John J. Gates


John handles a wide variety of legal issues ranging from disputes between business owners to personal injury lawsuits to non-compete allegations to defective construction claims to interpreting insurance policies.  It is his broad practice that enables him to see all sides of a client’s problems and help develop effective solutions.

Many lawyers call themselves “transactional” attorneys, as they prepare documents for business transactions.  Others call themselves “commercial litigators” because they handle disputes involving business transactions.  John does both.  His experience as a commercial litigator aids in the preparation of legal documents to further reduce the risk of disputes arising, and his knowledge regarding document preparation serves him well in litigating cases.

John’s caseload over the years has been filled with every type of personal injury case imaginable.  He has defended a number of high-exposure wrongful death and personal injury claims from workplace accidents, product defects, trucking accidents, insufficient security, and highway design, but he also handles cases with less severe injuries in the areas of premises liability, automobile accidents, and property damage.  

Aside from his business and personal injury practice, John handles insurance coverage, defective construction and non-compete matters.  With regard to insurance coverage, he handles examinations under oath (EUO), coverage analysis, bad faith claims, declaratory judgment actions, subrogation claims, and equitable garnishments.  John’s defective construction cases involve the design, materials and construction in residential and commercial projects.  Finally, John represents both employers and employees in cases involving non-competes and trade secrets.  His article, “25 Questions Before Enforcing a Non-Compete,” was recently published by US Law Magazine.

John has tried several high-exposure jury trials in Missouri and Kansas, including two of the largest defense verdicts in Missouri in the last ten years.  He has also obtained dismissals in large-loss personal injury and commercial litigation case.  John routinely speaks at continuing legal education seminars on trial tactics and civil procedure. 

During law school, John served as a judicial law intern for United States Magistrate Judge Gerald L. Rushfelt in the District of Kansas, and he was an Articles Editor on the Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.

Before joining the Firm, John was a certified law intern at the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office in Kansas City, Missouri, where he successfully second-chaired first-degree murder and first-degree armed robbery trials.


Plaintiff’s Verdict in Business Tort Case against Tax Lawyer

John and Chris Hillman obtained a verdict for damages and injunctive relief against a tax lawyer after a week-long bench trial in Johnson County, Kansas.  The Court awarded damages on our client’s claims of professional negligence, breach of contract, and fraud, and the Court enjoined the defendant from misappropriating our client’s intellectual property.

Settlement of International Dispute between Material Manufacturer and Distributor

John represented a Missouri company owned by a South African resident in a dispute with a German subsidiary of a Belgian chemical company.  The dispute was resolved confidentially.

Confidential Settlement on behalf of Homeowners Association

John was lead counsel for a homeowners association asserting claims against two fire sprinkler contractors and a material supplier for damages to CPVC sprinkler pipes caused by the use of the wrong antifreeze.  The homeowners association sought damages in excess of $1.5 million, and the case settled for a confidential sum.

Defense Verdict for Environmental Services Contractor

John obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of an environmental services contractor in St. Louis, Missouri.  The plaintiff sought damages for seven past surgeries and the need for future treatment to her wrist.  The last pretrial offer was $90,000, but the jury found the firm’s client to be 0% at fault. […]

Defense Verdict for Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator

John obtained a defense verdict in a jury trial on behalf of a commercial motor vehicle operator in Kansas City, Jackson County, Missouri.  The plaintiff sought damages for past surgeries and the need for future bilateral knee replacements.  The last pretrial offer was $185,000, but the jury found the firm’s client to be 0% at […]

Practice Areas

Awards & Service

  • AV® Preeminate Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Super Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas, Thomson Reuters
  • Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal
  • Top 40 Under 40 Litigation Lawyer in Kansas, American Society of Legal Advocates
  • Top 100 Litigation Lawyers in Missouri, American Society of Legal Advocates


  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Kansas


  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Kansas School of Law

Professional Organizations

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA), Construction Law Committee
  • Board of Directors, Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers (MODL)
  • Greater Kansas City Chapter of Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Greater Kansas City Claims Association (GKCCA)
  • Johnson County (Kan.) Bar Association
  • Wyandotte County (Kan.) Bar Association
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Contact Our Firm

Baty, Holm, Numrich & Otto, PC is a full-service law firm committed to providing the highest level of legal representation. Please contact us at (816) 531-7200.Contact Us