Jon represents companies in complex litigation, focusing on cases involving medical and scientific issues. He has become known for his ability to communicate complicated information in an understandable way to juries as well as to his own clients and opposing counsel. Jon has tried high-stakes cases, including bellwether trials in nationwide MDL litigation. He won a defense verdict for Sanofi in the first MDL bellwether trial over the chemotherapy drug Taxotere and in a second Taxotere MDL bellwether trial in Kahn v. Sanofi Aventis U.S. LLC in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. After the first defense verdict in 2019, Jon and co-counsel Hildy Sastre were nominated for ALM’s “Litigators of the Week.”
He has also been actively involved in pelvic mesh litigation, one of the largest complex cases in the country. In Albright v. Boston Scientific Corp., one of the first defense verdicts in the pelvic mesh litigation, Jon helped develop trial strategy and cross-examined medical and scientific experts from a range of disciplines. In 2017, Jon and the trial team obtained a defense verdict in Harris v. Boston Scientific in Delaware state court after the jury determined that the plaintiff failed to prove the existence of any defect in the mesh product. This followed a similar defense verdict in 2015 in Carlson v. Boston Scientific Corp., in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina. In 2015, Law360 selected Jon as one of five Rising Stars in the United States in the area of product liability law, based in part on his trial work in the mesh litigation.
Jon has also won cases before trial became necessary. Jon builds relationships that help to resolve the disputes that arise during litigation in a professional, efficient, and cost-effective manner. A Law360 profile of Jon highlighted this ability to build relationships with all of the parties in his cases and to explain complex issues simply.
In the Ambien litigation, Jon won summary judgment in an alleged “sleep-driving” case after persuading the court to exclude plaintiffs’ experts. This Daubert ruling became an important precedent in related litigation. Similarly, in the Bausch & Lomb litigation, Jon and the team obtained favorable rulings excluding plaintiffs’ experts from nearly 1,000 cases involving various alleged eye infections and later persuaded the court to grant summary judgment for Bausch & Lomb.
Jon has used his skill of breaking down complicated issues in his writing career as well. He has authored articles on a variety of topics, including preemption, the learned intermediary doctrine, pharmaceutical advertising and developments in U.S. product liability law. He also is a recipient of the prestigious Burton Award for Excellence in Legal Writing.
Outside of the courtroom, Jon devotes his time to mentoring young lawyers and law students. He has helped teach a deposition program at the University of Kansas Law School and served as vice-chair of Shook’s Professional Development Committee, which has implemented practical skill programs for young lawyers. He also values leadership skills and participated in an invitation-only leadership program called Kansas City Tomorrow, which is sponsored by the Kansas City Civic Council.
Publications and Presentations
Product Liability. Jon regularly contributes to compendiums providing global overviews of product liability law, including Thomson Reuters’ Practical Law series. He collaborated with Harvey Kaplan for several years to contribute updates on product liability and issues relevant to foreign manufacturers to several publications, including:
- PLC Dispute Resolution Multi-Jurisdictional Guide 2012
- PLC Cross-border Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2011/12
- PLC Cross-border Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2010/11
- PLC Cross-border Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2009/10
- PLC Cross-border Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2008/09
- Australian Product Liability Reporter (2009)
- PLC US Special Report (2008)
- PLC Cross-border Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2007/08
- PLC Cross-border Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2006/07
- PLC Global Counsel Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2005/06
- PLC Global Counsel Handbooks – Dispute Resolution 2004/05
Jon also collaborated with Sarah Croft for the series, co-authoring The Revised General Product Safety Directive: A Practical Look for PLC Global Counsel Handbooks - Dispute Resolution 2004/05.
Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation. Jon has regularly contributed to For the Defense on issues specific to pharmaceutical and medical device litigation:
- Jon A. Strongman, Preemption in Drug and Medical Device Products Litigation, For the Defense, January 2005.
- Jon A. Strongman, After Karl: Litigating the Learned Intermediary Doctrine, For the Defense, July 2008.
- Eric Swan and Jon Strongman, The Abuse of Biological Plausibility as a Factor, For the Defense, September 2013.
He also collaborated with Harvey Kaplan to summarize developments in pharmaceutical litigation for Who’s Who Legal, including:
- Developments in US Pharmaceutical Litigation: Pre-emption after Wyeth v Levine, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence Lawyers 2010.
- USA: Shook, Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., Pharmaceutical Advertising Law Who's Who (Corporate International), January 2009, at 117.
- Preemption and the Learned Intermediary Doctrine, Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Product Liability Defence Lawyers 2009.
Jon’s collaboration with Harvey Kaplan also extended to work for the Global Legal Group, which publishes international guides to several areas of law. Their work appears across several years of the International Comparative Legal Guide to: Pharmaceutical Advertising, including:
- 2009: USA (Chapter 44)
- 2008: Drug Advertising and the Learned Intermediary Doctrine (Chapter 2) and USA (Chapter 50)
- 2007: Drug Advertising and the Learned Intermediary Doctrine (Chapter 3) and USA (Chapter 47)
- 2005: Drug Advertising and the Learned Intermediary Doctrine (Chapter 2) and USA (Chapter 40)
- 2004: Drug Advertising and the Learned Intermediary Doctrine (Chapter 2) and USA (Chapter 32)
In addition, Jon presented The Perils of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising: Balancing Warnings in DTC Ads and Minimizing Potential Consumer Fraud Implications to the American Conference Institute’s 9th Expert Guide to Advertising, eMarketing & Promotions for the Pharmaceutical Industry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 15, 2011.
Additional Issues. Jon’s writing has also appeared in a number of other publications on other subjects:
Micah L. Hobbs and Jon A. Strongman, 2005 Cumulative Supplement to Chapter 4, Emotional Distress, Missouri CLE Publications, Damages (2005).
Scott W. Sayler and Jon A. Strongman, Reverse Bifurcation in the Mass-Tort Context Can Prevent Prejudice and Promote Efficiency, IADC, Newsletter, No. 4., November 2004.
Steven M. Thomas and Jon A. Strongman, Missouri Chapter, Steven M. Thomas, Jon A. Strongman, and Andrew J. Schultz, Montana Chapter, in The Use of Epidemiology in Tort Litigation, A Survey of Federal and State Jurisdictions (2003).
Micah L. Hobbs and Jon A. Strongman, 2003 Supplement to Chapter 4, Missouri CLE Publications, Damages (2003).
Jon A. Strongman, Unpublished Opinions, Precedent, and the Fifth Amendment: Why Denying Unpublished Opinions Precedential Value is Unconstitutional, 50 U. Kan. L. Rev. 195 (2001).
Sanofi-Aventis Wins Second Taxotere Verdict in Jury Bellwether, The American Lawyer, November 19, 2021.
First Taxotere Bellwether Trial Ends in Defense Verdict, Law.com, September 27, 2019.