Three Lathrop Gage Partners Among Kansas City’s Best of the Bar


Kansas City, Mo. (Aug. 29, 2019) The Kansas City Business Journal named three Lathrop Gage Partners among its 53 “Best of the Bar” 2019 honorees: Mara H. Cohara, Rosalee M. McNamara and Dale A. Werts. McNamara and Werts are first-time honorees, while 2019 marks the sixth time Cohara is named to the prestigious list. Five independent judges select the Best of the Bar honorees, examining each applicant’s professional reputation, involvement in significant cases or deals and civic involvement. Those listed must also have at least 10 years of professional practice and be engaged in private legal practice within the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Cohara is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and leads the Environmental and Toxic and Mass Tort practice groups. She focuses her practice on litigation matters involving religious institutions, toxic tort, nuisance, product liability, premises liability, breach of warranty and the defense of companies in a wide variety of industries. She has significant experience coordinating large-scale "bet the company" matters and defending high-profile lawsuits that involve media and community attention, including successfully representing the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas as lead trial counsel in an abuse case. Cohara is also the former Co-Chair of the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network and now serves as its Executive Committee Liaison. Actively engaged in several professional and civic organizations, Cohara’s affiliations include the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel; the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association Foundation, the Kansas City Tomorrow Program; the University of Missouri Kansas City Law Foundation Board; the Kansas City Association for Women Lawyers and the Platte County Bar Association. In addition, Cohara is Secretary and a National Board of Trustees member for the youth development organization Camp Fire, a Park University Board of Trustees member, among the Kansas City Chamber’s Executive Women’s Leadership Counsel, a member of 100+ Women Who Care KC, the Harvest Ball Society, the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce and a Steering Committee member for CROWN, the Cross Organizational Women’s Network in Kansas City.

McNamara serves as the firm’s Deputy Managing Partner and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. A former Manager and member of the Employment & Labor practice group, McNamara represents businesses and organizations in employment and litigation matters throughout the U.S. and defends companies large and small in a myriad of employment-related lawsuits, with success handling numerous court and jury trials in state and federal courts and in class/collective actions and individual and multi-party lawsuits and charges. She regularly defends and counsels clients regarding claims of sexual and other harassment, disability, race, age, sex, national origin and religious discrimination issues relating to the Family and Medical Leave Act, Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act and related matters, hiring and reference procedures, employee discipline and termination, employee drug and alcohol testing policies and procedures, collective action wage and overtime claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as employer benefits and noncompetition agreement matters. A leader in the legal and local community, McNamara previously served as a member and chairperson for the Magistrate Judges Committee, a judicially-appointed committee that appoints U.S. Magistrates to the bench; is a past Director of the Lawyers Association of Kansas City; a former President of the Association’s Young Lawyers Section; and a founding Board Member and past Director of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association’s Lawyers Encouraging Academic Performance (LEAP). She also co-founded Kansas City Attorneys for the Arts. McNamara currently serves on the Advisory Board of her client The Salvation Army, chairing its Civic Luncheon Committee this year and is an alumna member of the highly-selective Kansas City Tomorrow Civic Council Leadership Training Program. Among her honors, McNamara is a Fellow in the prestigious College of Labor & Employment Lawyers; is listed among the Best Lawyers in America annually since 2007, and Best Lawyers named her a Kansas City, Mo., Labor Law – Management “Lawyer of the Year” in 2013. She also maintains a Top Band 1 ranking by Chambers USA in the area of Missouri Labor & Employment annually since 2004; and is named a Top 50 Female Lawyer by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers annually since 2005.

Werts is a pioneering lawyer in the world of Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology. He perceived the growing industry's potential impact to revolutionize countless markets over the next decade and recognized the need for legal representation to assist the businesses engaged – the  driving force in the birth of Lathrop Gage’s Blockchain & Cryptocurrency practice group. Regarded as a reputable voice of legal insight with respect to this new field, Werts is also frequently called upon to speak and provide guidance on legal matters concerning blockchain, cryptocurrency and emerging technologies. In addition, as a corporate transactions attorney, Werts represents publicly traded and privately held companies, successfully representing clients in several sophisticated mergers and acquisitions transactions, including representing the owners of a broadband telecom and data center business in their sale of the business to a consortium of domestic and foreign-owned strategic and financial buyers. Active in several civic, professional and non-profit organizations, Werts is a Trustee and Finance Committee member of Baker University; holds many leadership roles within the Boy Scouts of America including serving as Pony Express Council President, on its Executive Committee, and Facilities Committee and Budget Committee. In 2015, The Boy Scouts of America presented Werts with the Silver Beaver distinguished service Award. Among his several honors received for his success in the legal industry, the National Law Journal named Werts a 2018 “Cryptocurrency/Blockchain/Fintech Trailblazer” and Startland News, a Kansas City Innovation News publication, named him an Ambassador in its 2018 Techweek 100 list, recognizing his influence in the tech industry. Werts is also an alumnus of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Centurions Leadership Program.”

About Lathrop Gage

Lathrop Gage is a law firm whose clients form the backbone of our economy. Our attorneys provide strategic guidance in litigation, business and intellectual property law, with deep knowledge and experience in the industries we serve. We work as one integrated team from offices across the country to help our clients see beyond immediate challenges to achieve their most important objectives. For more information, visit

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