James C. Morris

Partner

  • Office Contact Info
  • Biography

    James C. Morris (“Jay”) is a Partner in the St. Louis office of Gordon & Rees. Mr. Morris is an experienced litigator who has successfully defended individuals, businesses and insurance agents and brokers against a wide array of liability claims, including construction defect, insurance coverage, professional liability, products liability, consumer rights defense, employment, catastrophic injury, wrongful death, cargo loss and maritime/admiralty as well as environmental/toxic tort/chemical exposure claims involving asbestos and diacetyl. Through smart, detailed investigation and preparation, coupled with efficient, systematic and proactive discovery, Mr. Morris often is able to establish negotiating leverage and push his clients’ cases toward favorable resolution. If the matter cannot be resolved, Mr. Morris has successfully tried more than twenty cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. He prepares every case as if it will be tried. In this connection, Mr. Morris was recognized by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly in 2015 for having secured one of the largest defense verdicts in the State of Missouri.

    Mr. Morris also has considerable transactional experience, and he regularly counsels employers and business clients regarding legal considerations and trends in the law. As a former business owner and executive, Mr. Morris brings the wisdom of lessons learned firsthand to provide his clients with practical advice when addressing difficult situations.

    Mr. Morris is rated AV Preeminent, the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards by the Martindale Hubbell peer review system.

    Admissions

    Missouri
    Alabama
    U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
    U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama
    U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

    Memberships

    Missouri Bar Association
    Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
    The Lawyers Association of St. Louis

    Community Involvement

    Mr. Morris is actively involved with his local parish through coaching basketball and baseball as well as community outreach programs that assist the homeless like Room at the Inn. Mr. Morris also serves as an advisory board member for the Regional Union Construction Center of St. Louis and on the attorney council for the American Subcontractors Association.

  • Practice Areas
  • Representative Experience

    Mr. Morris has obtained multiple defense verdicts on behalf of businesses and individuals. Examples of Mr. Morris’ representative matters include the following:

    • Recently obtained a judgment following a bench trial on behalf of a construction company seeking payment for work outside the scope of the contract, including an award of full attorney’s fees.
    • In a case brought by a burn victim involving a boat explosion, Mr. Morris obtained a defense verdict on behalf of the dock owner where the explosion occurred after fueling the boat.
    • Secured a defense verdict for a municipality and a baseball association following a jury trial on a claim brought by a spectator for injury resulting from being hit with a baseball.
    • Recently prevailed in arbitration by unanimous decision against a claim of professional negligence brought against an insurance broker.
    • Obtained verdicts equivalent to a small fraction of the amounts demanded by the plaintiffs in every case in which he did not obtain a complete defense verdict.
    • Successfully responded to appeals in the appellate courts following favorable verdicts.
  • Publications & Presentations

    Publications

    • “Avoid Those Same Old Disputes by Making a Good, Clear Contract Before You Bid Your Next Project,” ASA’s Contractor’s Compass, Feb. 2017
    • “How the Difference Between ‘Extra Work’ and ‘Additional Work’ Can Impact Claims for Payment,” ASA’s Contractor’s Compass, June 2017

    Presentations

    • “How the Difference Between ‘Extra Work’ and ‘Additional Work’ Can Impact Claims for Payment” Webinar, American Subcontractor’s Association, Jan. 2018
  • Education

    Education

    J.D., University of Alabama

    B.A., English | Minor, Philosophy, Spring Hill College

    Honors

    Recognized by the Missouri Lawyers Weekly in 2015 for having secured one of the largest defense verdicts in the State of Missouri.

    Rated AV Preeminent, the highest possible rating, in both legal ability and ethical standards by the Martindale Hubbell peer review system.

    CALI Excellence for the Future Award

    George LeMaistre Scholarship Recipient