Retired Judge Booker T. 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.
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.
He argued before the Supreme Court of Missouri on behalf of a utility company. 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.
Recently, 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.