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About the Firm

Tim Belz has been in private practice in St. Louis, Missouri since 1982. He has handled dozens of cases concentrating on the civil liberties of individuals and organizations, particularly first amendment rights of free speech, religious freedom and association, and parental rights. He has also handled numerous business litigation matters. He has practiced in many state and federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Belz is a 1976 graduate, with high honors, of the University of Iowa Law School, where he graduated Order of the Coif, an honor open to those in the top ten percent of their class. He was a 1972 graduate of Covenant College, where he was the Editor in Chief of its award-winning student newspaper.

Prior to private practice, Mr. Belz was a prosecutor in the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice, where he earned the Attorney General’s Special Achievement Award.

Mr. Belz was honored as a Lawyer of the Year for 2004 by Missouri Lawyers Weekly, primarily for his successful representation of a private school against government authorities that sought to put the school out of business. He has also been included in the Missouri and Kansas edition of Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell continues to give Mr. Belz a peer rating of “a.v.,” its highest rating for competence and ethics.

Representative Cases (not exhaustive):

Heartland Academy Community Church v. Waddle, --- F.3d ---, 2010 WL 424441 (8th Cir. 2010). Lead counsel on appeal in damage case denying immunity to Missouri juvenile officers and social workers accused of violating the constitutional rights of private religious school, its students and their parents.

Jamison v. Missouri Dept. of Soc. Serv., 218 S.W.3d 399 (Mo. banc 2007). Lead counsel on appeal in case in which he successfully argued before the Missouri Supreme Court that teachers and child-care workers should not be blacklisted by the state prior to a meaningful due process hearing, thus striking down substantial portions of Missouri law as unconstitutional.

Heartland Academy Community Church v. Waddle, 427 F.3d 525 (8th Cir. 2005). Lead counsel on appeal, successfully defending permanent injunction of district court (317 F.Supp.2d 984 (E.D. Mo. 2004)) against state juvenile officer who had violated constitutional rights of private religious school, its students and their parents. Obtained $775,000 payment by State of Missouri for legal fees and expenses related to securing the injunction.

Heartland Academy Community Church v. Waddle, 335 F.3d 684 (8th Cir. 2003). Lead counsel on appeal, successfully defending preliminary injunction of district court against state juvenile officer for violation of constitutional rights of private religious school, its students and their parents.

Good News/Good Sports Club v. School Dist. Of the City of Ladue, 28 F.3d 1501 (8th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 515 U.S. 1173 (1995). Lead counsel at trial and active co-counsel on successful appeal of case establishing rights of students to meet in public school facilities. Section 1983 case involving complex free speech and other First Amendment issues. Also succeeded in obtaining more than $275,000 in court-ordered attorney fees and expenses.

Eva Hummel-Jones, et ux. v. Strope, et al., 25 F.3d 647 (8th Cir. 1994). Active co-counsel (wrote brief) on successful appeal of Section 1983 case between Missouri family and law enforcement officials involving complex Fourth Amendment issues.

State v. Eisenhouer, 40 S.W.3d 916 (Mo. banc 2001). Filed amicus brief addressing the constitutional rights of elders of church who had been subpoenaed to give testimony against parishioner before grand jury.

Gibson v. Brewer, 952 S.W.2d 239 (Mo. banc 1997). Was active co-counsel on amicus curiae brief which was followed by Missouri Supreme Court in restricting supervisor liability (legal responsibility of supervising bishop, etc.) in child molestation cases by parish priests.

Presbytery of Elijah Parish Lovejoy v. Jaeggi, 682 S.W.2d 465 (Mo. banc), cert. denied, 471 U.S. 1117 (1985). Lead counsel in church property case involving complex First Amendment issues. Convinced Missouri Supreme Court to substantially change, if not reverse, approach it had taken in such cases since 1914.

U.S. v. Cargo Service Stations, 657 F.2d 676 (5th Cir. Unit B 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1017 (1982). Active co-counsel in investigating and trying this statewide (Florida) price-fixing case.

Conservatorship Estate of Moehlenpah, 763 S.W.2d 249 (Mo. App. E.D. 1988). Lead counsel for respondents in intra-family probate dispute involving competency.

Pasta House Co. v. Williams, et al., 833 S.W.2d 460 (Mo. App. E.D. 1992). Lead counsel for respondent in case involving duties of professional surveyor.

State ex rel. Pini v. Moreland, 686 S.W.2d 499 (Mo. App. E.D. 1984). Lead counsel in pro bono case in which appeals court reversed criminal contempt convictions of protestors.

NOW, et al. v. Scheidler, et al., 968 F.2d 612 (7th Cir. 1992), affirming 765 F. Supp. 937 (N.D. Ill. 1991). Active co-counsel in pro bono case establishing that federal antitrust statutes cannot be used against social protestors who lack economic motivation.

Webster, et al., v. RHS, et al., 492 U.S. 490 (1989). Lead counsel in preparation and filing of amici curiae brief filed on behalf of 127 members of the Missouri legislature.

Lead counsel in numerous other cases involving civil liberties, Uniform Commercial Code and other commercial disputes, insurance coverage questions, probate disputes, constitutional questions, etc., which have not resulted in reported cases.

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