Allen Press can be found in courts from New Jersey to Detroit to Long Island representing the airline pilots and automobile dealers who have made him their top choice for counsel from across the United States.
It is Allen's hard work, persistence, and success in bringing actions under the Railway Labor Act — which governs union relations for airline flight crews — and in assisting dealers suffering arbitrary conduct by automobile manufacturers, that have resulted in this national practice. Allen was lead counsel for the pilots of the former TWA in their successful duty of fair representation action against their former union, the Air Line Pilots Association, which settled for $53 million after a successful trial on liability.
Allen also has extensive trial experience in construction disputes and numerous other areas of business disputes.
Allen started his career as a law clerk for the Honorable Edward D. (“Chip”) Robertson, Jr., then Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court. After leaving his clerkship, Allen joined the St. Louis law firm of Coburn & Croft. That firm ultimately merged with the St. Louis firm of Thompson & Mitchell to become Thompson Coburn. During his seven years with that firm, Allen concentrated on complex commercial litigation and the defense of product liability cases in Missouri and Illinois. He joined Green Jacobson, P.C., a boutique Clayton litigation law firm, in April 1999. He became a shareholder in the firm in June 2001, and left the firm to found Jacobson Press at the end of December 2014.
Allen has litigated a wide range of commercial cases for both plaintiffs and defendants, including all manner of contract disputes, construction claims for both contractors and owners, fraud claims, fiduciary claims, and other business torts. He has special experience in motor vehicle franchise disputes and is a member of the National Association of Dealer Counsel.
While most cases are resolved without a trial, Allen has an impressive record in those cases that need to be tried. His trial accomplishments include the following:
- Brady v. Air Line Pilots Association. This case arose out of the 2001 merger between Trans World Airlines ("TWA") and American Airlines, and the placement of the TWA pilots on the American pilot seniority list. More than half of the TWA pilots, approximately 1,200, were stripped of all their seniority and placed at the bottom of the seniority list. Captains with over 11 years of flying at TWA were placed behind brand new hires at American. The remaining 1,100 TWA pilots were integrated into the American list, but in an unfair manner that stripped those pilots of most of their seniority. The resulting financial losses to the TWA pilots were staggering. A group of TWA pilots sued their former union, the Air Line Pilots Association ("ALPA"). They claimed the union breached its duty of fair representation in failing to protect their seniority. They sued individually and on behalf of a class of similarly affected TWA pilots. The case was certified as a class action consisting of nearly 2,300 former TWA pilots, and was tried in 2011. The trial lasted more than five weeks. It took the jury only seven hours to return a unanimous 12-0 verdict in favor of the TWA pilots on the issue of ALPA's liability. Allen was lead trial counsel and was assisted by Joe Jacobson. After extensive discovery and motion practice on damages issues, the case settled. The district court approved the $53 million settlement in May 2014.
- Century Motor v. Chrysler Corporation. This case arose out of Chrysler's 2009 bankruptcy in which it terminated 789 of its dealers nation-wide. Although Century had been a profitable dealer for 20 years, in May 2009, Chrysler terminated Century. Century was given 24 days to sell its $4.5 million in inventory, and was forced to close its doors June 9. This scene played out across the country, and the national outcry over these injustices made its way to Washington. In December 2009, Congress passed legislation which created a remedy for the terminated dealers. They were given the right to demand arbitration and determine whether they should be restored as a dealer.
Century was one of hundreds of dealers who took advantage of this remedy, but, with Allen's assistance, was one of only 22 dealers nationally that prevailed in its arbitration. Chrysler, however, refused to issue Century a new dealer agreement. Century thus brought suit in federal court to compel Chrysler to issue it a dealer agreement. The case was aggressively pursued from its inception, and within three months, Chrysler settled the case in mediation. Century re-opened in March 2011. Allen handled the arbitration and federal action without assistance, and was assisted by Joe Jacobson at the mediation which settled the federal suit.
- O'Brien & Gere Technical Services, v. The Fru-Con/Fluor-Daniel Joint Venture. This case arose out of the construction of a Proctor & Gamble plant in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. Allen, although only an associate at the time, was lead trial counsel for OBG, the plaintiff. OBG had been contracted by the defendant joint venture to design and build five buildings for the project. OBG was terminated from the project before completion. At trial, OBG claimed $12 million in damages. The defendant counterclaimed for $15 million. After a three-week trial, judgment was entered in favor of OBG for $8 million.
- Daoukas v. City of St. Louis. This case arose out of an electrical explosion at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis. Allen represented the plaintiff, an electrician severely burned in the explosion. After a week-long jury trial, judgment was entered for the plaintiff for $2 million. Allen was lead trial counsel.
- Behnen v. A.G. Edwards. This case arose out of plaintiff's employment at A.G. Edwards. Plaintiff was wrongfully discharged and A.G. Edwards then defamed him in public disclosures made as to the reason for his termination. After a week-long arbitration, plaintiff was awarded all of his lost wages and the defamatory statements were ordered expunged from FINRA's records. Allen was lead trial counsel.
- Delta Dental of Missouri v. Williams. This was an insurance fraud case brought against a local periodontist. Allen was lead trial counsel for the defendant. After a week-long trial, the jury returned a defense verdict on all the fraud claims asserted by the insurance company.
- Detmer v. Old Republic. This was a breach of contract case arising out of a construction project in which the defendant was the construction disbursing agent. Allen tried the case for the plaintiff landowner. After a week-long trial, the jury found that the defendant had improperly disbursed the construction funds and awarded plaintiff every nickel he sought.
- Pignotti v. McLaughlin. This case arose out of an office-sharing arrangement between two physicians whereby Dr. Pignotti agreed to provide office space and certain services to Dr. McLaughlin in exchange for her promise to pay an agreed monthly fee. Disputes arose between the two doctors over the services provided under their agreement and the fees owed. Litigation resulted in which Dr. Pignotti sought to recover the fees owed under the parties’ agreement and Dr. McLaughlin counterclaimed for damages. After a four-day jury trial, a verdict was entered in favor of Dr. Pignotti on his claims. The jury awarded nothing on Dr. McLaughlin’s counterclaims. Allen tried the case for Dr. Pignotti without assistance.
- Clemens v. Investors Title Company. This case arose out of the Clemens’ failed attempt to build a custom home on property they owned. Investors Title was the closing agent for the construction loan obtained by the Clemens’ contractor. The Clemens claimed that Investors violated its duty of care in several respects in its handling of the closing documents, and as a result, the Clemens’ interest in the property was forfeited to the construction lender when the contractor abandoned the project. After a four-day jury trial, a verdict was entered in favor of the Clemens, Allen's client.