Jim has over three decades of experience successfully defending class actions and complex litigation. He has handled actions in numerous state and federal jurisdictions across the country. The leader of numerous litigation teams, Jim has served as national counsel for multiple consumer product manufacturers for whom he has developed and implemented defense strategies in broad-ranging litigation involving cases in multiple jurisdictions. Jim has tried class actions, successfully argued class action appeals, and resolved purported class actions early and efficiently. He teaches and lectures on class actions and is widely recognized for his expertise in defending class actions as well as legal and trial strategy.

After interviewing general counsel and legal decision-makers, BTI Consulting Group named Jim a "2016 and 2017 Client Service All-Star," one of approximately 300 attorneys nationwide to receive the honor. BTI’s Client Service All-Stars are leaders in their field who receive this designation because corporate counsel singled them out for "outperforming all other attorneys" in client service. Jim has represented ConAgra Foods, Inc., Goya Foods, Inc., The J.M. Smucker Company, Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, Source Naturals, Inc., Unilever, Allergan, Inc., Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., Bayer Corporation, Bausch & Lomb Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Lindsay Manufacturing Co., Lorillard Tobacco Company, Inc., Nissan North America, Inc., Pfizer Inc., Philip Morris USA Inc., 7-Eleven, Inc., QuikTrip Corp., Sanofi Synthelabo Inc., and Simon & Schuster Inc., among others, in class action litigation.

As first chair trial counsel, Jim successfully defended what may be the first Rule 23(c)(4) issue class action jury trial involving state consumer fraud allegations in the country, in which the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict. American Fiber and Cabling LLC, v. BP Products North America Inc., et al., Case No. 07-2053-KHV (D. Kan. Sept. 24, 2012). He served as trial counsel for Lorillard Tobacco Company in a statewide class action trial in which the jury rejected plaintiffs' medical monitoring claim, in one of the first medical monitoring cases to go to trial. Scott v. American Tobacco Co., 949 So.2d 1266 (La. Ct. App. 2007).

Jim enjoys looking for creative and cost-effective ways to resolve class action litigation. Recently, he persuaded plaintiffs’ counsel to dismiss several purported class actions alleging improper food labeling, based on an analysis of the appropriate regulations. His clients appreciate his creative and common sense approach to problem solving. Jim’s philosophy is to focus on the early resolution of matters before trial, to minimize the cost and business disruption to his clients.

Jim is a former chair of Shook's Diversity & Inclusion Committee. He is also very involved in pro bono efforts, having led a team in securing a significant civil rights victory for a class of 11,000 special needs foster and adopted children. Senior U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright observed that the suit was among the most important cases he has addressed in his 27-year career on the bench. Utilizing an attorneys' fee award donated by the firm, Jim then established "Lawyers for Kids," a charitable foundation which has contributed over $100,000 to foster and adopted children and their parents.

Missouri Lawyers Media recognized Jim as a 2012 Legal Champion for his role in the successful defense of fuel retailers in the nationwide "Hot Fuel" litigation. Jim's litigation expertise has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in Kansas City

Representative Matters

Appeals court vacated the grant of class certification for failure to plead an actionable injury and remanded to the district court with directions to dismiss the case with prejudice. Eike, et al., v. Allergan, Inc. No. 16-3334 (7th Cir., opinion issued March 6, 2017).

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a slack-fill class action complaint after the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. Pepper v. Boulder Brands, Inc., No. 7:16-CV-06512 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 27, 2016).

Court granted motion to stay a "Nothing Artificial" claim based upon primary jurisdiction of FDA. Thornton v. Pinnacle Foods Group LLC, No. 4:16–CV–00158, 2016 WL 5793193 (E. D. Mo. Sept. 30, 2016).

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed purported multistate class action after defendant filed a motion to dismiss and to strike class allegations. Sensenig v. WellPet, No. 3:16-CV-50021 (N. D. Ill. June 17, 2016). 

Court granted motion to dismiss or stay “All Natural” claim based upon primary jurisdiction of FDA. George v. Blue Diamond Growers, No. 4:15-CV-962, 2016 WL 1464644 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 14, 2016). 

Court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss a purported class action based upon lack of Article III standing. Cottrell v. Alcon Laboratories Inc., et al., 2016 WL 1163163 (D.N.J. Mar. 24, 2016).

Dismissal of a purported nationwide class action; the court ruled it did not have jurisdiction over the out-of-state plaintiffs. DeMaria v. Nissan North America, Inc., 2016 WL 374145 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 1, 2016).

Court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss a purported class action based on federal preemption of the plaintiff’s Missouri Merchandising Practices Act claim that a multivitamin contained less nutrient levels than the labeled amounts. Dougherty v. Source Naturals, Inc., No. 4:15CV574, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164117 (E.D. Mo., Dec. 8, 2015). 

Court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss a class action complaint for failure to allege ascertainable loss under Missouri Merchandising Practices Act. In re Avandia Mktg., Sales Practices & Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 1871, 07–MD–01871, Civil Action No. 12-3683, 100 F.Supp.3d 441 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 16, 2015). 

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a purported class action. Bray v. Simon & Schuster, Inc., Case No. 4:14-CV-00258-NKL (W. D. Mo. June 25, 2014).

Plaintiff dismissed a purported class action with prejudice. Hussain v. Delta Airlines, Inc., Case No. 4-00333-CV-W-BP (W.D. Mo. June 19, 2014).

Court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss a purported class action based on lack of Article III standing. New England Carpenters Health & Welfare Fund v. GlaxoSmithKline, 2014 WL 4119410 (E.D. Pa. 2014). 

Court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss a purported class action based, in part, on federal preemption. Thompson v. Allergan USA, Inc., 993 F.Supp.2d 1007 (E.D. Mo. 2014). 

Plaintiff dismissed case after the court granted the defendant's motion to strike the class allegations. Levy v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 12-cv-2266 (E.D.Mo. Sept. 30, 2013).

Appeals court reversed district court and held that the defendant met the Class Action Fairness Act jurisdictional requirements. Levy v. Pfizer, Inc., 719 F.3d 884 (8th Cir. 2013).

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a purported class action after the defendant filed a motion to dismiss. McLaughlin v. ConAgra Foods Inc., No. 1216 – CV 20904 (Cir. Ct. of Jackson County, Missouri 2013). 

Unanimous jury verdict in favor of the defendants in statewide consumer fraud class action. American Fiber and Cabling LLC, v. BP Products North America Inc., et al., Case No. 07-2053-KHV (D. Kan. Sept. 24, 2012). 

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a purported class action. Rohrbough v. Pinnacle Foods Group, No. 4:12-CV-00757-DGK (W.D.Mo. 2012). 

Plaintiff voluntarily dismissed a purported class action. Bryant v. Pinnacle Foods Group, No. 2:12-CV-05817-JFW (C.D.Cal. 2012). 

Dismissal of drug pricing overcharge claims; unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that the plaintiff did not have a cause of action against the defendants. Astra USA, Inc. v. Santa Clara County, 131 S.Ct. 1342 (2011). 

Class certification denied. Judy v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 042-01946-02, 2010 WL 3001745 (Mo. Cir. Ct. July 27, 2010) 

Class certification denied. Arlt v. Lind say Corp., No. C109-324 (Neb. 5th Dist. Ct. Apr. 23, 2010).

Class certification denied. County of Santa Clara v. Astra USA, Inc., et al., 257 F.R.D. 207 (N.D. Cal. 2009). 

Class certification denied. In re Neurontin Marketing, Sales Practices, and Product Liability Litig., 257 F.R.D. 315 (D. Mass. 2009). 

Class certification denied. In re Neurontin Marketing, Sales Practices, and Product Liability Litig., 244 F.R.D. 89 (D. Mass. 2007). 

Class certification denied. In re Pharmaceutical Indus. Average Wholesale Price Litig., 230 F.R.D. 61 (D. Mass. 2005). 

Class certification denied. Cocca v. Philip Morris Inc., 2001 WL 34090200 (Ariz. Sup. Ct. July 21, 2001).

Class certification denied. Aksamit v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., C/A No. 6:97-3636-23, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18880 (D.S.C. Dec. 29, 2000).

Certification of medical monitoring class denied. Hansen v. American Tobacco Co., 1999 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11277 (E.D. Ark. 1999).

Class certification denied. Emig v. American Tobacco Co., 184 F.R.D. 379 (D. Kan. 1998).