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Justin Nichols

Mr. Nichols serves as co-chair of the firms Banking and Creditors Rights Litigation Team. He has extensive experience in both the litigation and transactional aspects of banking, and focuses his practice on defensive banking litigation and lender liability claims, specializing in actions concerning purported violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, claims arising from alleged violations of Articles 3, 4 and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and Regulation B violations. Mr. Nichols routinely handles complex landlord-tenant matters, title insurance and underwriter claims, loan enforcement actions, consumer lending disputes, real estate purchase contract and lease cases, scope of easement conflicts, appraisal regulatory complaints, and adversary bankruptcy proceedings. Mr. Nichols frequently consults with clients on nuanced issues related to their real estate transactions, as well, and has experience in the drafting and negotiation of real estate purchase contracts and leases. He has been lead counsel for national and regional lending institutions in litigation matters, is regional litigation counsel for a national real estate trust, and has successfully tried a number of banking and real estate disputes. Mr. Nichols is also a leader in the Shawnee business and political community, having served as Chairman of the Board of the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce.

Significant Accomplishments

Banking

  • Obtained affirmance by the United States Supreme Court of litigation team's victories in the 8th Circuit and U.S. District Court for Western District of Missouri that client did not violate the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and Regulation B in lending dispute, because Regulation B impermissibly expands scope of Equal Credit Opportunity Act to include spousal guarantors not covered by plain language of statute. Hawkins v. Community Bank of Raymore, 136 S. Ct. 1072 (2016).
  • Successfully defended claims for violation of the FCRA in federal district court.
  • Represented borrower on a loan closing for the acquisition of a gas station with environmental remediation issues.
  • Obtained summary judgment and dismissal on claims alleging fraudulent inducement to enter into guaranties and mortgages in multiple courts
  • Successfully defended lender liability claims regarding alleged wrongful foreclosure to dismissal
  • Obtained dismissal of putative class action against national equipment lease finance company
  • Authored multiple opinion letters on credit facilities for national real estate trust
  • Lead counsel for both borrowers and lenders on negotiation and documentation of numerous loan transactions ranging from less than one million to more than twenty million dollars in size 

Real Estate

  • Successfully argued before Missouri Court of Appeals for affirmance of jury verdict in unlawful detainer case
  • Successfully defended limitation of liability provision in real estate contract before Missouri Court of Appeals
  • Obtained federal court verdict for return of $1.5 million earnest money deposit and attorneys fees in litigation over failed real estate transaction
  • Defended and secured voluntary dismissal of claims against appraiser in bankruptcy adversary proceeding related to alleged mortgage fraud
  • Successfully tried numerous landlord-tenant cases and post-foreclosure unlawful detainer cases for national real estate companies and banks

Commercial Litigation

  • Obtained $1 million dollar jury verdict in favor of cattle owner in cattle fraud case
  • Obtained summary judgment against alleged lost profit claims on behalf of national advertising company
  • Successfully tried case for breach of contract against regional hotel operator, and successfully defended against counterclaim seeking lost profits at trial of same case

Court Memberships

  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. Supreme Court 

Honors

  • Selected as a Law Firm Leader in Missouri Lawyers Weeklys 2016 Up & Coming Class
  • Ingram’s 40 Under 40 Recipient, 2016
  • Selected for Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2014-2016
  • Shawnee Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board, 2013; Board of Directors, 2011-2016
  • Shawnee Economic Development Council Executive Committee, 2012-2013, 2017
  • Shawnee Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Co-Founder, Board Member, Vice President, 2015-2016; President, 2017
  • United Community Services of Johnson County, Board Member, 2015-2016; Vice President, 2017
  • 2015 Graduate, Kansas City Tomorrow
  • Shawnee Tomorrow Leadership Program, 2007 Graduate, 2009 Chair
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Clarence Darrow Merit Scholarship Recipient, University of Michigan Law School

Professional Affiliations

  • The Missouri Bar
  • Kansas Bar Association
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • Johnson County Bar Association
  • City of Shawnee, Election Co-Chair for the Johnson County Education Research Triangle ballot initiative
  • Founder and Chair, Citizens for Responsible Spending, Shawnee

Presentations

  • Co-Presenter, Putting the ECOA and Regulation Jigsaw Puzzle Together Webinar, Co-Hosted by Lathrop Gage LLP and Career 1 Source, September 14, 2016
  • Co-Presenter, The ECOA and the Guarantors – The Implications of the Supreme Court's Decision in Hawkins, May 11, 2016
  • Presenter, Landlord-Tenant Law in Kansas and Missouri, KCMBA Headquarters, June 2006