Trial Counsel...practicing preventive law

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                 Email:  info@TheWhiteheadFirm.Com

C.V. of Mike Whitehead



CURRENT POSITION:  Private Law practice, Whitehead Law Firm, LLC, Kansas City, Missouri, since November 1, 2001.   Injury and death cases, church and non-profit organizations, religious liberty, employment discrimination,  business litigation,  wills and trusts,  real estate transactions.

PERSONAL                         Born 1950, Independence, Missouri.


FAMILY                        Wife, Janet, married 1976.

Children: Jonathan, born 1978;  Holly, born 1983; Hannah, born 1988.


High School, 1968, Truman High School, Independence, Missouri

Bachelor of Arts, 1972, University of Missouri, Columbia,  Political Science, with Honors;  Phi Beta Kappa

Juris Doctor, (J.D.), 1975, University of Missouri, Columbia, Law School


United States Supreme Court;  Supreme Court of Missouri;   State and Federal Courts in Missouri;   Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals;  U. S. Court of Military Appeals.  


1990-1995            General Counsel, Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Life Commission, (now Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) Washington, D.C.  Representing the organization before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Congress,the White House, and other policy making bodies, in advocating Baptist viewpoints in matters affecting family, church and religious liberty.

1991-1999            Stigall, Humphrey law firm, Kansas City, Missouri. Associated counsel.

1983-1991            Crews, Smart, Whitehead & Waits, P.C., Kansas City, Missouri. Partner.

1978-1983            Smart & Whitehead, Kansas City, Missouri. Partner.

1975-1978            Captain, Judge Advocate General Corps, U.S. Army, Fort Riley, Kansas.

Military trial counsel, prosecuting courts martial; Chief, Trial Counsel.

General civil trial practice: Business and corporate litigation.  Estate planning and probate.   Employment law and civil rights.  Religious liberty and First Amendment law.  Personal injury, automobile, air crash, malpractice, (medical, dental, legal).  Co-counsel in Widmar v. Vincent, 454 U.S. 263, U.S. Supreme Court, 1981, involving university students’ right to equal access to university student union for meeting space.  Consulting counsel on numerous other federal and state cases involving religious liberty, including equal access.

Public policy advocacy:  Coalition for Free Exercise of Religion, 1990-1993,  involved in drafting and lobbying for passage of Religious Freedom Restoration Act.   Presented testimony before Congressional judiciary committee regarding proposed EEOC guidelines on religious harassment, June 1994. Participant in meetings with White House legal counsel and President Bill Clinton regarding Religious Freedom Restoration Act and its application to bankruptcy proceedings, schools, and workplace, 1994-1995.


Religious Heritage of America, Business and Professional Award, 1995. (San Antonio, October 16, 1995)

Phi Beta Kappa, 1972,  University of Missouri.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), Honor Guard, 2005

Distinguished Service Award,  Missouri Baptist Convention, Christian Life Commission, 2004.


Christian Legal Society (CLS), national Board of Directors, 1997-date;  Alliance Defending Freedom, ADF Grant Review Committee, Scottsdale, Arizona, 1993-date.  Parliamentarian, Missouri Baptist Convention annual meetings, 1995, 1999-2002.  Resolutions Committee, Southern Baptist Convention, 1997, chairman 1998.  Order of Business Committee, chair, 2004, member 2004-2006.  Legal Counsel, MissouriBaptist Convention, 2001-date. Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.  National Employment Lawyers Association, Kansas City Chapter. Coalition Against Pornography-Kansas City,board member.  Len Dawson Scholarship Foundation, Selection committee, 1988.


Citizen Christians: Their Rights and Responsibilities, Christian Life Commission video, 1994

Do Students Have a Prayer After Lee. v. Weisman? 6 U. Fla Jour of Law and Pub Pol 231, Spring 1994.

Homosexual Political Agenda, Christian Life Commission, 1993. 

The Laws of Hiring and Firing.  Padgett-Thompson Seminars, 1978-1981.

Lee v. Weisman, Brief of Amicus Curiae Southern Baptist Convention, Christian Life Commission, 1991.

Separation of Church and State Panel, National Religious Broadcasters Convention, 1997.

Tax Exemption and Political Candidate Campaigns, Christian Life Commission, 1994.

A Time To Live, A Time to Die: Living Wills and Advance Directives.  Christian Life Commission. 1993.


Midwestern Baptist Seminary,  1996 to 2001; Midwestern is one of six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest protestant denomination, with over 16 million members in over 42,000 local churches.  Interim President, September 14, 1999 to February 12, 2001. Vice President of Business Affairs from January 1, 1996 September 14, 1999; Executive Vice President, February 12-October 31, 2001.  Participated in all facets of academic and administrative management for 700-student graduate school with 200-acre main campus and five extensions, and approximately 125 employees, including responsibility for legal and business affairs, finance and accounting, payroll, personnel and human resources, technology services (computers, telephones, etc.) and facilities maintenance and operations.  Coordinated staff relationships with vice presidents for academic affairs, financial development, and student development.  Coordinated administrative responsibilities with the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention as well as other denominational agencies.  Coordinated campus planning projects and accreditation preparation and evaluation.


General Counsel, Christian Life Commission, SBC, 1990-1995.  Managed Washington, DC, office of public policy  and religious liberty agency of Southern Baptist Convention.  Providing legal counsel to executive director and board of directors on range of legal issues, from personnel, to construction oversight, to contracts, to litigation involving the agency.  The CLC (now Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission) has offices in Nashville, Tennessee, and on Capitol Hill in Washington,D.C.

Partner.  Managed private law practice from 1978 to 1995, including partnerships listed below.

Military law office. Managed military trial counsel’s office in Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Ft.Riley, Kansas, 1975-1978.  Senior Trial Counsel for First Infantry Division at time of honorable discharge, 1978.


Elected to faculty of Midwestern Baptist Seminary,1997; assistant professor of church and law. Taught courses in religious liberty,  ministry management, corporate chaplaincy, and Christ and Culture. Chaired faculty meetings as interim president.

Teaching, training: 

Teaching seminary courses:  Minister and the Law; Church and the Law; Workplace Ministry and the Law; Christ and Culture;  The Southern Baptist Convention. Masters program;  D. Min. workshops.

Developing, marketing and presenting one-day management training seminars for human resource professionals and business owners on topics of employment law. Lectured in over 100 U.S. cities, 1978-1981 for Padgett-Thompson Seminars, Overland Park, Kansas, now National Seminars.  Author and original presenter of one of the most successful programs and workbooks, "The Law of Hiring and Firing."  Lectured for Christian organizations including the SBC Christian Life Commission, Christian Legal Society,  Campus Crusade for Christ, the Heart of America Christian Justice Center, International Union of Gospel Missions national convention, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) on topics of religious liberty, personnel law and other legal topics  for non-profit organizations.

Print/Broadcastmedia:  Contributing writer for publications, including World magazine,  Home Life, Baptist Sunday School Board Sunday School literature,  Salt Washington  newsletter andLight magazine.  Appearing in national secular andreligious media, including Wall Street Journal, Washington PostChristianity Today magazine and the Oprah Winfrey Show, regarding public policy and legal issues; drafting media releases and news stories for new services, publications and other media outlets.  Guest or host for radio and television talk shows.

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