Thomas V. Bender

Thomas V. Bender

(816) 274 – 9728



“As lawyers, we need to remember the nobility and often heroic nature of what we do. We need to lead our professional lives in a way that earns respect.”


Tom has been a trial lawyer for over 36 years. He received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Missouri – Columbia, worked for Price Waterhouse, and then turned to the law, receiving a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law in 1979.  He was a partner in a large firm in Kansas City before leaving to co-found Walters Bender Strohbehn & Vaughan, P.C., dedicated to the representation of persons and entities injured by the actions of others in both business and personal injury lawsuits.  Tom has litigated cases in state and federal courts across the country, including personal injuries, business disputes and class action cases.  As a result of his success, he has received various honors: Best Lawyers in America, Best of the Bar by the Kansas City Business Journal, “Super Lawyer” in the Missouri and Kansas editions, and National Trial Lawyers Top 100.


Tom is also active in his service to the legal profession as a whole.  On the local level, he served on numerous committees of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association and was its President in 2010.  He has been legal counsel for the KCMBF and is currently its President, serving on the KCMBF Liberty and Justice Gala Committee and the Legal Connection Project, regularly participating in the Voluntary Attorney Project.  As a result of his efforts, Tom received recognition for his service to the legal community, including a President’s Award from the KCMBA in 1999, and a President’s Award from the KCMBF in 2005.  He has been selected by the USDC for the Western District Missouri to serve on its Federal Practice Committee.  On the state level, Tom is a proud member of the Missouri Bar, currently serving as Vice President of the Board of Governors as well as serving on various committees.  He has served on numerous task forces in the profession, including the 2015-18 Task Force on the Profession, and Task Force on the KCMBA, and participates in numerous seminars educating other attorneys.


In his time out of the office, Mr. Bender has participated in various community organizations, including the Multiple Sclerosis Board of Directors, Kansas City Centurions, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, American Royal Parade Committee, Volunteer Attorney Project, Kansas City Volunteer Lawyers & Accountants for the Arts, and the El Dorado Springs Educational Foundation.

Significant Representations


Representing Plaintiffs in Numerous MDL Cases


Co-Lead Counsel in multi-state litigation involving defective products and unfair consumer practices


Steering Committee membership in Syngenta MDL involving premature release of seed before necessary market approval


Liaison Counsel in District of Kansas cases involving agricultural practices


Committee involvement in antitrust and consumer fraud cases


Litigation Involving Individuals Hurt by Others


The loss of a prematurely delivered child. Tom was also able to get the doctor to agree to limit the types of cases he would take so tragedies like this wouldn’t occur again.


Medical malpractice settlement involving a child who died when doctors failed to recognize the symptoms of infection. Tom’s clients were able to set up fund in honor of their child, and the hospital agreed to change procedures to prevent reoccurrence.


Successfully defends a criminal tax fraud case. The case would have resulted in financial ruin and incarceration of client.


Verdict for insurance company’s failure to pay after a fire. The insurance company denied the claim, asserting their own insured was connected with the arson. The jury awarded full damages and found vexatious refusal against the insured. More remarkable, after the verdict was rendered, the insurance company continued to assert that their insured had committed arson, which made it difficult for the insured to get insurance. A second suit was filed for defamation, resulting in an even more favorable disposition for the insured.


Verdict for actual and punitive damages for improper taking of stock value.


Practice Areas

Business Litigation

Class Action

Personal Injury

Product Liability



J.D., University of Missouri School of Law, 1979

B.S. in Accounting, cum laude, University of Missouri, 1975


Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America

AV (highest) rating from Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, a peer rating system for attorneys

Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, 2006−2017

President’s Award, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation, 2005

President’s Award, Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, 1999

Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal, 2005−2017

National Trial Lawyers Top 100


Recent Continuing Legal Education

“Consumers: Are They a Class Act?” John Shamberg Memorial CLE (Johnson County Bar Foundation), 2013

David v. Goliath: Understanding and Identifying a Class Action Lawsuit. CLE By the Hour (Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association), 2016

Maximizing Your Effectiveness in Mediation: Do’s and Don’ts from Three Seasoned Mediators.” CLE By the Hour (Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association), 2016

Maximizing Your Effectiveness in Mediation” (KCMBA Bench Bar Boardroom Conference), 2017



Ingram’s, The Kansas City Star, KC Counselor



Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Missouri Bar Association

Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys


Bar Admissions



U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas

8th Circuit Court of Appeals

10th Circuit Court of Appeals

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