Photo of Joe Orlet

For more than two decades, Joe has represented many large manufacturers in litigation matters across the United States. Joe’s caseload primarily consists of matters that involve chemicals, petrochemicals, biotechnology, industrial, agricultural, commercial and consumer products, and pharmaceuticals. Joe is routinely selected by Fortune 100 companies in these industries to prepare and try toxic tort, product liability, intellectual property, mass tort, class action and commercial cases. Further, Joe serves as national coordinating counsel and regional trial counsel for a number of chemical, petrochemical and product manufacturers and technology companies. He has significant experience in mass tort cases, including the defense of class actions involving allegations of groundwater contamination and air emissions, as well as class action matters involving consumer products.

Yesterday, March 28, 2017, Missouri Governor, Eric Greitens, signed House Bill 153. This Bill amends parts of section 490.065 of the Missouri Revised Statutes (RSMo), which governs testimony of expert witness.

With the enactment of the new standards under 490.065(2), Missouri’s approach to expert testimony now aligns with that of the Federal Courts. The requirements as set out Subsection Two are identical to those of Federal Rules of Evidence 702, 703 and 705, which are the basis for the principles of the Daubert Standard as set out by the United States Supreme Court. See Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceutical, 509 U.S. 579 (1993). This consistency between Missouri and Federal Court standards is significant because it should make it easier to exclude unscientific “junk science.”

As many trial attorneys will tell you, the most crucial phase in many trials is jury selection. While its significance is known, attorneys are often left with minimal information gathered through juror questionnaires or voir dire from which they are forced to analyze cause challenges and make strike decisions.  However, the growth of social media over the past decade has enabled lawyers to gather additional information about the interests, activities and proclivities of veniremen that allows counsel to make more informed decisions during the jury selection process.

According to Pew Research Center, 74% of online adults use social media sites. The numbers are consistent across gender, education and income levels.  A trial attorney, therefore, has the ability to discover information about three out of every four prospective jurors on the Internet.

John G. Stafford Jr. has joined Husch Blackwell’s Washington, D.C., office as the newest Partner of the firm’s Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation team. With his deep knowledge of federal contracting and regulatory compliance law, Stafford will assist industry clients with Government Contracts and Transportation matters and related business issues.  Visit for more information.

Missouri Lawyers Weekly honored Husch Blackwell Partner Cynthia Cordes as its 2014 “Lawyer of the Year” on January 24, 2014. Presented annually as part of the Missouri Lawyer Awards Program, the Lawyer of the Year is awarded to “the Missouri lawyer or judge who (has) made a substantial impact on the law or the Missouri legal community.” It is Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s highest honor. Cynthia is the first Husch Blackwell lawyer to be selected as “Lawyer of the Year.”

We are deeply saddened by the loss of our partner, Ike Skelton.

Ike was truly a remarkable Congressman, humanitarian, partner and friend. During a recent visit to our DC office, I visited with Ike.  During our wide-ranging discussions, Ike was able to recall the smallest details of his campaigns and his career, including his ascension