Brandon B. Copeland

Principal
Brandon Copeland is a successful trial lawyer with over twenty years of experience in the insurance industry and concentrates his representation in the defense of personal injury, construction defects and first party insurance litigation.
photo of attorney Brandon B. Copeland

Overview

Mr. Copeland goes to trial in the State, Federal and Appellate Courts of Missouri and Illinois as well as the U.S. District Court of Kansas.  He has successfully defended business, individual and insurance clients in personal injury, uninsured and underinsured motorists, construction defects, arson-fraud, and insurance coverage litigation. In addition to his trial work in the courtroom, Mr. Copeland has successfully argued appeals in both Federal and State Appellate Courts.  He approaches each case as if that case is going to trial and develops strategies and gathers evidence early in the litigation making for a winning formula resulting in either a favorable resolution or winning result in trial.

Mr. Copeland began his professional career as a claim’s professional for a national, Fortune 500, insurance company.  He has taken many of the professional skills and insight he developed during his time in the industry to assist his clients in navigating complex litigation in Missouri and Illinois. He has been recognized as a “Rising Star” in Civil Defense Litigation by Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers and he was most recently named by Best Lawyers in America as a top professional in Insurance Law.

From the outset of taking on a case for a client it is Mr. Copeland's mission to obtain a winning result for his clients from the outset. Mr. Copeland works to understand, from the beginning, the goals of his clients and to work toward those goals while constantly communicating with them through each step of the process. Whether it be a complex claim, arbitration, trial, or appeal, his focus remains on obtaining the result the client wants to accomplish.

Recent Results

Past Results

  • Goebel & Company Furniture, LLC v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, 2022 WL 1080930 (Mo. E.D. 2022) – adjuster was dismissed as a named Defendant where the Court found she was fraudulently joined in the suit with no viable claim against her. Judgment in favor of client, dismissing its employee.
  • The Cincinnati Insurance Company v. St. Louis Produce Market, 2021 WL 498876 (Mo. E.D. 2021) – Insurer was not obligated to appraise entire claimed loss where substantial coverage issues were in play (date and extent of covered damage). Judgment in favor of client, finding it did not breach contract by refusing appraisal.
  • Roberts v. Alexandria Transportation, 183 N.E.3d 701 (Il. 2021) - matter of first impression for the Illinois Supreme Court finding a settled Co-defendant was not “uncollectable” for the purposes of the Illinois Contribution Act. Decision in favor of client, the Respondent.
  • Wilson v. Empire Fire and Marine Insurance Company, 2021 WL 3709651 (Mo. E.D. 2021) – excess liability carrier was not required to provided uninsured motorist coverage to occupants of rental vehicle where state requirements were satisfied by the rental agreement. Judgment in favor of client, dismissing the lawsuit.
  • Eisenman v. Podhorn, 528 S.W.3d 22 (Mo. App. E.D. 2017) - jury instruction that required consideration of a homeowner’s actions as part of general contractor’s failure to mitigate was found prejudicial error. Decision in favor of client, Respondent/Cross-Appellant.
  • Olga Despotis Trust v. The Cincinnati Insurance Company, 867 F.3d 1054 (8th Cir. 2017) - insurer was not required to name an appraiser, and vexatious conduct not found, where insured had made it known it would not participate in appraisal. Decision in favor of client, the Respondent.
  • Spearman v. McNeill, Illinois Circuit Court, St. Clair County – pedestrian struck outside of a crosswalk by motor vehicle. Verdict returned for less than client’s offer of settlement prior to trial.
  • Roberts v. Alexandria Transportation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois – third-party plaintiff sought repayment of a large percentage of its settlement with underlying plaintiff. Verdict returned for less than client’s offer of settlement prior to trial.
  • Henderson v. United Presbyterian Church, Missouri Circuit Court, St. Charles – church attendee slipped and fell on icy steps when she failed to take a safer route. Verdict returned for less than client’s offer of settlement prior to trial.
  • Bacon v. O.J. Laughlin, et al, Missouri Circuit Court, St. Louis County – homeowner sued contractor and sub-contractors for water and mold damage to property and person. Defendant’s verdict in favor of client.
  • Collins v. Rader, Missouri Circuit Court, Boone County - passenger fell from emergency exit on a bus and sustained a broken ankle. Defendant’s verdict in favor of client.
  • Meyer v. Rehnquist Design and Build, Missouri Circuit Court, St. Louis County - homeowner sued contractor of adjacent home for excessive water run-off. Verdict returned for less than client’s offer of settlement prior to trial.
  • Cima v. Heartland Credit Union, Illinois Circuit Court, Sangamon County – Client’s customer sued her bank for withholding deposited funds. Defendant’s verdict in favor of client.

Professional Affiliations

  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers

Awards & Achievements

  • Best Lawyers - Insurance Law, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants (2024)
  • Best Lawyers - Insurance Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2019-2022)
  • Rising Stars - Civil Litigation Defense, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers (2014-2016)

Publications

  • Author, “The Missouri Court Appeals Further Limits First-Party Tort Claims Against Insurers: Overcast v. Billings, Revisited,” The Firm Inquiry (Winter 2008)
  • Author, “Don’t Rock the Boat: (But if You Do, You Might Not Have Liability Coverage under Your Homeowner’s Policy),” The Firm Inquiry (Summer 2008)

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, "Developments in Missouri and Illinois Case Law," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann Trial & Insurance Symposium, February 2024
  • Presenter, "Investigation, Evaluation & Defense of TBH & Emotional Injury," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann Trial & Insurance Symposium, January 2023
  • Presenter, "Can I Get a Witness: Working with Expert Witnesses from the Initial Claim through Litigation," Brown & James General Defense & Insurance Law Symposium, January 2022
  • Presenter, "Can I Get a Lyft? Is Your Side-Hustle Covered?" Brown & James General Defense and Insurance Law Symposium, January 2019
  • Presenter, "Evaluating Additional Insured Coverage and Contractual Indemnity Issues," Brown & James General Defense and Insurance Law Symposium, January 2018
  • Presenter, "Stacking the Deck: Changes to Missouri's Collateral Source Rule," 2017 Brown & James Tort Reform Seminar: A New Day in Missouri, September 2017
  • Presenter, "Is It High Noon? Premises Liability Claims Involving Conceal-Carry and Gun Rights," Brown & James General Defense & Insurance Law Symposium (January 2017)
  • Presenter, "Are Condominium Claims the New Mold?" Brown & James Law Symposium (January 2016)
  • Presenter, "Advanced Trial Tactics," National Business Institute (September 2015)
  • Presenter, "The Ever-Evolving UM and UIM Law in Missouri - Where are We Now?" Brown & James Law Symposium (January 2014)
  • Presenter, NBI Insurance Law Update Seminar (2012)

Practices

Education

  • Saint Louis University School of Law (J.D., 2006)
  • Murray State University (MBA, 2000)
  • Murray State University (B.S., 1998)

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • 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 Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas