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EXPERIENCE

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Derek Ruzicka – Civil Defense Attorney, Pitzer Snodgrass, P.C.

Derek P. Ruzicka graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a minor in Business Administration from Valparaiso University in 2004, where he was a member of the Dean’s List. He received his J.D. from Southern Illinois University School of Law in 2008, and was again a member of the Dean’s List. He was an editor for the Southern Illinois University Law Journal and was a teaching assistant for the law school’s legal research and writing program.

Derek is a trial lawyer licensed to practice in Missouri and Illinois. He is also admitted to practice before the United States District Courts for the Eastern District of Missouri and the Southern District of Illinois. He has handled cases through trial and on appeal and actively represents national and international companies in many locations throughout Illinois, Missouri, and, from time to time, throughout the United States.

Derek is an active member of the Defense Research Institute and a contributor to the Missouri Bar CLE Deskbook Series, Construction Law edition. He is also an author on product liability and tort reform topics. Derek has been deemed a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine every year since 2015.

Publications and Seminars

  • Contributor, Missouri Bar CLE Deskbook Series, Construction Law, 2009 Supplement, Chapter 1, “Construction Contracts: Risk Shifting Devices” (2009 & 2015)
  • It’s Political, You Can’t Be Offended! A Discussion of the Student Speech Analysis in Guiles ex. Rel. Guiles V. Marineu, 461 F.3D 320 (2d Cir. 2006)
  • “Show Me How to Pick a Lab and Present Convincing Evidence at Trial,” Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers, 24th Annual Meeting by Gary E. Snodgrass and Derek P. Ruzicka
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EXPERIENCE

Derek devotes his practice to trial work, representing international and national companies and small businesses in general liability, product liability, and business litigation in predominantly litigated matters.  Derek also assists corporate entities in environmental law matters and has additional focus in construction law, retail and hospitality, and cyber risk. He handles complex product liability and commercial litigation matters for companies in a broad range of industries as issues may arise.

His clients include:

  • Insurance Companies
  • Product Manufacturers and Distributors
  • Transportation Companies and Brokers
  • Retail and Hospitality Companies
  • Construction Companies
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
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INSIGHTS

> BLOG POSTS

Illinois Amends Construction Statute of Repose To Exclude Asbestos Claims, But Amendment Not Retroactive In Certain Cases

Amendment Excludes Asbestos Claims In December, 2014, former Governor Pat Quinn signed Public Act 98-1131, § 5, into law, adding Subsection (f) to Illinois’ Construction Statute of Repose (735 ILCS 5/13-214) to exclude claims based on personal injur [...]

Missouri High Court Strikes Down Punitive Damages Cap in Common Law Actions Existing Before 1820

In the case of Lillian M. Lewellen v. Chad Franklin and Chad Franklin Auto Sales North LLC, No. SC92871, (Mo. banc Sept. 9, 2014), the Supreme Court of Missouri recently struck down Missouri’s statutory cap on punitive damages (Mo. Rev. Stat. § 510.265 [...]

> CASES WON

Jerry Simon, Derek Ruzicka and Robert Stephens Obtain Dismissal Without Prejudice in Asbestos Personal Injury Claim

PS Partners: Jerry Simon and Derek Ruzicka PS Associate:  Robert Stephens We represented: St. Joe Company  Venue: St. Louis City Circuit Court Facts: Plaintiffs Jerry & Cheryl Cozart filed a personal injury and product liability ca [...]

ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS

  • Defense Research Institute
  • The Lawyers Association of St. Louis

EDUCATION

  • Southern Ilinois University School of Law
    • J.D., 2008
  • Valparaiso University
    • B.S., Psychology, 2004
  • International Association of Defense Counsel Trial Academy, 2012
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers Trial Academy, 2011

LICENSURE

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Eastern District of Missouri
  • Southern District of Illinois

AWARDS & HONORS

  • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers List: Rising Star, Top Rated Products Liability Attorney, St. Louis, MO - 2015, 2016, 2017
  • KC Magazine Top Attorneys, Outstanding Young Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas - 2015
KC Magazine Top Attorneys, Outstanding Young Lawyers in Missouri and Kansas, Derek Ruzicka

BACKGROUND

  • Principal, Pitzer Snodgrass, P.C. (2016 - Present)
  • Associate, Pitzer Snodgrass, P.C. (2011 - 2015)
  • Associate, Rabbitt, Pitzer & Snodgrass, P.C. (2009 - 2010)
  • Law Clerk, Rabbitt, Pitzer & Snodgrass, P.C. 2007
  • Externship with Judge Herndon, the US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois in East St. Louis, 2006