Judge Profile:

James R. Ward



James R. Ward is Of Counsel in the Overland Park and Kansas City offices of Jackson Lewis P.C. Mr. Ward’s practice focuses on high-stakes trial work in the defense of private and government employers, in both urban and outlying venues.

Mr. Ward has first-chaired numerous cases to favorable verdict in both state and federal court, including multiple defense verdicts in employment discrimination jury trials against “Super Lawyers” across a wide range of claims. His jury defense verdicts include claims brought under the Missouri Human Rights Act (MHRA) for race and sex discrimination and harassment, and retaliation, as well as claims brought under Title VII. Mr. Ward always strives to defend these claims both pragmatically and aggressively.

Mr. Ward also has a proven record of success in resolving cases short of trial, including through motions to dismiss, summary judgment, mediation, and informal settlement discussions.

Mr. Ward has successfully briefed and argued a number of appeals of jury trial issues in employment matters in both federal and state court, including before the Missouri Supreme Court. Several of these appeals have involved first-impression issues, including claims for same-sex and “gender stereotype” discrimination, as well as an appeal before the Missouri Supreme Court that triggered a revised MHRA general verdict director and a brand new MHRA verdict director dedicated to disability discrimination claims.

Published Works

•“Recent Developments Impacting Jury Instructions in Missouri Employment Actions,” Missouri Bar Labor & Employment Law Newsletter (Fall 2014) [Co-Author]

Speeches and Presentations

•“Trial Skills (aka - Combat Tactics)” Missouri Bar Annual Labor & Employment Law Symposium (Columbia, MO, October 2018) (presenter)
•“Life After #MeToo: How Will the Sexual Harassment Revolution Affect Your Workplace?” Missouri Employment Conference (Columbia, MO, May 2018) (presenter)
•“Employer Liability under the Amended Missouri Human Rights Act and New Missouri Whistleblower’s Protection Act,” Missouri Employment Conference (Columbia, MO, May 2018) (presenter)
•“Attorney-Client Privilege and Work Product for the In-House Practitioner,” Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (Overland Park, KS, February 2018) (presenter)
•“Addressing Harassment in Your Organization in the Wake of the #MeToo Movement,” Kansas Chapter of SHRM (Topeka, KS, February 2018) (presenter)
•The New Missouri “Whistleblower’s Protection Act”, Missouri Bar Annual Labor & Employment Law Symposium (Columbia, MO, October 2017) (presenter)
•“Retaliation Claims Under the Missouri Human Rights Act - Cradle to Grave,” Missouri Bar Annual Labor & Employment Law Symposium (Columbia, MO, October 2015) (presenter)
•“Disability Claims Under the Missouri Human Rights Act,” Missouri Bar Annual Labor & Employment Law Symposium (Columbia, MO, October 2013) (presenter)
•“Deposition Strategies and Techniques,” Missouri Bar Annual Labor & Employment Law Symposium (Columbia, MO, October 2012) (panelist)

Areas of Practice (2)

  • Class Actions and Complex Litigation
  • General Employment Litigation

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
913-982-5752  Phone
913-981-1019  Fax
University Attended:
Tulane University, B.A., Magna Cum Laude, 1987
Law School Attended:
The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1992
Year of First Admission:
1992, Missouri; 1993, Kansas; 1999, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals; 1993, Kansas - D. Kans.; 2017, Missouri - E.D. Mo.; 1995, Missouri - W.D. Mo.; 2004, 8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Birth Information:
Payment Information:

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    Overland Park, Kansas

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