Thomas K. RileyPartner
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Thomas K. Riley was born and raised in Fulton, Missouri. Riley graduated with a major in history from Westminster College, cum laude. After graduation, Riley attended law school at one of the nation’s premier law schools, Washington and Lee, of Lexington, Virginia. Riley was a member of, and author for, the Washington and Lee Law Review. He was subsequently inducted into law’s most prestigious honorary society, the Order of the Coif. Tom graduated 3rd in his class, Magna Cum Laude. During breaks from law school, Riley served as an intern to the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court and worked for a firm serving Virginia and Washington, D.C. After graduation, but before entering private practice, Riley served as law clerk for the Hon. Ann K. Covington on the Missouri Supreme Court.
Riley joined the firm in 1998 and established a practice in complex transactional work and litigation in estate planning, real estate, business, insurance, and governmental practice. Riley has represented individuals, businesses, and trade associations from over a dozen states in Missouri trial courts, the Missouri Court of Appeals, the Missouri Supreme Court, and federal court. Riley has the highest possible peer-review rating – an AV Rating – from the industry standard rating agency, Martindale-Hubble. In estate planning, Riley creates documents ranging from simple powers of attorney and wills to complex credit shelter and QTIP trusts, Qualified Family Trusts, Asset Protection Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, Crummey trusts, Charitable Remainder Annuity Trusts, and comprehensive business succession plans. Riley’s work in estate planning has resulted in invitations to speak and write on estate planning topics for the Missouri Bar, including writing the an article in the Journal of the Missouri Bar on trusts and the Missouri Uniform Trust Code. Riley’s work also includes an extensive use of Missouri Asset Protection Trusts.
Riley’s work in real estate includes representing the majority of realtors, the leading bank and title company in Callaway County, and hundreds of landlords and landowners. His work in real estate has included creating subdivisions, commercial developments, landfill and utility agreements, contracts, leases, 1031 or like-kind exchanges, and financing agreements as well as extensive litigation in quiet title suits, boundary disputes, partition actions, and breach of contract claims. Riley has been a frequent lecturer for the Missouri Bar symposiums on real estate law and is the author of a chapter in the Missouri Bar’s deskbook for attorneys on Real Estate Law regarding partition lawsuits, including the supplement to his chapter.
Riley’s related experience in business transactions and litigation includes creating corporations and limited liability companies, drafting complex financing contracts, buy-sell agreements, business sales, and a wide range of corporate and contractual litigation. This contractual litigation includes extensive experience in lawsuits against insurance companies that have denied coverage for claims, including entering and enforcing 537.065 agreements, pursuing equitable garnishments and extensive experience in insurance coverage litigation. Due to the complexity of insurance issues, Riley prepared an article on Insurance Law in Missouri. Riley also authored an article for Missouri Lawyer’s weekly on drafting contracts in light of litigation risk and assisted the Missouri Bar in creating a new deskbook on contractual issues while drafting the chapter on litigating breach of contract claims. Riley’s experience in contractual litigation includes lawsuits in federal court, state trial courts, the court of appeals, and the Missouri Supreme Court.
Some of Riley’s business clients include The Callaway Bank, Ovid Bell Press, Backer Potato Chip Company, Mertens Quarries, Boyd & Boyd, Inc., Red Cross Pharmacies, Christensen Construction, and dozens of other corporations throughout Mid-Missouri. Riley has also served on the Board of Directors for Backer Potato Chip Company and the Board of Advisors for The Callaway Bank. Tom Riley’s concentration in these related areas, involvement in state government, and proximity to the capital has led to the development of an extensive practice in governmental law, from representing municipalities, to drafting proposed legislation, to filing suits against state agencies on behalf of individuals, businesses, and trade associations. Riley’s clients have included the Missouri Association of Councils of Government, the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission, the Missouri Sheriff’s Association, the Missouri Fire Marshall’s Association, the Cities of Fulton and Mokane, Missouri, and trade associations from the Missouri Assisted Living Association to the Missouri Hotel-Motel Association, the lobbying firm of Gamble and Schlemeier, and the Missouri Pharmacy Association. Tom Riley’s litigation work has produced results including more than a dozen six-figure settlements, multiple judgments of millions of dollars, a judgment of over Two Million in a banking and commercial litigation case, a judgment of over Four Million in a wrongful death case, and a judgment against an insurance company that wrongfully denied coverage ultimately more than Five Million; in 2011, he won a case before the Missouri Supreme Court upholding a multi-million dollar judgment that served as the basis for an article and seminar for insurance defense attorneys. Riley’s litigation work continues with work in numerous state trial courts and representation of parties in Missouri appellate courts every year since 2009.*
As part of the firm’s commitment to community service, Riley has been recognized for his continual efforts for civic and charitable improvement for nearly a decade. In addition to providing hundreds of hours of pro-bono work for churches, charities, and needy individuals, Riley has served as President of the Callaway County Chamber of Commerce; President of the Board of Directors of the Fulton Area Development Corporation; President of the Brick District Association; and President of the Fulton College Board of Associates Riley has also been a Director for the University Extension Council, the Kingdom of Callaway Historical Society, and the YMCA of Callaway County, while providing legal services for Serve, Inc. and dozens of other public charities. In 2011, Riley was awarded the Westminster College Alumni Achievement Award. In 2013, Riley led the Fulton Brick District’s efforts to further revitalize downtown Fulton and ultimately create the Art House in downtown Fulton.
Riley lives in Fulton with his wife, Jamie, a graduate of William Woods University, and his daughters, Emma and Grace.
*Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its own merits.
News & Publications
- Litigating Breach of Contract Claims (Missouri Bar: Contracts, Chapter 7)
- Intergovernmental Cooperation and Conflict (Missouri Bar Deskbook, Chapter 12)
- Victory at Missouri Supreme Court (Fulton Sun)
- New Drafting Issues for Revocable Trust (Journal of Missouri Bar)
- Drafting Contracts in Light of Litigation Risks (Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly)
- Partition Lawsuits (Missouri Bar: Real Estate, Chapter 13)
- History of Callaway County Seat (Fulton Sun)