Cort A.

St. Louis, Missouri

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Cort VanOstran

St. Louis, Missouri

Contact Cort VanOstranContact Cort VanOstran

Meet St. Louis Attorney,
Cort A. VanOstran

Cort VanOstran focuses his civil litigation practice on commercial matters, class actions, and mass torts.  Mr. VanOstran has briefed and argued motions in state and federal court, and he has taken the lead in drafting appeals at the state and federal level.  He has extensive experience with discovery, including taking and defending key depositions.  He has also devoted considerable time to pro bono practice, including by representing juveniles and handling an assigned federal matter on behalf of an indigent plaintiff.


Mr. VanOstran is listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation. He was named a 2017 Up & Coming Lawyer by Missouri Lawyers Weekly.  Prior to joining Gray Ritter Graham, Mr. VanOstran clerked for U.S. District Judges Audrey Fleissig and John Ross in the Eastern District of Missouri.  He is a former Visiting Lecturer in Law, and current adjunct instructor, at Washington University in St. Louis.

Mr. VanOstran is active in the St. Louis community.  He is a member of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis and has served as faculty and staff for the Missouri Scholars Academy, a state-sponsored program for gifted high school students. He is an alumnus of the FOCUS St. Louis Emerging Leaders program.  He previously supervised Washington University’s chapter of the Marshall Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project—a community partnership that places law students in public high schools to teach constitutional law—and he is a former board member for Prison Performing Arts, a community non-profit.

In 2018, Mr. VanOstran won a five-way primary race to become the Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Missouri’s second district.  He was endorsed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and his campaign was placed on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s “Red to Blue” list of top-tier races nationally.  He lost narrowly to a three-term incumbent.

Mr. VanOstran earned his J.D. with honors from Washington University in St. Louis.  While in law school, he served as President of the Student Bar Association and Managing Editor of the Journal of Law and Policy.  Mr. VanOstran earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard University.


  • Commercial Litigation
  • Class Actions
  • Mass Torts

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Bar Admissions
  • Missouri, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • Washington University School of Law, St. Louis, Missouri
    • J.D., cum laude, 2014
    • Dean’s List
    • Honor Scholar Award
    • CALI Award (highest class grade-Critical Jurisprudence)
    • Dean’s Leadership Award
    • President, Student Bar Association
    • Managing Editor, Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
    • National Moot Court Team
    • Trial Team
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts
    • A.B., cum laude in field, 2011
    • Major: Government
Honors and Awards
  • Rising Star, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, 2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2021 – Present
  • “Up & Coming Lawyer,” Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2017
  • 2017 Young Lawyers Division Award of Merit, The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
Published Works
  • Co-author, “Practice Makes Perfect: New Practitioners’ Perspectives on Trends in Legal Education,” Washington University Journal Law and Policy, Volume 53 (2017)
  • “Can I Return or Destroy ‘Confidential’ Documents,” Journal of the Missouri Bar, May-June 2017 
  • CLE Materials co-author, Mass Torts Breakout: ‘All Natural,’ Ingredient Labeling, and Health Claims, Oh My: Recent Developments in the Smorgasbord of Food Labeling Class Actions, 2015 ABA Environmental, Mass Torts and Products Liability Litigation Committees’ Joint CLE Seminar in Snowmass Village, Colo. (January 30, 2015)
  • “Justice Not for Sale: A Constitutional Defense of the Missouri Plan for Judicial Selection,” Washington University Journal Law and Policy, Volume 44 (2014)
Professional Associations and Memberships
  • The Missouri Bar, Young Lawyer’s Section Council Representative
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Young Lawyer’s Division Board Member
Past Employment Positions
  • Law Clerk, Honorable Audrey Fleissig, U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Missouri, and Honorable John Ross, U.S. District Judge, Eastern District of Missouri
Pro Bono Activities
  • Board of Directors, Prison Performing Arts
  • Assistant Coach, Washington University Moot Court Team
  • Faculty Supervisor, Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project