Aaron French, Shareholder

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About

Aaron joined the firm in 2003 and practices business litigation and product liability. He also serves as the Business Litigation Group Practice Leader and is a member of the Recruiting Committee.

An experienced litigator, Aaron has represented clients facing many varied matters in both state and federal courts. Aaron has tried both bench and jury trials and has obtained successful trial verdicts for his clients. He has prepared and successfully argued a number of dispositive motions that resulted in client victories. He has also successfully represented clients in arbitration and has settled numerous matters to his clients’ satisfaction at mediation. Aaron has prepared appellate briefs and argued issues of first impression in the State of Missouri. Whether arguing before a judge or jury, Aaron is a critical contributor to Sandberg Phoenix’s ongoing success and reputation as the go-to law firm for business and business litigation matters.

“Achieving my clients’ goals is my first priority,” says Aaron. “I carefully study the factors at play in each case and work with my clients to maximize the outcome.”

Having developed a deep knowledge of several industries, Aaron specializes in representing insurers in insurance coverage and bad faith cases. Aaron provides clients facing issues in these areas not only top-shelf representation but also in-depth analysis relating to complicated factual scenarios and complex legal issues. His effective, comprehensive analysis is performed cost-consciously in order to provide clients with the most superior legal services at a reasonable rate. Aaron also contributes to the Bad Faith Blog, the premiere insurance blog on the Internet.

Outside of the office, Aaron enjoys golfing, attending St. Louis sporting events and concerts and spending time with his wife and young children. He is an avid moviegoer and likes keeping up with several television series.

Background

Beginning his college career at Illinois State University, Aaron earned his bachelor’s, Magna Cum Laude, in 1998. He then went on to earn his Juris Doctor, cum laude, at Saint Louis University School of Law in 2001, where he was the editor of the St. Louis University Law Journal and was also profiled in Who’s Who Among American Law Students.

Prior to joining Sandberg Phoenix, Aaron served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Gary M. Gaertner, Sr. of the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District.

He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Missouri Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and the Lawyer’s Association of St. Louis. He is also a member of the Defense Research Institute, the Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) and sits on the CLM – Extra-Contractual Committee. Aaron currently serves as a member of Mackrell International, one of the world’s premier networks of independent legal firms, and was recently invited to serve as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.

Aaron gives back to the community as a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Sons of the American Legion. He is also a member of the South St. Louis County Chamber of Commerce and a parishioner of Assumption Catholic Church of Mattese. Aaron is currently serving as a Mentor for the SLU LAW Pre-law Undergraduate Scholars Program.

Because of his commitment to high ethical standards and broad knowledge and experience, Aaron has received the AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ on Martindale Hubbell®, given by attorneys who have interacted with Aaron during his legal career. Aaron was honored as a 2016 Top Rated Lawyer in Insurance Law by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell. He was also named a 2013 Up-And Coming attorney by Missouri Lawyers Media and was selected as one of St. Louis’ Top Rated Lawyers of 2014 by Legal Leaders. In 2014-2016, Aaron was named a Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the areas of Business Litigation and Insurance Coverage.

Aaron is admitted to practice law in Missouri and Illinois and before the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri and Southern District of Illinois, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th and 8th Circuits.

Recent Successes

Aaron obtained summary judgment on behalf of an insurer in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. The case involved numerous insureds who were involved in a multi-vehicle accident which left one of the claimants paralyzed. After satisfying the limits on policies, summary judgment was granted due to exhaustion.

In a case of first impression before the Missouri Supreme Court, Aaron obtained a favorable ruling for a client which exempted them from state sales taxes under a federal law prohibiting the imposition of taxes on air commerce or air transportation.  The case received both national and local media attention.

After a four-day jury trial in U.S. District Court-Eastern District of Missouri, Aaron obtained a six-figure jury verdict for his client on multiple breach of contract counts relating to the rentals of heavy drilling equipment.

After a three-day bench trial, Aaron obtained a complete defense verdict for his clients, who were alleged to have breached their fiduciary duties as trustees of a homeowners’ association at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Aaron obtained summary judgment in the City of St. Louis for an insurer in a breach of contract and equitable garnishment suit relating to alleged coverage for a third-party claim stemming from a personal injury to a co-employee which resulted in a $750,000 judgment against the alleged insured. The summary judgment was appealed by the opposing party.  Aaron handled all aspects of the appeal, including oral argument.  The summary judgment was affirmed by the Missouri Court of Appeals.

Aaron obtained summary judgment for an insurer in a declaratory judgment action filed in U.S. District Court-Western District of Missouri regarding whether the insurer properly denied coverage under a claims made and reported employment practices liability policy when the insured failed to provide timely notice of an EEOC charge, which later resulted in a lawsuit.

Aaron assisted in a week-long arbitration hearing under the International Rules of Arbitration, which resulted in a multi-million dollar arbitration award for our client.

Podcasts

A.M. Best Insurance Law Podcast, “The Handling of Third Party Claims in Missouri,” September 2016

Presentations

CLM Presentation – Negotiation Strategies for Claims Professionals- October 2016

Insurer, Adjuster, Agent and Broker Liability: A-Z, National Business Institute, April 2016

Practical Professionalism, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance Seminar, July 2014

Civil Court Procedure and Strategy Boot Camp, National Business Institute, June 2012

Bad Faith: How to Recognize it in Your Case, National Business Institute, November 2011

Publications

Aaron is quoted in “Insurance Cases to Watch in 2017,” Law 360, January 2, 2017

Aaron is the Regional Author and Editor of the Defense Research Institute Bad Faith Compendium

BIOGRAPHY

Aaron joined the firm in 2003 and practices business litigation and product liability. He also serves as the Business Litigation Group Practice Leader and is a member of the Recruiting Committee.

An experienced litigator, Aaron has represented clients facing many varied matters in both state and federal courts. Aaron has tried both bench and jury trials and has obtained successful trial verdicts for his clients. He has prepared and successfully argued a number of dispositive motions that resulted in client victories. He has also successfully represented clients in arbitration and has settled numerous matters to his clients’ satisfaction at mediation. Aaron has prepared appellate briefs and argued issues of first impression in the State of Missouri. Whether arguing before a judge or jury, Aaron is a critical contributor to Sandberg Phoenix’s ongoing success and reputation as the go-to law firm for business and business litigation matters.

“Achieving my clients’ goals is my first priority,” says Aaron. “I carefully study the factors at play in each case and work with my clients to maximize the outcome.”

Having developed a deep knowledge of several industries, Aaron specializes in representing insurers in insurance coverage and bad faith cases. Aaron provides clients facing issues in these areas not only top-shelf representation but also in-depth analysis relating to complicated factual scenarios and complex legal issues. His effective, comprehensive analysis is performed cost-consciously in order to provide clients with the most superior legal services at a reasonable rate. Aaron also contributes to the Bad Faith Blog, the premiere insurance blog on the Internet.

Outside of the office, Aaron enjoys golfing, attending St. Louis sporting events and concerts and spending time with his wife and young children. He is an avid moviegoer and likes keeping up with several television series.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2016 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved. Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard P.C.is a law firm with a primary office located in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Website Hosted by St. Louis Web Hosting

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