Cort A.

St. Louis, Missouri
314-345-2015 (direct line)


Cort A. VanOstran

Cort VanOstran headshotCort graduated from Harvard University in 2011 (cum laude in field) with a degree in Government.  He earned his law degree from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law (cum laude) in 2014, where he was Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and Policy, on the National Moot Court and Trial Teams, and President of the Student Bar Association.

After serving as a law clerk to two federal judges, Cort joined Gray Ritter Graham where he practices primarily in the areas of complex commercial litigation, consumer protection, class actions and mass tort actions.  Cort was an active member of the team in In re Syngenta involving market loss from premature release of genetically modified seed resulting in a $1.51 billion global settlement, and In re Dicamba, involving herbicide drift culminating in $400 million in mass action and individual settlements.  Cort was on the briefing team in an appeal upholding final approval of a $32 million class action settlement in a pet food mislabeling case and extensively involved in a recent appeal in which the Eighth Circuit reversed judgment in favor of an insurance company.

Cort served as a Visiting Lecturer in Law at Washington University School of Law and a coach for the Washington University Moot Court Team.  He continues to serve as an adjunct professor at Washington University.  He was named a Rising Star by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers magazine in 2021 and an “Up & Coming Lawyer” by Missouri Lawyers Weekly in 2017.  He has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, since 2021.

Cort is licensed in Missouri state and federal courts and in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Cort A. VanOstran
Rated by Super Lawyers

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Practice Areas

  • Agricultural Cases
    • Market loss
    • Herbicide drift
    • Contamination / Crop damage
    • Defective seed
  • Class Actions / Mass Tort Actions / Multidistrict Litigation
  • Complex Commercial Litigation
    • Business disputes
    • Breach of contract
    • Fraud
  • Consumer Law
    • Misrepresented products

Notable Results


In re Dicamba Herbicides Litigation (E.D. Mo.)
Herbicide drift, extensive crop damage

  • Co-Lead Counsel Team: MDL mass tort action
  • $400 million class action and individual settlements
  • Claim submission team for soybean farmers

In re Syngenta AG MIR 162 Corn Litigation (D. Kan.)
Contamination of U.S. corn supply

  • Co-Lead Counsel Team: MDL class actions
  • Trial Team: $217.7 million bellwether verdict
  • $1.51 billion global class action settlement

In re: Blue Buffalo Co. Ltd., Marketing and Sales Pracs. Litig. (E.D. Mo)
Pet food mislabeling

  • $32 million settlement
  • Appeal Team

Verto Med. Sols., L.L.C. v. Allied World Specialty Ins. Co., 996 F.3d 912 (8th Cir. 2021):

  • Reversing dismissal in favor of insurer; finding competing D&O insurance policy endorsements ambiguous.

Uhrhan v. B&B Cargo, Inc., 2020 WL 4501104 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 5, 2020):

  • Denying dismissal of negligent brokering claims, finding against preemption under Federal Aviation Administrative Authorization Act.

Prowse v. Washington, 9 F.4th 836, 837 (8th Cir. 2021):

  • Reversing summary judgment finding genuine fact dispute regarding exhaustion of administrative remedies (handled oral argument in association with Washington University Appellate Clinic).

Professional Accolades

Best Lawyers In America: 

  • Best Lawyers in America (2021-present)
    • Commercial Litigation

Missouri Lawyers Weekly: 

  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly, “Up & Coming Lawyer” (2017)

Other Accolades: 

  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Rising Star (2021)
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Young Lawyers Division Award of Merit (2017)
  • Honor Scholar Award, Washington University School of Law
  • Dean’s Leadership Award, Washington University School of Law

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Board of Directors (2020–present)
  • Missouri Bar—Young Lawyers Section Council (2016; 2020–present)
  • Prison Performing Arts, Board of Directors (2016–2018)
  • Washington University Moot Court Team, Assistant Coach (2016–2021)

Published Works

  • “Practice Makes Perfect: New Practitioners’ Perspectives on Trends in Legal Education,” Washington University Journal Law and Policy, Vol. 53 (2017) (co-author);
  • “Can I Return or Destroy ‘Confidential’ Documents,” J. Mo. Bar (May-June 2017);
  • Mass Torts Breakout: “‘All Natural,’ Ingredient Labeling, and Health Claims, Oh My: Recent Developments in the Smorgasbord of Food Labeling Class Actions,” ABA Environmental, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar in Snowmass Village, Colo. (Jan. 30, 2015) (co-author);
  • “Justice Not for Sale: A Constitutional Defense of the Missouri Plan for Judicial Selection,” Washington University Journal Law and Policy, Vol. 44 (2014).

Legal Experience

  • Gray Ritter Graham, Associate (2016–present)
  • Visiting Lecturer in Law (2016–2018) and Adjunct Professor (2018–present), Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Audrey Fleissig, U.S. District Judge, E.D. Missouri, and Honorable John Ross, U.S. District Judge, E.D. Missouri (2015–2016)
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon, L.L.P., Associate (2014–2015)

Bar Admissions

  • Missouri, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri

Representative Cases

April 25, 2018 in Commercial Litigation & Class Actions, Don M Downing Featured, News

Downing Named Chair of Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in Dicamba Multidistrict Litigation

Gray Ritter Graham attorney Don Downing has been appointed Chair of the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in the dicamba multidistrict litigation pending in…
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June 23, 2017 in Case Result, Commercial Litigation & Class Actions, Don M Downing, Don M Downing Featured, News, Verdicts & Settlements

Downing part of legal team in $218 Million Verdict for Kansas Corn Farmers in Syngenta Class Action lawsuit

A Kansas jury today sided with Kansas corn producers, represented in part by Gray Ritter Graham attorney Don Downing, in the first…
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