Alexa L. Lester

Principal
Alexa Lester is a trial lawyer that focuses her trial practice representing and defending insurance carriers in both the state and federal courts throughout Missouri.
photo of attorney Alexa L. Lester

Overview

Alexa is a trial lawyer who concentrates her practice representing insurance carries in complex first party coverage litigation.  She has extensive trial experience representing insurance carriers and preparing for and second chairing trials involving arson, fraud, and first party damage litigation.  She has successfully prepared, argued and obtained summary judgments for insurance carrier clients in first party lawsuits involving a myriad of issues as well as successfully defending carries in the appellate courts of Missouri.    These successes include summary judgments on behalf of her clients involving issues relating to an excluded additional living expense provision, material misrepresentations in applications, and a pollution exclusion applied to a fire caused by a methamphetamine lab in a home.  In a Missouri Appellate Court decision Alexa successfully convinced the appellate court that an insured could not collect on a homeowner property claim because the insured failed to produce evidence of before and after market value loss of the home.

Alexa has significant experience representing and defending insurance companies in pre-suit claim investigations, including regularly conducting examinations under oath of insureds, claimants and witnesses as well as engaging with experts, scene investigation and site inspections.

Alexa was named a “Rising Star – Insurance Coverage” in 2021 by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers.  She also was recognized by “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America” in 2023 and 2024 for her work in insurance law. Alexa is an active speaker at events including local International Association of Special Investigation Units (IASIU) chapters and for insurance companies as part of in-house training sessions. She has recently presented on topics including identifying insurance fraud in first-party property claims, revisions to Missouri's valued policy and partial fire loss statutes, as well as navigating an appraisal in first-party property insurance claims.

Alexa and her husband live in St. Louis County with their two children and two dogs. She enjoys spending time with her family and cheering on the University of Kentucky Wildcats!

Recent Results

Past Results

  • In 2021, Ms. Lester obtained summary judgment in favor of her insurance company client with respect to a first-party property coverage dispute.  The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment and held methamphetamine constituted a pollutant.  The court affirmed that the policy’s ordinance and law exclusion barred coverage and, as such, the insured’s breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay claims failed as a matter of law.
  • In 2020, Ms. Lester obtained summary judgment on behalf of the insurance company in the U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri.  The court held the homeowners insurance policy was void ab initio due to the insured’s material misrepresentations in the applications for insurance, the insured was not entitled to any coverage under the policy for a fire loss, and the company was not obligated and had no duty to defend or indemnify the insured under the insurance policy with respect to any alleged third-party liability.
  • Pattichot v. Auto Club Family Ins. Co., St. Louis County, Missouri Circuit Court (2017).  As a junior associate, Ms. Lester obtained summary judgment on behalf of her insurance company client relating to a first-party property coverage dispute.
  • Nelson v. Farm Bureau Town & Country Ins. Co. of Mo., affirmed in part by Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District (2018).  The appellate court adopted many of Ms. Lester’s arguments and affirmed the trial court’s granting of the insurance company’s motion for directed verdict on the plaintiff’s structure and personal property insurance claims.  The appellate court held the plaintiff failed to prove the difference in before and after the loss market value to the home and therefore could not make a case with respect to those property loss claims.
  • Farm Bureau Town & Country Ins. Co. of Missouri v. Smith, Dent County, Missouri Circuit Court (2019). Alexa successfully defended the insurance company and served as second-chair trial counsel in a first-party arson case.  Ms. Lester and Bob Brady obtained a jury verdict for the company.
  • Nationwide Ins. Co. of America v. McCain, U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri (2020).  Ms. Lester obtained summary judgment in favor of the insurance company in a first-party property coverage dispute.  The court held the homeowners insurance policy was void ab initio due to insured’s material misrepresentations in the applications for insurance, insured was not entitled to any coverage under the policy for a fire loss, and the company was not obligated and had no duty to defend or indemnify insured under the insurance policy.
  • Farm Bureau Town & Country Ins. Co. of Missouri v. Stevenson, Reynolds County, Missouri Circuit Court (2021). Ms. Lester successfully represented her insurance company client and served as second-chair trial counsel in a first-party arson case.  Ms. Lester and Bob Brady obtained a jury verdict for the company.Vogelsang v. The Travelers Home & Marine Ins. Co., 630 S.W. 3rd 810 (Mo. Ct. App. 2021) (2020).  Ms. Lester obtained summary judgment in favor of her insurance company client with respect to a first-party property coverage dispute.  The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment and held methamphetamine constituted a pollutant.  The court affirmed that the policy’s ordinance and law exclusion barred coverage and, as such, the insured’s breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay claims failed as a matter of law. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s granting of summary judgment as to insured’s breach of contract and vexatious refusal to pay claims based on the homeowner’s policy’s ordinance and law exclusion.

Professional Affiliations

  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • American Bar Association
  • DRI
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers

Awards & Achievements

 
  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America - Insurance Law (2022-2024)
  • Rising Stars - Insurance Coverage, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers (2022)
  • Rising Stars - Insurance Coverage, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers (2021)

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, "The First 100 days of a Lawsuit," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann, In House CLE Session, March 2024
  • Presenter, "Red Flags in First Party Claims," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann, Lunch & Learn Webinar Series, March 2024
  • Presenter, "Effective Recorded Statements in Claims Involving Application Misrepresentations," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann Trial & Insurance Symposium, February 2024
  • Presenter, “Effective Recorded Statements in Claims Involving Application Misrepresentations,” IASIU Annual Conference, Dallas, TX, September 2023.
  • Presenter, "First Party Property Claims: Legal Update & Current Trends," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann, LLC Insurance Symposium, January 2023
  • Presenter, "Undetermined" Fire Cause? Don't Throw in the Towel!," November 2022
  • Presenter, "Claim File Documentation and "Who" Owns It," October 2022
  • Presenter, "The Rundown on Missouri’s Revised Valued Policy Statutes," Brown & James Webinar, December 2021, Brown & James General Defense & Insurance Law Symposium, January 2022
  • Presenter, "Identification of NICB Indicators and Other Red Flags in First-Party Property Claim Investigations," Brown & James Insurance Law & General Defense Symposium, January 2021

Practices

Education

  • Saint Louis University School of Law (J.D., 2016)
  • University of Kentucky (B.A, Political Science, 2013)

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois
  • 8th Circuit Court of Appeals