Paul Venker has had a varied and challenging legal career within the trial and appellate arenas, which began as a law clerk during law school. Upon graduation, he was a member of the Research Staff of the Missouri Supreme Court where he was invited to serve as a law clerk to then-Chief Justice, Robert T. Donnelly.
Paul has always practiced, almost exclusively, in the areas of trial and appellate practice. He has taken dozens of trials to verdict in a variety of cases involving employment discrimination, wrongful discharge and covenants not to compete, medical malpractice, environmental claims for clean up of hazardous material, product liability involving heavy machinery, transportation of hazardous waste, serious personal injury and general liability. In 2009, Missouri Lawyers Weekly had again recognized Paul for receiving one of the top defense verdicts in the state.
Since first arguing an appeal before the Missouri Supreme Court in 1985, Paul has briefed and/or argued more than 25 appeals in numerous appellate courts. These cases involved topics such as sovereign immunity, present value jury instructions in FELA cases; whether a so-called “Saturday Night Special” handgun was unreasonably dangerous and defective; the right to cross-examine an employment plaintiff at trial about the content of her EEOC complaint; and the right of a creditor to conduct a pre-judgment attachment.
Paul’s experience was broadened during his time as an Assistant Litigation Counsel at Monsanto Company from 1988 to 1990. There, he was involved in directing outside counsel across the United States in the defense of toxic tort, personal injury and property damage cases. This role gave Paul the opportunity to be closely involved in a wide range of cases in both complexity and size. He also gained the perspective of being a client along with its challenges and rewards.
For the past four years Paul has also been ranked in Chambers USA, a leading guide to the legal profession, for his work in commercial litigation. In addition, Paul has been honored by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Employment Law, Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury since 2005, as well as Super Lawyers Business Edition and Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers since 2006, a distinction given to only the top five percent of Missouri and Kansas lawyers.
BOARD AND BAR INVOLVEMENT
- Board Member, St. Louis Bar Foundation (2007 – present)
- President, St. Louis Bar Foundation (2015-2017)
- Board Member, Missouri Bar Board of Governors (1992 – 2000)
- Board Member, Missouri Bar Young Lawyers Section Council (1987 – 1991)
- Speaker, “Ethical Traps to Avoid During Investigations Internal to a Corporation,” 2010 St. Louis Corporate Counsel Institute (May 2010)
- Speaker, “How to Respond to a Notice to Depose the CEO/CFO,” 2009 St. Louis Corporate Counsel Institute (May 2009)
- Trial Practice Seminar to Benefit Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, Avoiding Mishaps in Opening Statements and Closing Arguments (June 2007)
- Missouri Bar Lecture, Medical Malpractice Prosecuting and Defending Medical Negligence Cases – Selection, Preparation & Cross-Examination of Experts (July 2006)
- Missouri Bar Lecture, Medical Malpractice Litigation After Tort Reform – Wrongful Death and Lost Chance of Recovery or Survival Claims (July 2005)