Chris’ practice focuses primarily on complex civil litigation, including leadership roles in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) and consolidated state court actions, with an emphasis on product liability issues involving pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Chris serves as co-lead counsel in the defense of complex, mass tort actions in state and federal courts across the country—and currently serves as co-lead counsel on behalf of a pharmaceutical client in MDL 3023 and New Jersey MCL 628.

Chris has experience in all aspects of litigation, including motion practice, depositions, written discovery, corporate and expert witness development, trial preparation and trial. In this capacity he has experience:

  • Resolving claims prior to litigation
  • Developing initial case assessments and strategies
  • Crafting pre-discovery and pretrial dispositive motions
  • Preparing and producing corporate witnesses and expert witnesses for deposition and trial
  • Deposing plaintiffs, experts, and other key fact witnesses
  • Daubert motion practice
  • Strategic management and development of pretrial and trial activities, including motions in limine, deposition designations, exhibit lists, witness lists, opening statements, witness examinations and closing arguments
  • Negotiating favorable settlements

Chris has obtained favorable results for clients in state and federal court, particularly through dispositive motion practice based on federal preemption and other affirmative defenses. He recently swept summary judgement wins in all four lead bellwether cases pending in a coordinated, state court multi-county litigation (MCL) based on the applicable statute of limitations. Chris also negotiated and implemented a favorable, nationwide medical device class action settlement in Canada.

He is chair of the firm's Search Committee. He is also an active participant in the firm's pro bono program, where he represents parents and children involved in legal proceedings in Missouri state court. Chris enjoys mentoring junior associates, summer associates, Shook Scholars and first-year law students at the University of Kansas.

Chris is actively involved with the Drug and Medical Device Committee of DRI, having recently completed his term as Young Lawyer Co-Liaison to the committee. 


Christopher J. Kaufman, Jason R. Harmon and Torrey M. Peterson, Exposing Meritless Claims in Drug and Medical Device Product Liability MDLs, DRI's For the Defense, September 2019.

Christopher J. Kaufman and Mayela C. Montenegro, Defense Strategies for Opposing Plaintiffs' Use of Collateral Estoppel in Mass Tort Liability Actions, DRI Rx for the Defense, January 2019.

Matthew D. Keenan & Christopher J. Kaufman, New Healthcare Lien Recovery Theories by Third-Party Payors: Strategies and Tactics for the Defense, Defense Counsel Journal, April 2012, at 140. 

Christopher J. Kaufman, Unsportsmanlike Conduct: 15-yard Penalty and Loss of Free Speech in Public University Sports Stadiums, 57 U. Kan. L. Rev. 1235 (2009).


Examining the Rise in ‘Non-Traditional’ Liability Theories in Drug and Medical Device Product Liability Cases, ACI's Drug and Medical Device Litigation Conference, December 5, 2023.