by service of process or otherwise, the tort-feasor shall provide his or her insurer or insurers with a copy of the executed contract and a copy of any action seeking a judgment on the claim against the tort-feasor.

Rights After Intervention

New language in 537.065 also makes clear that if an insurance carrier chooses to intervene in an 065 agreement then, “the intervenor shall have all rights afforded to defendants under the Missouri rules of civil procedure and reasonable and sufficient time to meaningfully assert its position including, but not limited to, the right and time to conduct discovery, the right and time to engage in motion practice, and the right to a trial by jury and sufficient time to prepare for trial.” Further, no order regarding the claim matter shall be binding on the carrier choosing to intervene if the order is entered prior to the intervention.

No Private Arbitration End Run

The law also amends Missouri’s Uniform Arbitration Act to make clear that plaintiffs may not use private arbitration to circumvent proper notice to the carrier and the opportunity to intervene.  Any arbitration occurring without the consent of the insurer is not binding and the choice not to participate shall not be construed to be bad faith.

In Conclusion

The changes to 537.065 go into effect on August 28th, 2021. Even when the changes become effective, insurers must continue to stay on their toes as plaintiffs’ attorneys seek opportunities to stay one step ahead.

While the changes to Missouri law may be more favorable to insurers, it is still absolutely essential that insurers have the right counsel to help them assess their options. RDM’s extensive experience in complex claims coverage allows us to provide detailed assessments accounting for a wide array of possible outcomes. Though the laws may change, insurers should remain vigilant when it comes to their Missouri claims.

From coverage opinions to defense at trial, RDM’s Insurance Law team can lead insurers through complex claims at every step of the way keeping them informed and prepared for the latest changes in state law. Contact RDM today to discuss how new laws may affect you.

We celebrate RDM's administrative professionals on Administrative Professionals' Day.

Today is Administrative Professionals’ Day, and we want to take the opportunity to celebrate the outstanding administrative professionals here at Rasmussen Dickey Moore!

For the uninitiated, Administrative Professionals’ Day recognizes and appreciates the individuals who are most responsible for “making the world go round.” Their tireless contributions ensure that deadlines are met, work gets completed timely, and businesses succeed. It is through their dedication and commitment that business goals are realized.

Celebrating administrative professionals began with an official day of recognition in 1952. However, the National Secretaries Association (now the International Association of Administrative Professionals) had been promoting and recognizing this important work since its founding in 1942 in Topeka, Kansas. Since the beginning, the IAAP has been dedicated to helping and promoting its members in ever-changing times to meet the constantly changing demands of business.

Today, administrative professionals can be found in nearly any business environment performing a host of tasks. They are the people to greet visitors at the door and makes the first impression of the company. They coordinate meetings, travel arrangements, and other events to make sure everything flows smoothly.

In the legal profession, our admins file pleadings, proofread discovery, and field client inquiries. They maintain our attorneys’ calendars and schedules to ensure that attorneys are on time to their appointments and hearings. They essentially operate as extensions of the attorneys themselves in all aspects of a law firm.

But the worth of every administrative professional is so much more than their work in the office. They provide valuable insight to the workplace, and their experience with what makes businesses succeed is second to none. They are so much more than employees—they are key partners in a company’s overall success.

RDM’s Administrative Professionals Are Dedicated

At Rasmussen Dickey Moore, we recognize and appreciate the incredible work that our administrative professionals deliver. Amongst our admins, we have:

  • Four who have been with us more than 1 year
  • Eight who have been with us more than 5 years
  • Five who have been with us more than 10 years
  • Two who have been with us more than 15 years
  • And two who have been with us more than 20 years!

Their success is our success. So with the utmost gratitude from RDM, we thank each and every administrative professional for all that you do on this Administrative Professionals’ Day. Thank you!

Kansas City Union Station. Photo by Flickr user Schnitzel Bank.

On September 28th, RDM member Patrick D. Murphy presented “An Ethical Guide in Pretty Much Everything an Attorney Should Not Do” for the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association‘s CLE By The Hour program. Utilizing the latest in work from home technology, Patrick illustrated all of the pitfalls associated with signing new clients up, the responsibility to the Court and opposing counsel throughout litigation, and the duties that every lawyer should strive to uphold.

RDM attorneys are regular presenters at continuing legal education courses. Our attorneys are proud to share their skills and experience in pursuit of outstanding professional development opportunities for our colleagues in the field of law.

Find out more about the KCMBA’s CLE By The Hour program.