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David M. Woods


David M. Woods is an experienced trial attorney with extensive first-chair trial experience, having tried numerous jury trials over the last twenty years.  Many of these were within the last several years, where he has first-chaired a number of multi-million dollar cases to very favorable results.  Mr. Woods has represented clients in high-profile state and federal litigation throughout the country, and has served as national coordinating counsel and lead trial counsel for Fortune 500 companies.  He has extensive experience in handling large scale, multi-defendant disputes that involve highly complex legal and scientific issues.  His cases have also involved significant rulings.  One such case was litigated to the United States Supreme Court and resulted in a landmark ruling on punitive damage limitations.  Another case was recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly in its list of most significant defense verdicts in 2006. Mr. Woods is the recipient of Missouri Lawyers Weekly Law Firm Leaders Award for 2014, which recognizes leaders who made the biggest impact to the law and legal world in the preceding year.

Professional Activities

  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, the Defense Research Institute
  • Member, the Missouri Bar

Court Admissions

  • Missouri State Courts
  • Kansas State Courts
  • Florida State Courts
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Practice Groups and Other Information

Education Information

  • University of Iowa College of Law, J.D., 1995
    With High Distinction
  • University of Iowa, B.A., Biology, 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Florida
  • Kansas

Highlighted Matters

  • Lead trial counsel for the tobacco industry in a wrongful death Engle Progeny trial in the US District Court, Middle District of Florida.  The jury returned a favorable verdict, finding plaintiff 75% at fault and awarded a small fraction of the damages requested.
  • Achieved a favorable result as first chair trial lawyer in a three-week wrongful death products liability trial.
  • Lead trial counsel in complex, multi-defendant, multi-week wrongful death case.  Won motion for new trial based on improper conduct of opposing counsel during closing argument.
  • First chair trial counsel in two-defendant products liability case involving complex medical issues.
  • Tried first Engle Progeny tobacco case to jury verdict for major tobacco company in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Trial counsel in complex, wrongful death products liability case.  Received a defense verdict that was recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly in its list of most significant defense verdicts in 2006.
  • Received defense verdict in five-week bifurcated jury trial in Brooklyn, New York involving alleged damages in excess of $5 Million.  
  • Member of trial team that received a defense verdict in one of the first individual tobacco cases tried in New York City.
  • Member of trial team in Williams v. Philip Morris, which was appealed to the United States Supreme Court and resulted in a landmark ruling on punitive damage limitations.

Highlighted Publications

  • Company Witnesses: Fact or Expert? Or Both?, For the Defense, (July 2006).
  • Company Employees as Expert Witnesses- Legal Considerations (April 2006).
  • E-Discovery of Individual Plaintiffs: The Sword, The Shield, and The Golden Rule (March 2005).
  • Conflict Preemption- Recent Developments (May 2004).
  • Legal Issues Update- Preemption (October 2002).
  • Legal Issues Update- New Preemption and First Amendment Arguments (November 2001).
  • Cumulative Supplement to Rule 70: Instructions Missouri Civil Procedure (with Robert T. Adams and Robert D. Homolka) (2nd ed. 2006).

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