Over the past 20 years Jon has successfully litigated complex product liability matters in state and federal courts representing clients in over 25 states, Canada and Australia. He has developed a solid reputation for developing successful litigation strategies designed to proactively accomplish our client’s goals throughout the discovery process and at trial.
Jon has extensive experienced representing designers and manufacturers of industrial machinery, motorized vehicles and watercraft, medical devices, outdoor power equipment, tools, electrical switches and components (including medium and high voltage distribution systems) and consumer goods. Over the years, Jon has developed a specialty in investigating fires and explosions to determine their origin and cause defending against allegations that violate the scientific method.
As a founding member of Stanton | Barton LLC, Jon is actively engaged in firm management and leadership driving the cultural development of the firms collaborative and collegial environment which is designed to provide a team based approach to service our clients’ litigation needs.
Jon has also been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America’s annual list of the nation’s top attorneys for his work in Product Liability Litigation - Defendants
Awards | Recognitions
- Member of the Product Liability Advisory Counsel
- Member of the International Association of Defense Counsel
- International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI)
- St. Louis Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” recipient.
- Super Lawyer in the area of Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2011 – 2017
- Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers named him a Rising Star, 2010.
- Missouri Lawyers Weekly as one of the Up & Coming Lawyers in Missouri, 2008.
- AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell
- Order of Barristers
- Recipient of the American College of Trial Lawyers Lewis F. Powell, Jr. Award for Excellence in Advocacy, 1997 and 1998.
- All-American, Intercollegiate Mock Trial, 1994.
- Eagle Scout, Boy Scouts of America
- Defended consumer product manufacturer (television) in an $11 million wrongful death case involving 37 year old male in the City of St. Louis— obtained confidential settlement of less than 1% of original demand 2 weeks before trial.
- Represented consumer product manufacturer (refrigerator) in a multi-million dollar wrongful death case involving the death of two children ages 4 and 6—reached a confidential six figure settlement prior to trial.
- Represented consumer product manufacturer (wood burning stove) in a $5 million personal injury case involving 12 year old boy with burns to 93% of his body—confidential settlement reached at mediation for less than $325,000.
- Represented industrial component part manufacturer (control limit switch) in a $4 million personal injury (paraplegic) wrongful death case—obtained dismissal prior to trial.
- Defended RV manufacturer in personal injury wrongful death claim involving component product recalled for containing a defect which caused fire—obtained dismissal after mediation.
- Defended motorcycle manufacturer in personal injury claim involving recall due to alleged throttle sticking—obtained favorable confidential settlement.
- Represented trucking company and driver in $2 million wrongful death case involving 18 year old girl—confidential settlement reached for less than $20,000.
- Represented industrial component part manufacturer (control limit switch) in a $4 million wrongful death case involving worker struck in head by a falling crane hook—obtained dismissal prior to trial.
- Defended vehicle manufacturer in property damage subrogation claim alleging vehicle fire which allegedly spread and burned down plaintiff’s home damaging same in the amount of $300,000—obtained confidential settlement for less than $15,000.
- Represented rental company in a wrongful death case involving contact with power lines while operating a boom lift—obtained confidential settlement for less than $20,000 (paid by co-defendant under indemnification agreement).
- Defended manufacturer of marine motor in breach of warranty and property damage claim—tried to verdict—jury awarded damages to plaintiff and fees awarded pursuant to MMWA.
- Represented industrial electrical equipment manufacturer (medium/high voltage switch gear) in a $5 million property damage construction defect claim involving an overvoltage event and resulting fire—obtained confidential settlement of less than $25,000.
- Defended industrial manufacturer (circuit breaker) in a $1.2 million subrogation claim—obtained settlement during mediation for less than $100,000.
Reported Cases | Notable Decisions
Howard v. Eaton Corporation, No. 16-055 (Sup. Ct. WV 2016). The Supreme Court of West Virginia upheld the lower courts granting of full summary judgment on an electrical shock case involving allegations of strict product liability and failure to warn.
Ace American Insurance Company v. Eaton Electrical, Inc., . 3:11-cv-01741 (USDC Conn. 2015) Trial court granted Daubert motion striking plaintiff’s expert and granted summary judgment.
Merriman v. Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., Case No. 3:10-cv-05067 (USDC W.D. Mo.2011). Trial court granted two separate Daubert motions striking both of Plaintiff’s expert witnesses and ultimately granted summary judgment on a complex design defect claim.
Edwards v. Brunswick Corp., (2009). The plaintiff alleged complex design and manufacturing defects resulting in a boat fire. The case was tried to verdict in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County and resolved on appeal.
Missouri Public Entity Risk Management Fund v. Investors, Ins. Co. of America, 451 F.3d 925 (8th Cir. 2006).
Baskin v. Parkview Housing(2004). The plaintiff alleged wrongful eviction and conversion of personal property seeking over $700,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Jon represented the defendant, Parkview Housing Corporation. The case was tried for three days in the Circuit Court of St. Louis County and resulted in a unanimous defense verdict.
City of St. Louis, et al. v. American Tobacco, Co., et al., 2003 WL 23277277 (Mo. Cir. December 16, 2003).
Grigaitis v. My Way Transportation (2002). The plaintiff alleged personal injury and property damage as a result of a motor vehicle collision involving a tractor trailer. Jon represented the defendant, My Way Transportation. The case was tried for two days in the Circuit Court for the City of St. Louis and resulted in a unanimous defense verdict.
Schwarzen v. Harrah’s St. Louis Riverport, 72 S.W.3d 223, 224 (Mo. App. E.D. 2002).
State ex rel. MSX International v. Dolan, 38 S.W.3d 427, 430 (Mo. banc 2001).
Publications | Presentations
- Missouri Evidence, Chapter 10: Credibility and Impeachment of Witnesses (MoBar 6th 2017).
- Missouri Bar Civil Procedure Desk Book, Chapter 20: Statute and Ordnance Violations (MoBar 2015).
- Missouri Bar Civil Procedure Deskbook, Rules 52.01—52.05 (MoBar 2012 Supplement).
- Prelude to Trial: Mediation in the Modern Age, Trials and Tribulations, DRI (October 2013).
- Missouri Damages, Consortium and Derivative Claims, (MoBar 3rd ed. 2011)- Deskbook Reviewer.
- Missouri Evidence § 10, Credibility and Impeachment of Witnesses, 2010 Supplement (MoBar 5th ed. 2010).
- Missouri Tort Law, 3rd Ed., 2010 Cumulative Supplement Chapter 19—Statute and Ordinance Violations (MoBar 3rd 2010).
- Partnering With Your Client: A Recipe for Success in Product Liability Litigation, Corporate Counsel Magazine, (December 2007).
- Missouri Civil Procedure, Rule 67: Dismissal of Civil Actions, (MoBar 3rd ed. 2007), Deskbook Reviewer.
- Missouri Evidence, Chapter 10, Credibility and Impeachment of Witnesses, (MoBar 5th ed. 2006).
- Missouri Tort Law, Chapter 14, Product Liability, (MoBar 3rd ed. 2003) -Deskbook Reviewer.
Jon is a regular speaker to members of the Missouri and Illinois Bar as well as attorneys and general counsel on a national basis. He presents seminars on issues involving integration of technology during the discovery process and at trial as well as advanced trial and deposition skills and techniques. Jon also hosts a yearly webinar on ethics from the litigator’s perspective.
- Mitigating Damages: A Framework for Limiting Future Medical Care Losses Based on the Affordable Care Act, Network of Trial Law Firms (April 16, 2015);
- Product Liability & Fire Investigations, Client Presentation (September 2014);
- The Daubert Conundrum, Network of Trial Law Firms (November 2, 2014);
- Handing Objections and Responses to Discovery, SPVG Internal (July 22, 2014);
- May it Please the Court, Effective Case Presentation at trial, NBI, Inc. (March 21, 2014);
- Sifting Through the Ashes: Using Fire Science in Defense of a Product Liability Claim, Client Presentation (September 12, 2013);
- The Daubert Conundrum, Network of Trial Law Firms (November 7, 2013);
- Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy, NBI (May 9, 2013);
- Sifting Through the Ashes: Using Fire Science in Defense of a Product Liability Claim, Network of Trial Law Firms (November 9, 2012);
- Prelude to Trial: Mediation in the Modern Age, Network of Trial Law Firms (May 2, 2013);
- Trial Preparation and Technology: Planning for Attorneys and Paralegals, SPVG Internal (September 20, 2012);
- Dirty Litigation Tactics: How to Deal with the “Rambo” Litigator, NBI/West Legal Education (August 9, 2011);
- Practical Evidence for Civil Litigators, Missouri Bar CLE (June 3, 2011);
- Litigating in an Electronic World-Effective Use of Social Media, Tokio Marine Nichido, Pasadena, CA (March 1, 2011);
- Ethics: Effect on Corporate IT Policies on Otherwise Privileged Communications, Network of Trial Law Firms, Kiawah Island, S.C. (November 5, 2010);
- Dirty Litigation Tactics: How to Deal with the “Rambo” Litigator, NBI/West Legal Education (September 29, 2010);
- Product Liability Litigation From Beginning to End, PLRB/LIRB, Atlanta, Georgia (June 22-23, 2010);
- E-Discovery: In-House Counsel’s Reaction to Pension Committee Decision, Network of Trial Law Firms, (April 23, 2010);
- Mastering the Art of Taking and Defending Depositions, The Missouri Bar, (February 26, 2010);
- Evidence and Expert Testimony Best Practices: Supporting Your Case, NBI/West Legal Education (January 14, 2010);
- Emerging Responsibilities for In-House Counsel—E-Discovery: What Other In-House Counsel are Doing, Network of Trial Law Firms, Laguna Beach, California (November 7, 2010);
- E-Discovery Overview and the Duty to Preserve and Produce, Louis Missouri (in-house) (August 21, 2009);
- E-Discovery Challenges Facing In-House Counsel, Network of Trial Law Firms, New York, NY (August 7, 2009);
- E-Discovery Challenges Facing In-House Counsel, Network of Trial Law Firms, Napa, CA (April 26, 2009);
- Refining Your Opening and Closing Statements, NBI/West Legal Education (March 20, 2009);
- Electronic Document Management in the Trenches, IPE Institute (January 29, 2009);
- Winning Your First Civil Trial, NBI/West Legal Education (October 13, 2008);
- Ethics from the Litigators Perspective, National Business Institute (June 30, 2008);
- Litigating to Win through Advanced Trial Advocacy, NBI/West Legal Education (June 26, 2008);
- E-Discovery: A To Z Workshop, West Legal Works (June 17-18, 2008);
- Mastering the Art of Taking and Defending Effective Depositions, Missouri Bar CLE (February 8, 2008);
- Evidence and Expert Testimony Best Practices: Supporting Your Case, National Business Institute (January 31, 2008);
- Ethics in Advocacy: The Litigator’s Perspective NBI/West Legal Education (December 27, 2007);
- Advanced Expert Witness Deposition Tactics, National Business Institute (November 30, 2007);
- Building Your Civil Trial Skills, National Business Institute (August 29, 2007);
- Comprehensive Cross Examination Skills, NBI/West Legal Education (June 21, 2007);
- Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy, National Business Institute (May 18, 2007);
- Trial Preparation from Start to Finish for Paralegals, Institute for Paralegal Education (March 28, 2007);
- The Art of Settlement, National Business Institute (March 27, 2007);
- How to Get Evidence and Expert Testimony Admitted Into Court, National Business Institute (January 25, 2007);
- Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy, National Business Institute, (June 28, 2006);
- Ethics in Advocacy: The Litigator’s Perspective NBI/West Legal Education (June 26, 2006);
- Obtaining the Best Settlement for Personal Injury Clients in Missouri (The Defense Perspective), National Business Institute, (August 24, 2005);
- Superior Deposition Strategies in Missouri Civil Trial Practice, National Business Institute (November 17, 2004);
- State Civil Litigation in Missouri, Lorman Education Services (May 19, 2004);
- Ethics and Advocacy: Case Studies and Practical Applications for the Civil Litigator, University of Houston Law Center (January 9, 2004). Presented with Dr. Jeffrey S. Wigand, former VP of Research and Development for Brown & Williamson and the subject of the movie “The Insider.”
Civic | Community Involvement
Active in the Skinker-Deboliver Community Counsel and serve in an advisory role on issues regarding neighborhood development and preservation of its historic character.
Volunteer: St. Louis Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (2001 to present). Board of Directors (2011 to 2014). Routinely assists artists with questions concerning the law with a special emphasis on intellectual property issues.
Volunteer: Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (2001 to present). Frequently serve as a guest judge for the high school mock trial competition.
Adjunct Professor: Washington University. Coach of the national intercollegiate mock trial team – 2003-2005.
- Practice Areas
- Product Liability
- Fire Science Litigation
- Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
- Medical Device/Pharmaceutical
- Saint Louis University, 1994
- Drake University School of Law, 1998
- Order of the Barristers
- Bar | Court Admissions
- The Supreme Court of Missouri
- The Supreme Court of Illinois
- The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
- The United States District Court for the Western Districts of Missouri
- The United States District Court for Northern District of Illinois
- The United States District Court for Central District of Illinois
- The United States District Court for Southern District of Illinois,
- The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Missouri Bar Association
- Illinois Bar Association
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- The American Bar Association
- Defense Research Institute
- The Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
- The Bar Association of the Central and Southern District of Illinois