Don Downing, Gray Ritter Graham Photo

Practice Areas for Don Downing

About Don Downing

Don’s tireless advocacy and negotiating skills have resulted in verdicts and settlements of over $3 billion on behalf of many thousands of injured persons and businesses.

Don has forty years of experience representing interests of his clients. Don’s practice has focused on complex commercial litigation, including class actions and mass tort actions. A native of Kennett, Missouri, Don grew up around farming. He has been appointed by multiple federal judges as lead plaintiffs’ counsel to represent thousands of injured parties against large companies alleged to have engaged in consumer fraud, health care overcharges, and selling defective products. He also has thousands of farmers in cases involving defective seed, market disruption based on premature release of genetically modified seed, herbicide drift resulting in crop loss, and government mistakes in loan program payments. 

Don also is highly experienced in individual disputes, including fraud, breach of contract, negligence, securities, antitrust, and professional malpractice. After clerking for a federal judge, Don began his legal career at a large defense firm, where he was managing partner of its St. Louis office. He understands defense thinking and business concerns, valuable assets when advising and advocating for clients injured in commercial dealings. Don also served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Missouri, placing him in the front row of policy disputes and governmental litigation. He succeeded in having the photo ID requirement declared unconstitutional in Missouri (Weinschenk v. State of Missouri) and can navigate regulatory and administrative challenges.

Don has been consistently recognized as among the top litigators in this state and the country, receiving numerous prestigious awards including being admitted as a Fellow in both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has also been honored by, and elected to leadership positions in, numerous organizations including such influential positions as Chair of the University of Missouri’s Board of Curators.

Don earned a degree in economics from the University of Missouri in 1979 (cum laude), and a law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1982, where he served as an editor on the Missouri Law Review. He served as law clerk for the Honorable Edward L. Filippine, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Don is licensed in Missouri and Illinois, before the Supreme Court of the United States, the Eighth Circuit, and U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri.

Gray Ritter Graham, Director (2004-present); Stinson Morrison Hecker, St. Louis Managing Partner (1996-2003); Missouri Chief Deputy Attorney General (1993-1995); Stinson Mag & Fizzell, partner (1990-1992), associate (1984-1989).

don-m-downing-st-louis-attorney-image

Notable Results

Professional Accolades

Best Lawyers In America
     St. Louis Litigation – Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year (2024) 
     St. Louis Litigation – Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year (2022)
     St. Louis Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action – Plaintiffs’ Lawyer of the Year (2021)
     St. Louis Litigation – Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year (2020)
     St. Louis Litigation – Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year (2018)
     St. Louis Litigation – Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year (2016)
     St. Louis Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs’ Lawyer of the Year (2015)
     St. Louis Litigation – Banking & Finance Lawyer of the Year (2014)
     St. Louis Litigation – Antitrust Lawyer of the Year (2013)

Missouri Lawyers Weekly
     Commercial & Consumer Litigation “Power 30 Attorney” (2020-2022)
     ICON Award (2020)
     Influential Lawyer Award (2018)
     Top Plaintiff’s Settlement Award (2018)
     Legal Champion Award (2011)

Chambers and Partners, Band 1 rating (highest), Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs (2021 - Present)
American Agricultural Law Association, Excellence in Agricultural Law Award (2020)
Faculty-Alumni Award, Mizzou Alumni Association (2015)
Merit Selection Panel Member, U.S. Magistrate Judge (2013)
Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America (2012)
University of Missouri Law School Citation of Merit (2011)
American Lawyer Litigation Daily, National Litigator of the Week (July 7, 2011)
Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers (2006 – present)
Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers – Top 50 in St. Louis and Top 100 in Missouri and Kansas
Best Lawyers in America (2005 – present)
AV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory

Professional Associations

Professional

International Academy of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
Missouri Bar Task Force on Complex Litigation, Member
University of Missouri, Board of Curators (2009-2014); Chairman (2014)
University of Missouri Law School Foundation, Board of Trustees
University of Missouri Law Library Campaign Committee
University of Missouri Jefferson Club; Chairman, St. Louis Regional Dinner
National Benevolent Association: Chair, Board of Directors, Legal Committee

News & Publications

News

Publications

GRG Farm Litigation

Bar Admissions & Education

Clerkship

  • Honorable Edward L. Filippine, District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri

Education

University of Missouri Columbia School of Law, Columbia, Missouri
     J.D., 1982
     Law Review: Missouri Law Review, Editor

University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri
     B.S. cum laude, 1979
     Major: Economics

Admissions

  • Missouri, 1982
  • Illinois, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Don Downing Chambers 2024 Badge
  • Downing Super Lawyers 2023
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2024
  • Don Downing Recognized by Best Lawyers 2024
  • American College of Trial Lawyers badge
  • Don Downing Recognized by Best Lawyers 2023 badge
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers badge
  • Super Lawyers Top 50  badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2022 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2021 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2020 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2018 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2016 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2015 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2014 badge
  • Don Downing Lawyer of the Year 2013 badge

News & Insights

Jump to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use.