Kansas City Business Journal highlights litigation win for KC Barbeque Society

The Kansas City Business Journal recently published an article highlighting a significant commercial litigation outcome for Graves Garrett client Kansas City Barbeque Society (KCBS) in the Circuit Court of Jackson County. Firm attorneys Dane Martin, Brad Bodamer and Paul Brothers successfully defended the nonprofit organization in a jury trial this past October. KCBS retained Graves Garrett just three months prior to the trial.

“We were pleased to be able to help a local organization get through a turbulent time and come out of it stronger than ever,” Martin said in the Kansas City Business Journal article, which can be read in full here. Please note, a subscription may be required.

Randall Bowman, the former President and member of KCBS’s Board of Directors, owns FCM. During his time as President of KCBS, Bowman secured a three-year contract for his company in January 2019 that required KCBS to pay monthly retainers and commissions for brand partnerships and sponsorships. With the oversight of a new board, KCBS canceled the contract in November 2019. FCM filed its lawsuit a month later demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars for work not performed.

As stated in the article, Graves Garrett “started three months before the trial was scheduled to begin in October 2021.” “On behalf of KCBS, Graves Garrett argued that the marketing contract was inappropriate and claimed that First Club Marketing breached its fiduciary duty. They also claimed First Club Marketing submitted more than $300,000 in fees to KCBS in the first 10 months, which included over billings for commissions the contract didn’t allow. KCBS also claimed that Bowman breached the contract by using confidential lists of contacts he acquired from KCBS to develop business for First Club Marketing.”

After a five-day trial, the jury found in favor of KCBS on its two breach of contract claims and only required KCBS to pay an agreed termination fee to First Club Marketing. The trial court later denied payment of any attorneys’ fees, including by determining that First Club Marketing did not prevail in the lawsuit it brought.