William S. Thomas is one of the firm’s many experienced trial lawyers. His practice is diverse, with an emphasis in complex litigation. He has tried cases in a number of difficult venues, from the City of St. Louis, Missouri, to Madison and St. Clair Counties, in Illinois, and Federal Court in East St. Louis and St. Louis. He was lead trial counsel in one of the longest civil jury trials in St. Louis County history, which lasted 100 trial days.
In addition to his trial practice, Bill is actively involved in a number of professional organizations. He is a former president of the Lawyers Association of St. Louis, the local trial bar. He is active in the Defense Research Institute, (DRI), serving on its Products Liability Committee, and that committee’s Building Products and Power Tool Specialized Litigation Groups, where he has spoken at DRI conferences. He is active in the DRI’s Construction Committee, and Professional Liability Committee, where he serves on their Design Professional Subcommittees. He has authored a number of articles for the DRI’s monthly publication, For the Defense. An extensive author and speaker on a number of topics from products liability to construction law issues, he currently serves on the Harmonie Group’s Board of Directors.
Co-Author, Missouri Bar CLE Deskbook Series, Professional Liability Deskbook, Chapter 4, “Design Professional Liability” (2005)
Author, “Redevelopment and Remodeling Projects Pose Different Risks for Designers,” Law Day Collection of Articles: The Legal Side of Redevelopment, Rehab, Renovation & Rental, Published by the Missouri Bar, May 2006
Faculty Member, “Missouri and Illinois Law for Design Professionals” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, 1997, 1998 & 1999
Faculty Member, “Missouri Construction Law: Can this Job Be Saved?” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, 2000
Presenter, “Liability Issues in Construction Contracts,” Seminar, Charles L. Crane Agency Company, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2001
Faculty Member, “Construction Claims in Missouri” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, August 2001
Faculty Member, “Inside the Jury Box: An In-depth Discussion of Juror Perspectives” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, August 2001
Faculty Member, “Claim Prevention for Missouri Design Professionals” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, January 2002
Faculty Member, “Let’s Make a Deal: Understanding Construction Contracts” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2002
Faculty Member, “Solving Water Intrusion and Mold Problems in Missouri” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, December 2002
Faculty Member, “Water Intrusion and Toxic Mold Claims,” Topic: Defending Mold Claims, Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2004
Presenter, “Product Liability Essentials: Hints, Pointers and Tips for Handling Missouri Product Liability Claims,” Seminar, Gallagher Bassett Agency, St. Louis, Missouri, November 2005
Faculty Member, “Legal Issues for Missouri Professional Engineers,” Topic: Complying with Laws and Regulations on the Practice and Unauthorized Practice of Professional Engineering, Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, November 2005
Faculty Member, “The Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in Illinois,” Topic: Contractual Relationships with Design Professionals, Seminar, Fairview Heights, Illinois, January 2006
Faculty Member, “Tort Reform in Missouri: One Year Later: ‘Are We There Yet?'” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, June 2006.
Faculty Member, “Product Liability,” Topic: Depositions of Parties, Corporate Representatives, and Mediation Strategies, Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, July 2006.
Faculty Member, “Design Law for Missouri Architects and Engineers,” Topic: Laws and Regulations Governing the Design Process, Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, September 2006.
Faculty Member, “How Design Documents Can Prevent or Cause Construction Claims in Missouri,” Topic: Regulations and Statutes Relating to Designers, Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, January 2007.
Faculty Member, “Legal Issues for Missouri Design Professionals,” Topic: Professional Conduct and the Standard of Care, Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2007.
Presenter, “OSHA Standards, Violations and ‘Multi-Employer’ Jobsites,” Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, June 2007.
Faculty Member, Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) All Industry Day Seminar, Topic: “Presentation of a Mock Trial,” April 2008.
Presenter, “Enforceability of Limitation of Liability Clauses in Construction Contracts,” Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, May 2008.
Faculty Member, Missouri Bar Solo and Small Firm Conference Trial College, Topic: “Client Preparation, Depositions, Direct and Cross-Examination,” Osage Beach, Missouri, June 2008.
Faculty Member, “Legal Issues for Missouri Professional Engineers,” Topic: Complying with Missouri Rules and Regulations on the Practice of Professional Engineering, Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, September 2008.
Presenter, “Enforceability of Limitation of Liability Clauses in Construction Contracts,” Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia, October 2008.
Moderator, “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues,” Missouri Bar CLE Seminar, St. Louis, Missouri, October 2008.
Speaker, DRI Product Liability Conference, Topic: “Update on the Class Action Fairness Act and Developments in Consumer Protection Legislation,” San Diego, California, April 2009.
Speaker, Construction Seminar, Topic: “Update on Enforceability of Limitation of Liability Clauses,” Seminar, New York, New York, May 2009.
Speaker, St. Louis Business Journal Seminar, “Trends in Trial Technology,” Topic: A Practitioner’s Perspective, June 2009.
Co-Author, Missouri Bar CLE Deskbook Series, Construction Law, 2009 Supplement, Chapter 1, “Construction Contracts: Risk Shifting Devices,” (2009).
Speaker, Lloyds of London International Seminar, “Jury Leanings When Times are Lean: An Assessment of Juror Decision-Making and Trends in Damage Awards Amidst the Worst Economic Downturn in Decades,” London, England, October, 2009.
Speaker, Current Issues in Construction Arbitration Seminar, Topic: “Evidentiary Issues in Construction Arbitration,” St. Louis, Missouri, January 2010.
Faculty Member, Construction Contracts from A to Z, Seminar, Topic: “Ethical Considerations in Construction Contracting,” St. Louis, Missouri, February 2010.
Panel Member, BAMSL Bench, Bar & Professional Development Conference, Topic: “Handling the High Profile Case in the Information Age,” Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, June 2010.
Speaker, Construction Seminar, Topic: “Multi-Party Claims and Third Party Practice in the Construction Context,” Chicago, Illinois, June 2010.
Speaker, “Architect & Engineer Liability for Indoor Air Quality/Mold,” St. Louis Chapter of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers, Inc.), St. Louis, Missouri, November 2010.
Speaker, Willis North America 17th Annual Construction Risk Management Conference, Topic: “Understanding Claim Exposures and Contractual Risk Transfer,” Dallas, Texas, April 2011.
Bill has extensive experience in the construction industry including trial work for design professionals or other construction professionals. He has arbitrated, or tried successfully, claims involving architects, engineers, contractors, subcontractors, sureties and owners. He also assists design professionals on up-front contract document reviews and consultations.
Bill’s trial experience is extensive, having handled cases involving general liability matters, professional liability, toxic torts (including asbestos, benzine and other substances), and environmental claims. He has represented product manufacturers of consumer products, power tools, recreational vehicles, manufactured housing, foundry equipment, and a host of others, including pharmaceutical litigation. He also handles health care liability claims.
On June 16, 1887, 150 years ago, Mr. Frank Primrose walked into the Philadelphia Western Union office with an encoded message for his agent dispatched to Ellis, Kansas to purchase wool. The message was sent, but no reply message was asked for, or paid for [...]
DRI members Gary Snodgrass and William Thomas recently won a case filed by a power industry developer against their client, a geotechnical engineer, in St. Louis County, Missouri. Although they asked the jury for over $1.2 million, the jury returned a ve [...]
PS Partners: Gary Snodgrass, William Thomas
PS Associate: Nick Meriage
We represented: Tech Services to Go, Inc., d/b/a Tsi Engineering, Inc.
Venue: St. Louis County Circuit Court
Design-build contractor Ch [...]
Marvin and Cassandra Hitchye v. Charter Communications, Inc. with Intervener Department of Veteran Affairs
Partner who tried case: William Thomas/Katrina Smeltzer
We represented: Charter Communications, Inc.
Venue: Circuit Court of St. Charle [...]
ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS
The Missouri Bar
Construction Law Committee
The Bar Association of Metropolitan Saint Louis
Member-at-Large, Young Lawyers Division, 1997 - 1999
Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
The Lawyers Association of St. Louis
Executive Committee Member, 2000-2003
Second Vice President, 2005 - 2006
First Vice-President, 2006 - 2007
President-Elect, 2007 - 2008
President, 2008 - 2009
Defense Research Institute
Construction Law Committee
Professional Liability Committee - Design Professional Sub-Committee Chair
Product Liability Committee
Building Products Sub-Committee
Power Tools Sub-Committee
Harmonie Group Board of Directors (2011 - Present)
International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization
Saint Louis University
University of Notre Dame
B.A., Government, 1991; Certificate: Hesburgh Program in Public Service
Graduate of the Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers' Trial Academy, 1995
Graduate of the International Association of Defense Counsel's Trial Academy, Colorado, 1998
United States District Courts
Eastern District of Missouri
Central District of Illinois
Southern District of Illinois
United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
United States Federal Court of Claims
AWARDS & HONORS
Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers List: St. Louis Top 50 and Construction Litigation - 2015
KC Magazine Top Attorneys in Missouri and Kansas - 2015
Selected as Missouri and Kansas "Super Lawyer," 2008, Construction Law
Recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as an "Up and Coming Lawyer" for 2007
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. "