Mike Rader helps people after significant injuries or the death of a loved one. He seeks answers and compensation in wrongful death claims, professional negligence, trucking accidents, product liability, personal injury and dangerous premises. Mike’s sole focus is complex plaintiffs’ litigation, and he represents his clients with experience and dedication.
Before entering private practice, Mike spent five years as an assistant prosecutor at the Jackson County (Missouri) Prosecutor’s Office. This provided him valuable courtroom experience as well as perspective that shaped his career in civil litigation; he credits his work with crime victims for showing him the importance of answers, accountability and closure. He carries this motivation now in his plaintiffs’ cases.
Among his recent matters:
- A $19.7 million settlement for the parents of a boy killed at a water park. This case involved national media coverage and negotiations with seven defendants. It is the highest settlement for the death of a child in Kansas and Missouri history.
- A $7.5 million settlement for the family of a motorcycle rider who died after colliding with a truck. Evidence showed the truck driver failed several road evaluations during his safety training.
- A $7.5 million judgment on behalf of a family for the wrongful death of their daughter. The defendant, who was legally intoxicated, crossed the center line and hit her car head-on.
- A $2.3 million resolution for the family of John Albers who was fatally shot outside his home by an Overland Park, KS police officer.
He was the 2008 recipient of the Missouri Bar’s Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Award, which is given to attorneys who exemplify the qualities of a trial lawyer, including professionalism, high conduct and “meticulous preparation in the pursuit of truth.” The selection committee includes federal and state judges.
In 2018, Mike was named one of Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s “Influential Lawyers” for his work on the Schlitterbahn water park case, among other significant matters.
Mike is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) and the International Society of Barristers (ISOB). Membership in these organizations is by invitations only which are proceeded by a rigorous screening processes that consider the lawyer’s ability, experience and accomplishments as assessed by trial lawyers and judges. Membership is reserved for only those who exemplify the absolute best in trial advocacy, legal knowledge and the ethical standards of practice.
Active in the community, Mike serves on the Missouri governing board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and volunteers with Missouri Special Olympics. He previously served on the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners
Mike Rader roots for the underdog.
Perhaps it’s natural for a Kansas City native who’s seen the Chiefs and the Royals through their less-than-stellar times, but when he and his sons are watching a sporting event, Mike generally cheers for the underdog. And when he describes his practice, he notes the pride he takes in the “David and Goliath parable”: “It comes down to helping people, real simple. I like to help people when they need it the most.”
As a prosecutor, he handled cases involving violent crime; he worked with victims and families who had suffered after sexual assault, violence and murder. He learned that the pursuit of justice can be an important part of the healing process in both criminal and civil litigation. In both roles, he said, you work with people at their most vulnerable; it’s a sacred duty to advocate for them.
“People, when they come in here, usually they’re at their worst. They have experienced an awful injury, or someone died. They are scared and confused. The bad thing is, litigation doesn’t wait for the mourning process – the other side is already building a defense,” he said. “You work to put your client’s hat on, to truly understand their problems, and to help.”
Most clients, he said, are not just focused on their own circumstances – they want to make sure no one else is victimized the same way.
“I hear that more often than I hear anything,” he said. “The only reason they’re suing is to stop it from happening to somebody else.”
Mike’s commitment to the little guy extends off the clock. Mike sits on the state governing board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which arranges special experiences for children with life-threatening medical conditions. In addition to sitting on the board, Mike and his colleagues at Bartimus Frickleton Robertson Rader are granting six wishes this year. So far, they have sent two families to Disneyland, and they provided another patient with her dream electric piano.
“You see how impactful it is, not just for the kids, but for their families,” he said. “The mom and dad, they’re around the child all the time; they pick up on things we don’t. It’s so meaningful to take time out from our day-to-day to make this happen for them.”
- EDUCATION AND PAST EXPERIENCE
1999 – University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law, J.D.
1995 – University of Missouri, B.A.
- MEMBERSHIPS AND AFFILIATIONS
State of Kansas – All Jurisdictions
State of Mississippi – All Jurisdictions
State of Missouri – All Jurisdictions
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi
United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
American Association for Justice
American Bar Association
International Society of Barristers, Fellow
Kansas Association for Justice
Melvin M. Belli Society
American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association's Torts Law Committee Chairman 2009-2010
Lead Master Instructor for the Ross T. Roberts Inn of Court Program
Mississippi Bar Association
Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys, Board of Governors
Missouri Bar Foundation, Fellow
Kansas City, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners, Vice President
Association of Plaintiff Interstate Trucking Lawyers of America
Missouri Brain Injury Advisory Council
Make-A-Wish Foundation Governing Board, Missouri, Board Member
Missouri Special Olympics
Sherwood Center for the Exceptional Child, Past Board Member
Friends of Special People, Past Board Member
- HONORS AND RECOGNITIONS
Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award, 2008
2017 Missouri's Most Influential Lawyers, Missouri Lawyers Weekly
2012-2019 Super Lawyer Top 100 Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas by Super Lawyers Magazine
2012-2019 Super Lawyer Top 50 Lawyers in Kansas City by Super Lawyers Magazine
2010-2019 Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine
Top 100 Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas by Kansas City Magazine
2008 Ingram’s Magazine "Forty Under 40”
2008-2019 Kansas City Business Journal “Best of the Bar”
2006 Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly “Up and Coming Attorney”
2001 Jackson County, Missouri, Prosecutor’s Office Attorney of the Year
Rated “AV Preeminent” 5.0 out of 5 by Martindale-Hubbell
*Lon O. Hocker Trial Lawyer Award is voted on anonymously by state and federal judges in Missouri and is given annually to a trial attorney in recognition of outstanding achievement in trial practice. It is considered the most prestigious award presented to trial lawyers in the state of Missouri.