Michael L. Taylor

Areas of Practice

Mike is a partner and trial lawyer in the firm with over 40 years of extensive jury trial experience in state and federal courts. Mike’s experience and expertise extend to a wide range of civil disputes, such as product liability claims, personal injury actions, wrongful death claims, medical malpractice, complex commercial cases, and high-asset divorce litigation resulting in multiple eight-figure settlements and verdicts.

Awards, Honors, Recognitions

Mike began his active law practice in St. Joseph, Mo., in 1982.

Since that time, Mike is the recipient of the prestigious Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award. This award is presented annually by the Trustee of the Missouri Bar Foundation to three attorneys from across the state who have demonstrated unusual proficiency in the art of trial advocacy. Recipients are chosen based on their demonstrated balance between zealousness and honor, strength and courtesy, and confidence and respect. They must possess a quick wit in the courtroom that is supported by meticulous preparation in the pursuit of truth.

For achieving multiple verdicts and settlements in cases involving verdicts and settlements in an amount of Two Million Dollars or more, Mike is a member of the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum of the Top Trial Lawyers in America. In the last three years, Mike and his partners have obtained over $100 million in settlements and verdicts for the firm’s clients. 

Martindale-Hubbel Peer Review Ratings is recognized as the gold standard in attorney ratings. Mike has received the highest and most distinguished rating possible, that of “Preeminent AV”, reflecting the highest possible rating of professional excellence and signifying Mike’s notable legal abilities and high ethical standards as a practicing attorney.

Mike has been named to the National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers”, an invitation-only organization composed of premier trial lawyers who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff attorneys. Membership is extended to only a select few of the most qualified trial attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and public profile measured by objective and uniformly-applied review standards.

Mike has been selected for inclusion by Super Lawyers, Missouri, and Kansas, each year since 2007, as among those attorneys who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. No more than 5 percent of attorneys are recognized for inclusion each year.

Mike has been designated a“Best Lawyer in America” by the Best Lawyers in America publication which highlights the top 5% of practicing attorneys in the United States. The core mission of Best Lawyers is to recognize, by peer review, those attorneys who, in the opinion of their peers, possess the highest and best professional abilities of attorneys in their field.

Civil Mediator

Mike has completed the requirements for civil mediation and is available to serve as a mediator of civil disputes.


Conferred the Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award presented annually to select attorneys by the Missouri Bar Foundation to young lawyers who have demonstrated unusual proficiency in the art of trial advocacy.

The National Trial Lawyers-Top 100 Trial Lawyers. The National Trial Lawyers is an organization composed of top trial lawyers from each state. Membership is obtained through special invitation and is extended only to those attorneys who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature, and profile as civil litigators.

Selected for inclusion in Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers editions since 2007. No more than 5 percent of lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers.

Member – Million Dollar Advocates Forum & Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (membership limited to trial attorneys who have demonstrated exceptional skill, experience, and excellence in advocacy by achieving a multi-million dollar trial verdict, award, or settlement).

Family Law

Below are some of the Family Law achievements that Mike has obtained:

  • Fellow – American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) (Since 1994). The AAML is a national association composed of the nation’s leading family law attorneys from all 50 states. Each member has demonstrated the ability and skill to handle complex family law litigation as lead counsel in the trial of matters related to custody, child support, division of property and spousal support.
  • Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in Missouri – National Academy of Family LawAttorneys.
  • Nation’s Best Lawyers in the Kansas City Metro Area – Family Law – 435 Kansas City’s Magazine.
  • Author – Missouri Bar Two-Volume Family Law Deskbook, Chapter 8, “Parenting Plans”, Chapter 14, “Tort Liability and the Family Relationship”, Chapter 18, “Trial Practice” and Chapter 19, “Discovery”.

Courts Admitted to Practice

Mike is admitted to practice law in Missouri state and federal courts and has been so since 1982. He is also admitted to practice in Kansas federal courts. He has been admitted to practice before numerous other United States District Courts around the country, including Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Wisconsin. He was admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in 1986; the UnitedStates Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit in 1987; the United States Supreme Court in 1999, and the United States Court of Claims in 2013.


Mr. Taylor has been recognized as noted below:

  • Martindale Hubbell rated “Preeminent AV”
  • Selected as Who’s Who in American Law
  • Selected as Who’s Who in America
  • Selected as Who’s Who in the World

Education and Professional Associations

Mike graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College, receiving an Associate’s degree in Political Science and Sociology in 1977. Thereafter, he received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas with a double major in Political Science and Sociology in 1979. Mike received his J.D. from the University of Kansas School of Law in 1982. Mike was a law clerk to the 29th Judicial District Court of Kansas from 1981 to 1982. Mike began his active law practice in St. Joseph, Mo., in 1982 with a local firm. He, thereafter, became an equity partner in that firm in 1986. In 2002, Mike, along with R. Edward Murphy, Joseph Elliott, and Kenneth Siemens, founded the law firm of Murphy, Taylor, Siemens & Elliott P.C.

Mike has participated as a speaker in educational seminars nationwide for various professional organizations, including the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and the Missouri Bar. He has presented to groups that have included attorneys, judges, medical doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health professionals, corporate personnel, human resource directors, and the general public. As a speaker, he has presented on such issues as trial tactics, evidence, discovery, expert witnesses, ethics, tax considerations, employment law, and other timely and relevant topics.

Mike is the author of the Missouri Bar’s CLE Edition of Family Law, Chapter 8, entitled“Parenting Plans”, Chapter 14, entitled “Tort Liability and the Family Relationship”, Chapter 18, entitled “Trial Practice”, and Chapter 19, entitled “Discovery”. Mike has also served as a reviewer for the Missouri Bar of proposed CLE desktop chapter material.

Mike served as an instructor at Missouri Western State College from 1985–1994, teaching classes in Tort Law, Litigation–Practices and Procedures, as well as Business Organizations.

Personal Information

Mike was born November 2, 1954, in Booneville, Mo. He grew up primarily in Blue Springs, Mo., where he attended high school until his senior year, when his family moved to Bonner Springs, Kan. He resides in St. Joseph and is married to Janet, a graduate of the University of Missouri, and has three children, Kailee, a graduate of Creighton School of Law, Kyle, a graduate of UMKC School of Law, and Logan, a graduate of Washburn School of Law.

Mike is a long-standing Sunday School teacher, youth director, and director of Vacation Bible School at churches where he has attended. He and his family are members of Ashland United Methodist Church in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Mike is a graduate of Leadership St. Joseph 1983. He was co-chairman of Leadership Tomorrow, an advanced leadership training program for select St. Joseph high school students. In 1985, Mike was the recipient of the Volunteer Award of Recognition for Outstanding Volunteer Services to the St. Joseph Community. He has been very active in other civic organizations, including various fund drives for community groups.

This resume is subject to rule 7.3 of the Missouri rules of professional conduct, which requires that the following notice be given: “advertising material: commercial solicitations are permitted by the Missouri rules of professional conduct but are neither submitted to nor approved by the Missouri bar or the supreme court of Missouri.”

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