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Derek represents colleges and universities in complicated, prominent litigation involving federal and state regulatory statutes, governmental immunities, constitutional rights and class actions.

Derek represents clients at all stages of litigation, including pre-settlement negotiations, dispositive motion practice, trials, arbitrations and appeals.

A majority of Derek’s clients are institutions that face lawsuits from students, faculty and contractors, as well as regulatory enforcement actions from the U.S. Department of Education and equivalent state agencies. Related to his litigation practice, Derek assists colleges and universities in minimizing litigation risk by ensuring compliance with varied requirements of federal and state regulations, with a special emphasis on Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972 (sexual harassment/sexual assault) and Clery Act (campus crime reporting).

Derek’s compliance practice includes policy and practice audits, policy drafting, and providing training and guidance to key personnel and students. Derek represents a number of higher education institutions with nursing, medical or other allied health schools.

As a former federal appellate law clerk and appellate practitioner, Derek also has extensive appellate experience and maintains a substantial appellate practice. He has briefed and argued cases before both federal and state courts of appeal. He frequently consults on state and federal appellate cases, where clients seek his knowledge.




  • Benchmark Litigation, 40 & Under Hot List, 2019-2020; Future Star, 2019-2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Commercial Litigation, 2021-2022
  • Ingram's, 40 Under Forty, 2017
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2009; Business Litigation, 2013-2017


  • J.D., University of Kansas School of Law
      • Order of the Coif
      • Rice Scholar
      • Kansas Law Review, articles editor, 2005-2006
  • B.A., University of Kansas
    • with highest distinction
    • Phi Beta Kappa


  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • Kansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Kansas Bar Association 
  • Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA)


The Hon. Paul J. Kelly Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit, 2006-2007

  • Obtained summary judgment for major research university in Title IX lawsuit challenging propriety of institution's response to report of student-on-student sexual assault. Successfully argued and defended judgment on appeal before U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
  • Represented flagship state university and faculty member in breach of contract, tort and constitutional rights lawsuit brought by student dismissed for academic misconduct. Obtained summary judgment in favor of university and faculty member.
  • Defended former superintendent and principal of school district in case involving $1 million negligence claims brought by injured student. Obtained summary judgment in favor of clients in groundbreaking application of Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Liability Protection Act and successfully defended case on appeal.
  • Represented private college in internal proceedings to terminate tenured faculty member for conduct inconsistent with college's mission statement and religious principles. Successfully defended termination in subsequent arbitration before American Arbitration Association.
  • Conducted comprehensive historic audit of reports of sexual misconduct by faculty and employees of private, religiously affiliated institution. Advised institution by implementing updated trainings, policies and other measures to address audit findings.
  • Frequently conducts audits and climate assessments of athletic departments and particular sports teams when concerns of sexual misconduct are raised.
  • Routinely drafts comprehensive anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies for private and public institutions.
  • Regularly trains administrators, faculty, staff and students on Title IX compliance.
Case Studies
Farmobile LLC

Farmers Edge alleged that Farmobile’s co-founders—former employees of a company acquired by Farmers Edge in 2014—had misappropriated purportedly proprietary information in the development of farm data-collection and standardization technologies. Farmobile turned to Husch Blackwell to defend it in potentially enterprise-threatening litigation.

Webinar | March 25, 2021
Title IX Advanced Training
Webinar | March 9, 2021
Title IX Training 2021 - March 9th
Webinar | January 27, 2021
Title IX Training 2021 - January 27th
Webinar | November 24, 2020
Title IX Training for Advisors
Webinar | October 14, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - October 14th
Webinar | September 11, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - September 11, 2020
Webinar | September 3, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - September 3, 2020
Webinar | August 4, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - August 4, 2020
Webinar | July 23, 2020
Title IX Training 2020 - July 23, 2020
Webinar | May 11, 2020
Final Title IX Regulations and Their Effect on Your Campus

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

Speaking Engagements | July 30-31, 2019
Speaker, "Title IX Training," Henderson State University
Seminars | June 12 - 13, 2019
Title IX Workshop - Austin
Webinar | November 19, 2018
New Proposed Title IX Regulations and their Effect on Your Campus - November 27, 2018

Issues in Higher Education Webinar Series

News Releases | August 19, 2020
Husch Blackwell Scores Eighth Circuit Win for Farmobile in Trade Secret Dispute

The earlier court ruling granted summary judgment to Farmobile.

News Releases | October 01, 2019
Benchmark Litigation's 2020 Edition Recognizes 33 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

The firm also received Benchmark’s “Highly Recommended” ranking in Missouri and Wisconsin and its “Recommended” ranking in Nebraska.

News Releases | October 11, 2018
Benchmark Litigation Recognizes 28 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

Husch Blackwell is recognized as a top litigation firm in the 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation, with 28 attorneys across six offices listed.

Outside the Office

Derek stays busy with outdoor activities and sports involving his three boys and enjoys long-distance running.

Derek and his three boys spend time in the woods behind their home exploring and playing with their dog. During sports season, he takes the boys to practice and cheers them on at their soccer games and races. The family enjoys spending time in the mountains of Colorado and New Mexico. Derek is also a long-distance runner.

Community Leadership

Derek is passionate about education.

Derek is Board Chair of the Catholic Education Foundation of Northeast Kansas, an organization that helps children in need, of all faiths, attend regional Catholic schools. He also serves on the board of directors for the St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center, which provides ministry and other support to students at the University of Kansas.

  • Catholic Education Foundation of Northeast Kansas, Board of Directors, 2010-present; Chair, 2019-present
  • St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center at the University of Kansas, Board of Directors, 2017-present

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