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Steve Mauer, a Key Player in School Redistricting, Highlighted in New Book

May 20, 2010

Kansas City Partner Steve Mauer is well-known locally for representing more than 20,000 citizens and 3,000 school children in the largest pro bono commitment of his career. This work is applauded in a new book written about the children’s efforts to get out of the failing Kansas City, Missouri, School District. Inspiring Greatness: A Community’s Commitment to a Brighter Future recounts the high-profile, challenging and complex process of the transfer of seven schools from the Kansas City School District to the Independence Public School District.

Mauer became involved with the school boundary issue through his representation of the city of Independence, Mo., and his service as chairman of the Independence Chamber of Commerce. The new book highlights Mauer and the numerous legal steps it took to win the redistricting fight (three lawsuits, two appeals, one arbitration). The book also notes that the Kansas City School District spent more than $2 million fighting Independence but, thanks to Bryan Cave, the children spent nothing.

“There is no way the citizens of western Independence could have paid the bill for what he [Mauer] did for us,” said Maywood Baptist Church Pastor Bob Spradling, one of the key players in the case.

Mauer summed up the matters with this comment to the voters, taxpayers and parents of the Independence District who took on this struggle: “We know it’s going to cost us money, we know it’s going to take down our [districtwide] test scores, we know it’s going to be a fight, but we’re going to do it anyway. It is the best thing for the children.” Of the constant media attention and personal attacks by the Kansas City School District, Mauer said: “It’s not often that David gets to slay Goliath in front of the TV cameras.”

Mauer’s more usual work involves a tight focus on commercial litigation. He represents a variety of businesses and municipalities as plaintiffs and defendants. He has earned more than $100 million in verdicts, judgments and settlements. His litigation results ranked him in the top 10 for the entire state of Missouri four years in a row.

Click here to order the book online through Barnes & Noble. Proceeds from the book go to the Independence School District Foundation, which provides scholarships.

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