J. Michael Vaughan

J. Michael Vaughan

(816) 421-6620




“Integrity is everything.”


Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird,  his grandfather’s stories of trials and lawyers, and an education in the world of finance formed Michael Vaughan’s passion for justice and ethics, and served as a solid foundation for a decades-long legal career.


A respected and recognized trial lawyer, Michael has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in complex business and financial fraud litigation, from California to New York, Wisconsin to Texas. In Texas, for example,  he and a group of other well-respected counsel successfully defended and settled one of the earliest cases involving allegedly vanishing premium life policies.  He, along with a team of other great lawyers, has successfully prosecuted and defended other statewide and nationwide class actions in California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Missouri, including a $166 million settlement for Missouri second mortgage home owners.


His experience and success have not only distinguished his own career, but have helped define the reputation of the firm in the field of financial and business litigation, a distinction that is unsurpassed not just locally, but nationally.


Passionate, civil, and even good-humored in the courtroom, Michael is still a trial lawyer who gives all for his clients.

Significant Representations

Co-defended and settled a nationwide class premised on the sale of allegedly vanishing premium policies. This is one of the early cases successfully defended and settled involving allegedly vanishing premium policies.


Co-defended and settled a multi-district, nationwide action regarding the sales practices of annuities to seniors. Competitors continue to defend such cases with mixed results, at best.


Reversed district court’s refusal to compel arbitration. Arbitration demand under NYSE was upheld even though there was not an arbitration agreement.


Co-defended nationwide putative class brought regarding IRC 412(i) plans. Case was dismissed with prejudice.


Obtained $105 million verdict in a class action of Missouri Second Mortgage Home Owner Borrowers regarding loans. WRRSV lawyers tried to verdict and subsequently and successfully settled.


Reversed the dismissal of a Missouri Second Mortgage Class under alleged federal preemption.  After this reversal during 9+ years of litigation, a subsequent settlement of $166 million class settlement with a 98%+ claims rate was achieved for these Missouri homeowners.


Obtained $36.3 million class settlement in second mortgage class action. This was the first significant settlement of Missouri Second Mortgage Class Actions.


Practice Areas

Business Litigation

Class Action

Consumer Protection

Securities Fraud  



J.D., University of Missouri School of Law, 1975
B.S., cum laude, University of Missouri, 1972  


Honors & Awards

AV (highest) rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, a peer rating system for attorneys Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2006−2012  



Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
Missouri Bar Association
Kansas Bar Association
American Bar Association


Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Missouri
U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court  



American Association for Justice
Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers


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