James F. Bennett


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James F. Bennett has a national practice of cases that are not expected to settle before trial or appeal. He is lead trial and appellate counsel in high-profile cases, and has tried to verdict many cases involving eight- and nine-figure amounts in dispute.  He has also prevailed before trial in other, similar cases and has argued appeals in courts around the country.  Three times in recent years, he was awarded the “largest” defense or plaintiff verdict award by Missouri Lawyers Weekly. For the past three years he has been recognized by Best Lawyers as a “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-The-Company-Litigation in St. Louis.

Mr. Bennett is a former law clerk to the Hon. Anthony M. Kennedy, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and to the Hon. J. L. Edmondson, United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit.  He is a fellow with the American College of Trial Lawyers, and is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.  He is also on the Executive Committee of the American Inns of Court Chapter in St. Louis, and a Senior Fellow with the Litigation Counsel of America.  He has been recognized by various publications for his achievements. Best Lawyers® describes him as the “Lawyer of the Year” for Bet-the-Company Litigation in the St. Louis area, and he has been selected by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as a “Lawyers of the Year,”  and the “Law Firm Leader of the Year.” BTI Consulting has identified him as a “Client Service All Star.”  He is annually identified as among the top lawyers in Missouri. He is ranked as a “Tier One” counsel by U.S. News and World Report, and in Chambers USA as a “Band 1” leading litigator.

At the Bar Association of St. Louis annual Law Day event in May of 2022, Mr. Bennett received the “Distinguished Lawyer Award,” which is “the highest honor given” by the association for a lawyer “who has made a great and lasting contribution to the St. Louis region.”


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Dowd Bennett is a litigation firm with extensive courtroom experience. Led by trial-seasoned lawyers, including former federal prosecutors and judicial law clerks, our team shares tenacity, a passion for seeing cases through trial and a complete commitment to client service.