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John Kingston

Partner

St. Louis
314 552 6464 direct

John handles a wide variety of commercial litigation in state and federal courts across the country.

John has tried jury trials and bench trials in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, and other states (involving multi-million dollar claims on issues ranging from patent infringement to civil conspiracy).  He has briefed and argued appeals in the state and federal appellate courts and in the Supreme Court of Missouri. 

A vigorous and resourceful advocate, John guides his clients through all stages of litigation—including investigation, discovery, trial, and appeal.  He works closely with his clients to understand the core issues of each dispute and to develop and deploy a litigation strategy to efficiently achieve their goals.

John routinely works with cross-disciplinary legal teams in specialized practice areas.  He is adept at understanding industry-specific disputes and persuasively presenting his clients' positions to judges and juries that are not industry experts.  John has handled expert witness discovery, preparation, and trial examination in cases involving, e.g., patent claims, fiduciary claims, tax claims, securities fraud claims, class action claims, and claims of professional malpractice.

John is a former law clerk to the Hon. Boyce F. Martin, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and to the Hon. Carol E. Jackson, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.  He has been recognized by Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers, is a fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America and is a member of the Trial Law Institute.  

Triad Packaging, Inc. v. SupplyOne, Inc.

John first chaired a two week jury trial on behalf of Philadelphia-based SupplyOne, Inc. in Statesville, North Carolina.  SupplyOne had been sued by a local manufacturer seeking more than $4 million for alleged breach of contract, fraud, and antitrust violations.  SupplyOne denied the plaintiff's claims and asserted its own counterclaim for breach of contact.  At trial, the jury determined SupplyOne was owed more than $70,000. After the plaintiff appealed, SupplyOne cross appealed.  John argued the appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which eventually sided with SupplyOne.  Ultimately, the plaintiff that sued SupplyOne for $4 million paid SupplyOne more than $350,000.

Bettcher Industries, Inc. v. Bunzl USA, Inc.

An Ohio manufacturer sued Bunzl in Toledo, Ohio, for patent infringement. John joined the trial team shortly after the presiding judge concluded (in the context of a preliminary injunction hearing) that there was a "substantial likelihood" that the plaintiff would prevail on its patent claims at trial.  After a two-week trial, the jury found otherwise—returning a defense verdict on all eleven counts of plaintiff's patent infringement claim.

Maryland Heights, et al., v. TracFone Wireless, Inc. and Springfield, Missouri v. TracFone Wireless, Inc.

Suing on behalf of a class of several hundred Missouri municipalities, the City of Maryland Heights sought back taxes on TracFone's wholesale and resale sales of prepaid wireless service.  TracFone and the class reached a mutually agreeable settlement after TracFone obtained summary judgment against the class on its claim for back taxes on wholesale sales. 

Opting out of the class, the City of Springfield likewise sued TracFone for back taxes.  In similar license tax litigation, Springfield had traditionally received a substantial premium over its projected payments as a class member.  The lawsuit proceeded to trial on damages after TracFone refused to pay Springfield's typical premium.  The final judgment was slightly more than half of TracFone's last settlement offer (and an amount substantially below the City's projected recovery had it remained in the class).

Minority Shareholder Representation

Although his focus is commercial litigation, John recently represented two separate minority shareholders seeking to exit closely held corporations.  In both instances, John's investigation uncovered management misconduct that artificially depressed the value of his client's ownership interest.  In both instances, the minority shareholders filed suit based on that misconduct.  In both instances, the shareholders' recovery was more than quadruple the originally proposed buyout price.  Disclosure of the parties' identities is precluded by the terms of the applicable settlement agreements.