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Sonette Magnus


St. Louis
314 552 6255 314 552 6255 direct

Sonette is a highly experienced litigator and business advisor who counsels corporate clients on all phases of commercial litigation in state and federal courts throughout the United States.

She represents clients across a wide spectrum of industries during pre-suit evaluation, discovery, mediation, expert witness preparation, trial preparation and when advisable, trial. Sonette is skilled at creating and implementing litigation strategies that take into consideration all external factors that can influence a trial, such as geography, socio-economic realities, and jury composition.

Sonette began her legal career by serving as the law clerk to the Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri. She draws on that experience to effectively represent lenders in receiverships as well as Chapter 11 restructurings, liquidations in DIP Financing, and Plan negotiations.

In addition, Sonette represents clients in complex commercial disputes, providing solution-oriented and pragmatic advice to navigate their day-to-day business needs. Sonette counsels clients on efficiently resolving contract issues, and works closely with the business units and in-house legal teams to devise successful road maps to mitigate risk of litigation and to zealously represent her clients in both state and federal court.

Her experience includes representing agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology companies, consumer and industrial product companies, food product companies, department stores, home improvement stores, sports teams, and financial institutions. Sonette has also advised and served as outside counsel to non-profits and institutions of higher education on a range of issues, including accreditation, governance, employment matters, financial restructuring, intellectual property strategies, and creation and enforcement of policies and procedures, including student and employee discipline.

Sonette also serves as Canada's Honorary Consul for the greater St. Louis area. In this role Sonette interacts with local businesses, chambers of commerce and government officials to identify opportunities for collaboration and trade between Canada and Missouri, particularly in the agriculture, biotech, energy and services sectors. Born in Toronto, Sonette's Canadian roots and deep love for the St. Louis community motivate her to enhance the two countries' mutual relationship.

Higher Ed Experience

For a private university, defended multiple programs facing loss of accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The university was successful in keeping accreditation.

For a midwestern college with a nearly depleted endowment, led a financial restructuring outside of bankruptcy and advised on a capital campaign that together allowed the institution to remain open.

Counseled multiple institutions on student discipline, Title IX investigations and other employment matters.

Defended private institutions in internal administrative proceedings brought by graduate students disciplined by the institutions for failing to complete program requirements.

Managed the trademark portfolio of a private institution.

Negotiates and prepares commercial contracts with vendors.


Nuts and Bolts of Attorney Client Privilege: What is it, when it applies and when it may be worth waiving


Co-Author, "Four Strategies for Avoiding Privilege Pitfalls"
ABA Commercial & Business Litigation, Volume 25, Issue 1, February 27, 2024

Interviewed, "2023 Up & Coming Awards: Sonette Magnus, 38"
Missouri Lawyers Weekly, October 11, 2023

Co-Author, “United States Licensed Attorney Required for Foreign-Domiciled U.S. Trademarks”
Client Alert August 2019

"The Real Face of Human Trafficking”
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri March 2016

"Section 365(a) Trumped by Inability to Assign Trademark Under Nonbankruptcy Law”
American Bankruptcy Institute August 2015

"Everything You Need to Know about Bankruptcy”
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri June 2013

"Tips From a Law Clerk: How to Improve Your Bankruptcy Practice in the EDMO”
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri September 2011


U.S. and Canadian Opportunities Panel
Career Education Colleges and Universities Convention , June 21, 2023

Panelist: Commercial Receiverships in Illinois
June 13, 2023

Women Lawyer’s Association of St. Louis, A Peek at Life as a Partner
June 9, 2023

Commercial Receivers Association Annual Conference, the State of State Receiverships
August 22, 2022

Panelist: Insurance and Bond Issues in Receivership
August 22, 2022

Panelist: Special Issues in Partnership Disputes in Receiverships
May 25, 2022

Fireside Chat
Corporate Counsel Women of Color Career Strategies Conference September 29, 2020

Co-Presenter, “The Advertising Law Landscape: Recent Trends and Developments to Watch Out For”
April 2018

Co-Presenter, “Amendments to the FRCP: Game Changer or Much Ado About Nothing”
Eastern District of Missouri Federal Practice Fundamentals November 2016

A View from the Bench and the Podium: How to Meet (and Exceed) Expectations”
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri September 2015