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Booker Shaw

Partner

St. Louis
314 552 6087 direct

Retired Judge Booker Shaw brings clients valuable insight and perspective gained from his more than 25 years on the bench.

His knowledge of current judicial thinking at the trial and appellate levels on a wide range of issues enhances the Business Litigation Group's ability to argue a client's case more persuasively and to craft the most effective strategy.

Judge Shaw served on the Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District, for seven years, including one year as chief judge. While on the appellate bench, he participated in more than 1,000 cases and authored 141 appellate opinions on a variety of cases, from medical negligence and nuisance/sovereign immunity to commercial transactions, contracts, and personal injury. He also served as a Special Visiting Judge of the Missouri Supreme Court. As a former trial judge in the 22nd Judicial Circuit, from 1983 until 2002, Judge Shaw presided over more than 500 trials.

Prior to his judicial posts, Judge Shaw worked at the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office. In addition to his decades of public service as a distinguished jurist, Judge Shaw continues to give back to the legal profession.

Notable cases

Judge Shaw has briefed and argued numerous cases before the U.S. Circuit and District Courts, the Missouri Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals and Circuit Courts. In 2011, he served as a member of the trial team representing Lorillard Tobacco in the defense of a $500 million cost-recovery lawsuit brought by Missouri hospitals in the City of St. Louis. After a three-month trial, the jury returned defense verdicts on all claims.

Judge Shaw helped Philip Morris defeat a $1.5 billion class action case in a 2016 jury trial in the City of St. Louis. The case turned on whether Philip Morris deceived some 400,000 Missouri smokers about the safety of Marlboro Light (Lights) cigarettes. After just 30 minutes of deliberation, a trial that lasted 39 days ended with a total defense verdict.  

In 2015, he helped secure a critical defense win in St. Louis for Pfizer in Pesante v. Pfizer, the first of several trials over birth defects allegedly caused by Zoloft. The proceeding in St. Louis Circuit Court was the first in dozens of similar cases lodged against the drug maker in St. Louis and in Philadelphia, and the plaintiff's attorneys selected what they considered to be their best case for the first trial. In addition to leading several pretrial motions that achieved significant evidentiary rulings, Judge Shaw was responsible for questioning some key witnesses. The jury deliberated for less than two hours before siding with Pfizer by a vote of 11-1.

He argued before the Supreme Court of Missouri on behalf of a utility company in Laclede v. St. Charles County. The county argued that the company should be required to pay the cost of relocating gas lines, located in utility easements, when the county undertakes road improvements. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court and ruled in favor of our client in a case that impacts utilities across the state.

In Gibbs v. Blockbuster, the Missouri Court of Appeals reversed a $2 million false imprisonment judgment against Blockbuster. Judge Shaw argued, among other things, that the trial court committed reversible error by granting partial summary judgment against Blockbuster on a disputed agency issue.

In an automotive product liability case, Judge Shaw successfully argued to the Missouri Court of Appeals that the trial court properly limited plaintiff's proffer of claimed similar incidents, in their attempt to establish our client's knowledge of the alleged vehicular defect.

Presentations

"Tough Evidence Issues at Trial";
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, May 2014

"Mastering Appellate Advocacy: Oral Argument";
Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, February 2014

"Game Plan For Effective Voir Dire";
Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, April 2012

"Civil Trial and Appellate Practice";
The Missouri Bar Association, May 2011, May 2012, May 2013, May 2014

News

Judge Shaw helps Philip Morris defeat $1.5B class action case in 30 minutes

Missouri Lawyers Weekly honors Booker Shaw with Mentor Award

Booker T. Shaw hits the airwaves for public radio legal roundtable

Booker T. Shaw honored as 2014 professional mentor of the year

More than 50 attorneys named to 2012 Missouri Bar Pro Bono Hall of Fame

Street Law program introduces 90 St. Louis students to careers in the law

Thompson Coburn tobacco victory named Missouri's ‘Top Defense Win of 2011’

Thompson Coburn obtains Missouri Supreme Court victory for Laclede Gas Company

Thompson Coburn sweeps 37 plaintiffs in jury verdicts for Lorillard Tobacco Company