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D 816.360.4249
F 816.572.5049
  • Education
    • J.D., University of Oklahoma, 1993, with distinction; Recipient, American Jurisprudence Award, Trial Techniques
    • B.A., University of Kansas, 1990
  • Court Admissions
    • United States Supreme Court, 2006
    • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas, 2000
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri, 2000
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, 2005
    • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Oklahoma, 1993
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma
    • U.S. District Court, Western District of Oklahoma
    • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado, 2002
    • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 2002

Eric Packel is a trial lawyer who represents local and national businesses in connection with a variety of employee and shareholder related claims. For many of these clients, Eric also oversees and directs their general legal needs and consults them in their overall business strategies.  Over the course of 20 years, Eric has tried cases to juries in five states, including:

  • Claims brought under Federal and State anti-discrimination statutes 
  • Breach of Operating Agreements 
  • Breach of Employment Agreements 
  • Breach of fiduciary duties 
  • Sexual assault 
  • Negligent hiring 
  • First Amendment 
  • Violations of the Uniformed Trade Secrets Act

During a recent 18 month span between December 2012 and May 2014, Eric received three defense verdicts from juries in Jackson County, Missouri Circuit Courts on discrimination cases brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act. One of the cases was based upon race discrimination; one was based upon pregnancy discrimination; and one was based upon age discrimination. One of those cases was a month long trial involving a claim of age discrimination against the Kansas City Chiefs, in which Eric and his partner obtained a defense verdict.

Regularly leading a team that handles all of the employment discrimination allegations brought against a large healthcare institution, which employs more than 7,000 employees, Eric has defended the institution in multiple Charges of Discrimination before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and a state Human Rights Commission for the last 5 years. To date, none of those Charges has resulted in a “Cause” Determination.

In addition to his health care clients, Eric has represented employers in the following industries:

  • Information technology and communications
  • Outsourcing
  • Food and ingredient manufacturing 
  • Construction and building supply 
  • Machinery 
  • Financial services

Eric has handled several collective actions brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, including a seminal case involving 742 satellite installation technicians. In addition, he has also arbitrated in front of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the Kansas Public Employer-Employee Relations Board.

  • Wright v. American Builders and Contractors Supply Company, Inc. d/b/a ABC Supply Co. and Jason Brooks, Jury Trial, Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, May 2014. Represented Defendants in a race discrimination lawsuit brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act brought by an African-American man who was terminated by Defendants. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in both Defendants’ favor.
  • Cox v. Kansas City Chiefs Football Club, Jury Trial, Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri, February – March 2013. Represented the Kansas City Chiefs in a month long age discrimination case in Eastern Jackson County. The jury returned a verdict in the Chiefs' favor.
  • Carnes v. FishNet Security, Inc., Jury Trial, Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri December 2012. Represented FishNet Security in a pregnancy discrimination case in Jackson County under the Missouri Human Rights Act. Received a defense verdict in one hour.
  • Burford v. Myers National Mortgage Company, Jury Trial, Circuit Court of Jackson County. Former shareholder sued National Mortgage Company for breach of fiduciary duty, breach of shareholders' agreement, and other claims. Received multi-million dollar verdicts on counterclaims for breach of Employment Agreement and violations of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
  • Cottrill and Combs v. MFA, Incorporated, United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. Summary Judgment affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in a sexual harassment case brought by two female employees on whom their supervisor “peeped” in the bathroom for five years through a peephole he created. Argued that the women never knew of the peeping until they reported their suspicion and that the women could not have subjectively believed they were being harassed since they did not know of the peeping until it was discovered.
  • Majors v. McAlester Regional Health Center Authority, Jury Trial, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma. Chief Executive Officer was fired after 16 years as CEO after he openly criticized the Board and physicians who practiced at the Hospital, claiming the care was substandard and the Board had done nothing to improve it, over his suggestions. The CEO was discharged without a hearing in front of the Board. He brought claims of violation of First Amendment, Breach of Employment Agreement, violation of Due Process and Liberty and alleged damages of $6 million. Jury returned a unanimous verdict within 30 minutes after a week-long trial.
  • Thomas v. University of Kansas Hospital Authority, Public Employer-Employee Relations Board. Following a week long hearing, obtained an Order from the Public Employer-Employee Relations Board on Medical Center’s behalf where Claimant alleged that her employment was terminated because she was a Union Steward.
  • Jackson v. Department of Corrections, United States District Court for the District of Kansas. Eric was appointed to represent an inmate pro bono on claims of excessive force used against the inmate while waiting to obtain medications from the infirmary. The inmate refused to stand, stating he had medical restrictions from prolonged standing, and was pulled to his cell. Eric received a judgment of $10,000 for actual damages against each individual defendant and $15,000 for punitive damages. He was also awarded $40,000 in attorneys fees.
Publication and Presentations IconPublications & Presentations
Heartland Labor and Employment Law Institute
2014
podcast iconPolsinelli Podcasts
July 7, 2014
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Polsinelli Labor and Employment Law Symposium
2013
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Heartland Labor and Employment Law Institute
2013
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Heartland Labor and Employment Law Institute
2012
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Sponsored by Satellite Broadcasting Communications Association
Presentation given at the annual National "Sky Forum," a national webinar to satellite companies
2009
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Sponsored by Kansas City Metropolitan Community College
2009
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Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association Newsletter
2009
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Sponsored by the Labor and Employment Law Committee of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
2009
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Polsinelli Employment Law Workshop
March 2008