Zach is a strategic litigator who believes in getting the best results through understanding clients’ broader business needs and prioritizing issue spotting early in each case. He has defended numerous class actions, MDLs, and other mass litigation in multiple industries, including food and beverage, pharmaceutical, and energy matters. While many of his cases have been resolved by granting summary judgment or denying class certification, Zach is also an experienced trial attorney.
Zach’s business litigation practice extends beyond high stakes contract and warranty claims, including the defense of companies in aerospace, banking, business tort, antitrust, and consumer protection litigation. His business litigation experience covers claims and defenses in several technical areas of law including:
- non-compete and non-solicitation agreements;
- the Uniform Commercial Code;
- the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act;
- the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act;
- the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act; and
- various antitrust and consumer protection laws.
Zach is a skilled trial attorney with multiple first-chair experiences, but his principal goal is to win cases before they get to trial. He has helped his clients favorably resolve litigation early in the legal process, including:
Denial of class certification. Zach has defeated putative class actions before they are certified, saving his clients time and money. His results include defeating certification of proposed classes of FACTA plaintiffs in the Western District of Missouri and the Eastern District of Kentucky (Gist v. Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, 2013 WL 4068788 (E.D. Ky. Aug. 12, 2013)).
Summary judgment. Zach has successfully resolved litigation before trial by obtaining summary judgment on a host of claims, including:
- unfair competition claims alleging below-cost sales
- direct and vicarious liability claims against an international franchisor arising from franchisees’ sales practices (In re Motor Fuel Temperature Sales Practices Litig., 2012 WL 1536161 (D. Kan. Apr. 30, 2012));
- consumer fraud claims arising from labeling practices (Kremers v. Coca-Cola Co., 712 F.Supp.2d 759 (S.D. Ill. 2010)), (Wingate v. Barkman Honey, 2021 WL 50987 (D. Kan. Jan. 6, 2021)); and
- a seven-figure professional liability claim against an insurance broker in the Circuit Court of St. Louis.
Dismissal on the pleadings. Zach has successfully dismissed, with prejudice, inventive tort and contract theories, including:
- multiple antitrust lawsuits alleging conspiracy to bribe government contractors;
- FACTA and negligence claims alleging the defendant failed to mask credit card receipts, encrypt credit card data and protect consumer credit card information generally; and
- contract and tortious interference claims alleging improper poaching of employees. Quality Resources, Inc. v. Pfizer, Inc., 622 Fed. Appx. 606 (8th Cir. 2015) (affirming dismissal).
Appeal. When necessary, Zach has helped clients appeal decisions. In the Kansas Court of Appeals, he successfully argued for reversal of a district court order denying his request for attorney fees as a prevailing party. (Curo Enterprises, LLC v. Dunes Residential Services, Inc., No. 111,191, 2015 Kan. App. LEXIS 1 (Kan. App. Jan. 2, 2015)). He also obtained reversal of an order terminating his client’s parental rights (In re Adoption of Baby Girl P., 291 Kan. 424, 242 P.3d 1168 (2010)). In another case, the Tenth Circuit reversed a federal district court ruling that found no standing to seek injunctive relief. Zach’s work in that case was nominated for recognition by the 2015 Green Bag Almanac & Reader as a piece of exemplary legal writing (Petrella v. Brownback, 697 F.3d 1285 (10th Cir. 2012)).
Settlement. When a settlement is best outcome for his clients, Zach negotiates favorable settlements to resolve litigation, often by leveraging the best dispositive argument. In one case, Zach defended clients against multiple consumer class actions alleging the companies failed to disclose whether pollen was removed from their honey products during processing. Zach and the team obtained favorable settlements after developing a preemption argument that was instrumental in the dismissal of several related cases.
Gene Balloun and Zach Chaffee-McClure, Recommended Reading for Your Next Appeal, 83 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association (Feb. 2014).
Laurie A. Novion and Zach Chaffee-McClure, The Devil Is in the Details: Issues Often Overlooked When Crafting Class Settlement Agreements, ABA Mass Torts Newsletter (Fall 2010).
Zach Chaffee-McClure, Comment, Train in Vain: The Clash Between the RIAA and the Eighth Circuit over Whether the DMCA Subpoena Provision Applies to Peer-to-Peer Networks, and the Need to Steer the DMCA Back on Track with Congressional Intent, 45 Washburn L.J. 175 (2005).
Retail Sales and Antitrust Litigation Showcase, Update of the Law, Miami, Florida, February 27, 2017.
Technology in the Courtroom, Johnson County Bar Association Herbert W. Walton Bench/Bar Conference, Overland Park, Kansas, March 6, 2014.
On the Horizon: Upcoming Supreme Court Decisions, Proposed Changes to the Rules of Civil Procedure, and More, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.’s Tenth Annual Update of the Law, Kansas City, Missouri, June 11, 2013.
Developments in Consumer Fraud Litigation, Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P.’s Seventh Annual Update of the Law, Kansas City, Missouri, June 17, 2010.
The Future of Litigation, Kansas Association of Defense Counsel Annual Meeting, Kansas City, Missouri, December 5, 2009.
Invoking the Inherent Powers of the Court, Ross T. Roberts Inns of Court, Kansas City, Missouri, December 2, 2009.
Justices Urged To Protect Millions Of Calif. Arbitration Clauses, Law360, March 30, 2020.