University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law,
J.D., cum laude, 1995
Missouri Law Review
Order of the Coif
B.A., Economics & Political Science, magna cum laude, 1992
Harvard Law School Executive Education Program,
Leadership in Law Firms, 2016
The Illinois Bar
The Missouri Bar
Peabody Energy Corporation
Riceland Foods, Inc.
Smitty's Supply, Inc.
Listed in Chambers USA, (by Chambers & Partners) 2013-2016
Listed in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, (by Thomson Reuters) 2009-2021
Class Action/Mass Torts
Top 100 in Missouri & Kansas, 2012
Top 50 in St. Louis, 2011-2012, 2017
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (by BL Rankings), 2023-2024
Thompson Coburn LLP
Saint Louis Art Museum
Board Member, Corporate Partners Committee, 2014-2019
Board of Trustees, 2019-Present
Chris chairs the 200-attorney Litigation Department at Thompson Coburn and is co-chair of Business Litigation, the largest practice group in the Firm. He also serves on the Executive and Management Committees of the Firm.
In his practice, Chris leads complex litigation and class action defense for major corporations in the financial services and agriculture industries. Chris serves as lead defense counsel in high-stakes Multi-District Litigation (MDL) proceedings.
With a career spanning 28 years, clients look to Chris to develop highly-focused litigation strategies and view him as a go-to resource for cases involving multiple plaintiffs, class actions, or MDL litigation.
Chris has taken a lead role in nearly every major litigation over the last decade related to alleged crop contamination by genetically modified strains of rice, soybeans, wheat, and corn. For agribusiness giants like Riceland and Bayer, Chris has successfully litigated claims related to the introduction of GM crops and the disruption of the supply chain and export markets. Chris helps lead a GM task force within the firm that developed an extensive database of experience, litigation capabilities, and successful trial and appellate strategies. He draws on that experience to defend clients facing individual or class action claims, and counsel them on risk management for new biotechnology or GM varieties.
Chris has significant experience representing clients in trials, arbitrations and mediations, and on appeal.
Served in lead counsel and coordinating defense counsel roles in a number of the major agriculture-related MDL cases across the Midwest, including those involving:
- Genetically Modified Rice
- Roundup Ready Wheat
- Dicamba Herbicides Litigation
- 303 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid
Led a team of attorneys in helping win an 8th Circuit victory for Scottrade in securities class action. The 8th Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of plaintiff Nicholas Lewis's class action claims on the basis that his claims were precluded by the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA).
Led a team of attorneys in securing a $600,000 jury verdict on behalf of the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council (MSMC) and the Mid-America Research and Development Foundation (MRDF) in a case against a former executive who profited from suspect contracts for valuable soybean technologies. After a three-day trial, it took jurors less than 30 minutes to award MSMC a winning verdict.
Represented one of the largest financial services companies in the country, prevailing in a unique $3 million malicious prosecution case.
Along with a team of attorneys, Chris tried a four-week jury trial in Arkansas state court on behalf of firm client, Riceland Foods, Inc. The trial was the culmination of years of work by the legal team that defended Riceland foods on multiple litigation fronts, including defense of multiple class action lawsuits in Arkansas, classes of farmers consolidated in an MDL in the Eastern District of Missouri, and several European Union customers suing in federal court. The Riceland legal team's strategy reversed Riceland's defensive position by asserting a cross-claim against a codefendant resulting in $136.9 million jury verdict for Riceland.
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