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Overview

Joe brings deep experience to his role as lead trial counsel in toxic tort, product liability, mass tort and class action cases for Fortune 100 companies in some of America’s toughest legal venues.

In the toxic tort and mass tort litigation arena, Joe has served as national coordinating counsel and as lead trial counsel for multiple-defendant joint defense groups. Clients include companies in the chemical, oil and gas, biotech, industrial, agricultural, pharmaceutical, commercial and consumer products industries.  

For more than two decades, Joe has served as lead trial lawyer for the global manufacturer Emerson in class action, commercial litigation and product liability cases. Intellectual property is another area of focus: Joe has won numerous jury trial victories over 15 years in biotech patent infringement cases for an agricultural products manufacturer.

As head of the firm’s Manufacturing industry team, Joe leads more than 170 professionals from numerous practice areas in bringing innovative, cost-effective solutions to the challenges that manufacturing clients face.

When facing a serious lawsuit in a difficult jurisdiction, clients appreciate that Joe is a formidable litigator who stands firm while striving to secure the best outcomes for clients.  


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star, 2011-2017
  • The Best Lawyers In America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants, 2013-2019  
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2009-2016
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, Top 10 Defense Verdict

Education

  • J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
  • B.S., Southern Illinois University

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Arkansas
  • Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Iowa
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Seed Trade Association
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Defense Research Institute
  • East Saint Louis (Illinois) Bar Association, President, 2015-2016
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Iowa State Bar Association
  • The Missouri Bar
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • Saint Clair County (Illinois) Bar Association
  • The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates, Safety and Security Committee
Featured Case Study

Jury Finds for Ag Manufacturer in Patent Infringement Case

Joe acted as lead trial lawyer representing an agricultural products manufacturer in a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Mississippi. The jury found that the defendants’ infringement was willful and rendered a verdict that resulted in a judgment for the client of more than $15 million.


Additional Experience
  • Tried toxic tort case in southern Illinois in which plaintiff claimed that chemical exposure caused her to suffer injury to virtually every organ system in her body and increased her risk of developing cancer. After being asked to award minimum $5 million for lost wages, medical bills and future medical monitoring, the jury instead returned defense verdict.
  • Obtained dismissal of class action that sought damages for residents of Illinois town for personal injuries, property damage and medical monitoring allegedly resulting from groundwater contamination and air emissions from closed refinery.
  • Acted as lead trial counsel in a patent infringement lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri, in which jury award resulted in judgment of $2.9 million and finding of willful infringement.
  • Obtained summary judgment in lawsuit brought by residents of Minnesota town who claimed personal injuries and property-value diminution from exposures through groundwater contamination and air emissions from former wood-treatment plant.
  • Acted as lead trial counsel in breach of contract action and obtained jury award of $3 million.
  • Acted as lead trial counsel in multiple-plaintiff chemical emission case in southern Illinois and obtained a favorable jury verdict, which resulted in awards of no damages for most plaintiffs and fraction of the damages sought for few plaintiffs who recovered.
  • Tried case involving fatal accident captured on surveillance video that was shown to jury by plaintiff’s counsel throughout two-week trial that resulted in defense verdict and was named Top 10 defense win in the Missouri Lawyers Weekly annual survey.
  • Manufacturing:
    • Rock Hill Mechanical Inc. v. Liebert Corp., 707 F. Supp. 2d 988 (E.D.Mo. 2010)
    • Bredemus v. International Paper Co., 2009 WL 3126451 (D.Minn. 2009)
    • Bredemus v. International Paper Co., 252 F.R.D. 529 (D.Minn. 2008)
    • Bogner v. Airco Inc., 353 F. Supp. 2d 977 (C.D.Ill., 2005)
    • Arnold v. Louisville Ladder Group LLC, 2004 WL 5572033 (C.D.Ill. 2004)
    • Haynes v. Louisville Ladder, 341 F. Supp. 2d 1064 (E.D.Ark. 2004)
  • Oil and Gas:
    • Marsh v. Exxon Mobil Corp., 2005 WL 2246006 (E.D.Mo. 2005)
    • Fletcher v. Conoco Pipe Line Co., 323 F. 3d 661 (8th Cir. 2003)
  • Agribusiness:
    • Monsanto Co. v. David, 516 F. 3d 1009 (Fed.Cir. 2008)
    • Monsanto Co. v. McFarling, 488 F. 3d 973 (Fed.Cir. 2007) (McFarling III)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Scruggs, 459 F. 3d 1328, 79 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1813 (Fed.Cir. 2006)
    • Monsanto Co. v. David, 448 F. Supp. 2d 1088 (E.D.Mo. 2006)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Hill, 2006 WL 4864419 (E.D.Mo. 2005)
    • Monsanto Co. v. McFarling, 363 F. 3d 1336 (Fed.Cir. 2004) (McFarling II)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Ralph, 382 F. 3d 1374, 72 U.S.P.Q. 2d 1515 (Fed.Cir. 2004)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Scruggs, 342 F. Supp. 2d 568 (N.D.Ms. 2004)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Scruggs, 342 F. Supp. 2d 584 (N.D.Ms. 2004)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Scruggs, 342 F. Supp. 2d 602 (N.D.Ms. 2004)
    • Monsanto Co. v. McFarling, 302 F. 3d 1291 (Fed.Cir. 2002) (McFarling I)
    • Monsanto Co. v. Nelson, 2001 WL 34079479 (E.D.Mo. 2001)
Outside the Office

Joe is an avid hiker. 

He has hiked the Great Smoky Mountains, Sierra Nevada mountains, Canadian and U.S. Rockies, Swiss Alps, Spanish Pyrenees, Laurentian Mountains and Glacier National Park.

Asbestos and Benzene

Joe successfully utilizes cutting-edge scientific evidence in the field of molecular biology and genomics in toxic tort cases involving asbestos and benzene.

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