Walt is a founding member of BWO and has effectively represented his clients for nearly forty years. He is one of the leading attorneys in the State of Missouri for family law issues and estate/trust litigation matters.
Walt provides his clients with a tremendous work ethic and a deep reservoir of knowledge and experience. He has a wealth of courtroom and trial experience, having tried cases in virtually every courtroom with every judge in Southwest Missouri. Walt has built a career of tackling difficult legal situations. He represented Joe and Joyce Cruzan in the leading case in the United States on the right-to-die. The case attracted worldwide attention and was the first case of its kind to ever be decided by the United States Supreme Court. Walt appeared as counsel before the United States Supreme Court and he continues to receive requests today from legal scholars about the case and his role.
Walt received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, where he also received a degree in business. He has practiced in the Joplin area all of his professional life. Walt and his wife, Ngoc, live in Joplin. Outside of the office, Walt’s hobbies include hunting, gun collecting, power boating, fishing, jogging, yoga, snow skiing, and working outside. He enjoys physical fitness and has served as commissioner of the Joplin Adult Soccer League in addition to coaching youth soccer.
Learn more about our team of accomplished attorneys including Charles Buchanan, Andrew Buchanan, James V. O’Brien, Nicole Carlton and Emily Taylor.
Education: B.S. and J.D., University of Missouri-Columbia.
Bar & Admissions: Missouri; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri; U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Cruzan by Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Dept. of Health, 497 U.S. 261 (1990) (litigation before the United States Supreme Court involving whether Walter’s clients, parents of a daughter in a persistent vegetative state, had authority to carry out their daughter’s wishes and withdraw artificial hydration and nutrition)
Cruzan by Cruzan v. Harmon, 760 S.W.2d 408 (Mo. banc 1988)
Martz v. Martz, 323 S.W.3d 53 (Mo. App. S.D. 2010) (upholding favorable result for Walter’s client in family law litigation)
Brill v. Brill, 65 S.W.3d 583 (Mo. App. S.D. 2002) (Walter represented his client before appellate court that addressed issues involving divorce, child support and maintenance, and disposal of marital property)
Babbitt v. Babbitt, 15 S.W.3d 787 (Mo. App. S.D. 2000) (upholding favorable result for Walter’s client in dispute involving child custody)
Jones v. Jones, 937 S.W.2d 352 (Mo. App. S.D. 1996) (affirming trial court’s judgment awarding custody and control of child to Walter’s client)
Weston v. Weston, 882 S.W.2d 337 (Mo. App. S.D. 1994) (affirming favorable result for Walter’s client in divorce proceeding)
Murray v. Ray, 862 S.W.2d 931 (Mo. App. S.D. 1993) (remanding with instruction that verdict be entered in favor of Walter’s client in employment dispute involving alleged improper interference with contract)
McKee Const. Co. v. Stanley Plumbing & Heating Co., 828 S.W.2d 700 (Mo. App. S.D. 1992) (upholding favorable result for Walter’s client in business litigation dispute)
Williams v. North River Ins. Co., 579 S.W.2d 410 (Mo. App. S.D. 1979) (affirming judgment for Walter’s clients in dispute where insurance company refused to provide coverage to Walter’s clients for the destruction of their home in a fire)