Jeffrey D. Lester

Principal
Jeff Lester is a trial lawyer with a commonsense approach to complicated issues and a distinctive ability to deliver evidence to juries in a relatable yet persuasive manner, achieving optimal results for his clients.
photo of attorney Jeffrey D. Lester

Overview

Jeff Lester has over a decade of trial experience as both lead and second-chair counsel. His practice concentrates on the defense of individuals, corporate clients, and insurers in premises liability, transportation, commercial auto, products liability, and employment matters. His practical, straightforward style resonates with jurors of all types, as demonstrated by his track record of trial success throughout the State of Missouri in both rural, urban, and suburban venues.

Jeff has tried several complex injury cases involving damage claims in the range of $3,000,000 to $10,000,000.  Trial after trial, he has proven the ability to win, often by framing complex medical issues in a light most favorable to his clients. In addition to his jury trial successes, Mr. Lester has obtained numerous dispositive motion victories.

In his employment practice, Jeff counsels clients throughout the claims process, from administrative charge through trial.  He relies on his commonsense approach to achieve early and cost-effective resolution of disputes where possible and developing employers’ defenses when litigation is necessary.

Recent Results

Past Results

  • Gion v. Sansone Group, LLC, Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Case No. 16SL-CC00723.  Defense verdict in personal injury (mold exposure) claim for $10,000,000 against commercial property manager.
  • Badillo v. The Home City Ice Company, Circuit Court of Wayne County, Case No. 19WY-CV00139.  $25,000 verdict in personal injury (commercial auto) claim involving broken back and head injuries and request for $225,000 in actual damages plus punitive damages.
  • Osborn v. Huber, et al., Circuit Court of Camden County, Case No. 19CM-CC00252. $1,250 verdict in high-speed accident involving defendant’s use of a cell phone in a construction zone resulting in claimed disc herniation and permanent symptoms.
  • Hurley v. Burton, 626 S.W.3d 810 (Mo. App. E.D. 2021).   $15,000 verdict in clear liability rear-end auto case in the City of St. Louis. The plaintiff claimed permanent disc herniation injury and requested $3,000,000 from the jury.
  • Feldman v. Patrish, LLC, Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Case No. 17SL-CC01910.  Summary judgment on landlord-tenant and Missouri Human Rights Act claims by former tenant and employee against extended stay hotel.
  • Perricone v. Venice, Inc., Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Case No. 1522-CC10280.  Net jury verdict of $25,000 in traumatic brain injury claim involving fall down tavern stairs.
  • Nelson v. Thurman, Circuit Court of Cass County, Case No. 17CA-CC00031.  $300 jury verdict in strict liability claim involving dog bite.
  • C.L. v. S.G., Circuit Court of Christian County, Case No. 17CT-AC00271-01.  Defense verdict for mother accused of child abuse, assault, and negligent supervision.
  • Hall v. Davis, Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Case No. 18SL-CC01221. $7,500 verdict and assessment of 90 percent of fault to plaintiff in $600,000 vehicle versus pedestrian claim involving head injury and compound leg fracture.
  • Black v. Whipple, Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Case No. 1422-CC09725. Defense verdict on auto negligence claims of mother and minor children against driver accused of running red light.
  • Heinicke v. Holt Electrical Supplies, Inc., Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Case No. 13JE-CC00050.  $3,000 award on $200,000 commercial auto claim in clear-liability, high-speed accident resulting in a broken back, broken nose, and concussion.
  • In July 2016, Jeff obtained summary judgment on a whistleblower/retaliation claim in the Circuit Court of Madison County, Illinois. Jeff successfully argued that the plaintiff-employee did not engage in any protected activity under the Illinois Whistleblower Act, because he did not report the employer’s alleged wrongful conduct to the proper authorities, but rather engaged in internal whistleblowing not actionable under the law.
  • Norton v. Bridgewater Communities, Inc., Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Case No. 13SL-CC00449. Summary judgment for home builder defendant in construction defect suit by first purchaser. Express warranty claim barred by contract’s soil movement exclusion, implied warranty claim barred by the valid and enforceable disclaimer, and negligence claim barred by economic loss doctrine.
  • J.E. by Next Friend KD v. Miller’s Day Care, Circuit Court of New Madrid County, Case No. 13NM-CV00162.  Defense verdict for day care facility on claim of injured child for negligent supervision.
  • Stoehner v. Union Square LLC, et al., Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Case No. 1122-CC09650. Jury verdict of less than $4,000 on $250,000 claim arising from slip-and-fall on commercial property. Plaintiff claimed traumatic back injury involving dislodged hardware resulting in chronic and permanent symptoms.
  • Mullins v. Martin, Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Case No. 1222-CC01817. Defense verdict in animal liability case involving severe dog bite resulting in facial lacerations and alleged PTSD.
  • Smith v. Hobo Enterprises, LLC, Circuit Court of St. Charles County, Case No. 1211-CC00125. Defense verdict in premises liability claim by customer against tavern owner.
  • Coleman v. Eagle Land Development LLC, Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis, Case No. 1022-AC13858. Summary judgment for landlord on tenant’s premises liability claim alleging injury from unsafe stairs on leased premises.

Professional Affiliations

  • Federal Bar Association
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers

Awards & Achievements

  • Rising Star - Employment and Labor, Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2016-2021)
  • Rising Star - Personal Injury Defense, Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers (2015)

Publications

  • Co-Author, Missouri Tort Law, 4th ed., Chapter 12, “Animal Liability”

Speaking Engagements

  • Presenter, "Investigation, Evaluation & Defense of TBI & Emotional Injury," Watters Wolf Bub Hansmann Trial & Insurance Symposium, January 2023
  • Presenter, "Examining Neck and Back Claims: Identifying Soft Tissue vs. Surgical Cases," Brown & James Insurance Law & General Defense Symposium, January 2020
  • Presenter, "Prescription for Complications: The Impact of Missouri's New Medical Marijuana Law on Workplace and Injury Claims," Brown & James General Defense and Insurance Law Symposium, January 2019
  • Presenter, “The Law of Jury Selection,” National Business Institute, April 2016

Practices

Education

  • Saint Louis University School of Law (J.D., 2010)
  • Murray State University (B.A., 2007)

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri