George A. Hanson

Kansas City - Partner | 816-714-7115 (Direct) | hanson@stuevesiegel.com

George A. Hanson was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. In 1988, George graduated with High Honors from Oberlin College with a B.A. in History. In 1992, George obtained his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. George is one of the region's leading commercial litigators and trial lawyers. George has been named "Best of the Bar" by the Kansas City Business Journal for eleven years and has also been elected a Missouri Super Lawyer every year since 2006. George has been named a "Local Litigation Star" by Benchmark Plaintiffs and was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers® in America 2014 - 2017.  Additionally, he was named the Best Lawyers® 2015 Kansas City, MO – Class Actions - Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” and Best Lawyers® 2016 Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Plaintiffs "Lawyer of the Year" in Kansas City, MO.  George is rated AV - the highest designation a lawyer can achieve from publisher Martindale Hubbell.

  • EXPERIENCE
  • HONORS & AWARDS
  • EDUCATION
  • BAR ADMISSIONS

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

Upon graduation, George accepted a judicial clerk position with the Honorable Harriet Lansing of the Minnesota Court of Appeals. After completing his judicial clerkship in 1993, George joined Blackwell Sanders Matheny Weary & Lombardi, now Husch Blackwell Sanders, as an associate in the Labor and Employment Department. He was elected to the firm's partnership in 1999, and served as Chair of the Hiring Committee. During his tenure at Blackwell Sanders, George represented many of the region's leading companies, including Hallmark Cards, UtiliCorp United, Saint Luke's/Shawnee Mission Heath System and The Kansas City Star. In 2001, George left Blackwell and joined Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP as a partner to develop his litigation practice in a more results-oriented and entrepreneurial environment.

George is an experienced commercial litigator and trial attorney. George has successfully tried many cases to judges and juries in both state and federal court, and has extensive experience representing clients in arbitration. In addition to trial work, George has developed an active appellate practice and has successfully argued numerous cases before state appellate courts in Missouri, Kansas and Illinois, and federal appellate courts in the Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Circuits.

In addition to complex commercial litigation and trial work, George's practice currently focuses on the representation of employees in large wage and hour class and collective actions, including workers in the financial services, meat processing, pharmaceutical and call center industries. In the past five years, George has been lead or co-lead counsel in more than 40 wage and hour actions filed in state and federal courts in Kansas, Missouri, California, Illinois, New York, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Louisiana. To date, these wage and hour cases have obtained relief in excess of $50 million on behalf of firm clients. George is also a frequent speaker regarding trial practice and wage and hour matters nationwide.

RECENT LITIGATION HIGHLIGHTS

In re Wells Fargo Loan Processor Overtime Litigation. George is one of the lead counsel representing class plaintiffs in multidistrict wage and hour litigation consolidated in the Northern District of California. George argued the certification motion on behalf of the class, and in 2007, the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel granted plaintiffs' motion and certified a class consisting of 25,000 current and former Wells Fargo loan officers employed nationwide. The Court  approved a settlement in August 2011.

In re Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Overtime Pay Litigation. George represented a class of loan originators who were classified as ineligible for overtime pay. The case settled for $20 million in 2010.

Marshall v. R.J. Reynolds. George was lead counsel in several wage and hour class and collective actions brought against R.J. Reynolds on behalf of a class of retail representatives currently and formerly employed by R.J. Reynolds nationwide. In 2007, the Honorable Richard E. Dorr of the Western District of Missouri certified a nation-wide FLSA class consisting of approximately 1,500 eligible class members. In early 2010, the cases were settled in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri, the United States District Court for the Western District of New York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Norman v. Dell. George is lead counsel on behalf of a certified class of consumer sales representatives employed by Dell in call centers located in Roseburg, Oregon, Nashville, Tennessee, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Round Rock, Texas. In 2008, the Honorable Thomas Coffin of the United States District Court for the District of Oregon certified the case as a collective action under the FLSA and ordered that notice be provided to eligible class members. George has recently instituted similar litigation against Dell in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on behalf of a class of business sales representatives. Confidential settlement approved in 2009.

Perry v. National City. George was lead counsel and represented a certified class of current and former loan officers employed by National City Bank in a wage and hour collective action pending in the Southern District of Illinois. In 2007, the Honorable David H. Herndon certified a collective action consisting of approximately 4,500 current and former National City loan officers. After extensive summary judgment and related briefing, the parties reached a Court-approved class settlement in the amount of $27.5 million.

West v. First Franklin. George was lead counsel on a wage and hour collective action brought on behalf of approximately loan account managers against First Franklin Corporation. In 2007, the District of Kansas approved a class settlement in the amount of $8.7 million.

Garner v. Regis Corporation. George was lead counsel on behalf of approximately 1,300 current and former salon managers and stylists in a certified wage and hour collective action against Regis Corporation, the world's largest owner and operator of hair and retail product salons. In August 2004, the trial judge for the Western District of Missouri certified the case as a collective action pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The parties subsequently reached a Court-approved confidential settlement of the case in June of 2006.

Gieseke v. First Horizon. George was lead counsel in a wage and hour collective action brought against First Horizon Bank on behalf of a class of current and former loan officers. The case was certified as a collective action by the Honorable Carlos Murguia of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. In 2008, the parties reached a Court-approved confidential settlement on behalf of more than 600 class members.

Qualls v. Sanofi-Aventis. George was lead counsel in a wage and hour collective action filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri against Sanofi-Aventis. The class consisted of current and former manufacturing and packaging operators at defendant's facility in Kansas City, Missouri. In 2006, the trial court approved a confidential settlement on behalf of all class members.

Call Center Litigation. An additional focus of George's recent practice has been prosecuting wage and hour actions against the owners and operators of call centers that engage in an illegal practice of denying customer service workers compensation for all working time. Actions have been filed in federal and state courts across the country, including in New York, Missouri, Kansas, California and Washington, and include such defendants as ClientLogic, TeleTech, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, CenturyTel and Sprint. Confidential settlements were reached in all of these cases.

 RECENT TRIAL AND ARBITRATION RESULTS

Garcia v. Tyson. George was lead counsel in a wage and hour class and collective action against Tyson Foods in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Plaintiffs alleged that Tyson, the worlds' largest processor of poultry and red meat, illegally deprived earned wages from its hourly work force employed at its Holcomb, Kansas facility. A key legal victory was obtained in 2007 when the trial court denied Tyson's motion for summary judgment, a decision subsequently upheld by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The trial court granted class and collective action certification of a class of approximately 5,000 workers. In March 2011, a federal jury in Kansas found against Tyson Foods and Tyson Fresh Meats for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Kansas Wage Payment Act (KWPA). Jury verdict for the plaintiff class was affirmed by the 10th Circuit in August 2014.

Kelly v. State Farm. In August of 2005, George (along with his partner Norm Siegel) won a $26.5 million jury verdict on behalf of five State Farm agents who had accused State Farm of violating their agents' Agreements. The verdict came after a three-week trial in Independence, Missouri. Plaintiffs alleged that their contracts were improperly terminated in retaliation for speaking out against State Farm's wrongful conduct towards policyholders. The verdict ranked among the top 50 nationwide in 2005.

Horizon Holdings v. Genmar Holdings. In November 2002, George was the lead trial lawyer in a two-week jury trial in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. The case involved claims for breach of a purchase agreement and employment contracts brought by a small business owner against the worlds' largest manufacturer of recreational boats. The jury returned a verdict of $2.58 million in favor of plaintiffs, and later awarded an additional $865,000 in attorneys' fees. The entire judgment totaling approximately $3.6 million was upheld after appeal to the Tenth Circuit.

Vanhamme v. 7-Eleven. George was lead trial counsel in a breach of contract and false imprisonment case brought against 7-Eleven on behalf of a terminated franchise owner. After the jury returned a verdict against 7-Eleven and an individual manager on the false imprisonment claim, including a finding of punitive damages, the parties reached a confidential settlement.

O'Grady v. Aquila. George was lead counsel and successfully defended Aquila in an action brought by a former energy trader asserting claims of breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation. After successfully compelling the case to arbitration from state court, the case was tried in a multi-day arbitration proceeding. The arbitrator ultimately denied claimant any recovery on the in excess of $5 million claimed, and returned a full defense judgment on all claims.

PENDING LITIGATION

Litigation Against Financial Services Companies. In addition to the cases identified above, George has lead the Firm's litigation team on the prosecution of numerous wage and hour class and collective actions on behalf of loan officers and loan processors against many of the nation's largest financial institutions. These include cases that have settled or are currently pending against J.P. Morgan/Chase, Merrill Lynch, Bank of Blue Valley and Principal Financial.

 

 

Missouri, 1993

Kansas, 1994

U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1992
J.D.
Honors: Cum Laude

Oberlin College, 1988
B.A.
Honors: High Honors
Major:  History

Best Lawyers® Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Plaintiffs "Lawyer of the Year" in Kansas City, MO (2014, 2016)

Best Lawyers® in America - Commercial Litigation; Employment Law-Individuals; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Plaintiffs (2014 - 2017)

Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal (2005-2016)

Super Lawyer - Business Litigation, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers (2006 - 2016)

AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated - Martindale Hubbell

Local Litigation Star for the State of Missouri - Benchmark Plaintiffs (2013-2015)

Professional Organizations

American Bar Association

The Missouri Bar

Kansas Bar Association

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

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