Carl L. Rowley


Thompson Coburn LLP
One US Bank Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63101
United States

Tel: 314 552 6100


Carl is a trial lawyer who chairs the Firm’s Mass Tort Practice, co-chairs its Consumer Products Practice, and is a member of its Cannabis Practice.  He has more than 30 years of experience in representing consumer product, manufacturing, and agricultural clients in courtrooms throughout the United States.

Carl has defended high-stakes business and personal injury cases for decades, including as lead trial counsel in the defense of billion-dollar damages claims. He first-chaired the largest defense jury verdict in the history of tobacco cost recovery litigation, a three-month trial with testimony from 49 witnesses. His cases and verdicts have been covered by the National Law Journal, the American Lawyer, the New York Times, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other national media outlets.

Carl has decades of experience in preparing and cross-examining expert witnesses on complex epidemiologic, biostatistical, damages model, causal inference, product design, and addiction issues. He has litigated a wide variety of lawsuits, including dozens of complex business and commercial cases, as well as wrongful death, individual smoking & health, and asbestos-synergy cases. Carl has defended class actions, cases alleging false or misleading product labelling, consumer protection cases, targeted marketing lawsuits, mass consolidations of thousands of plaintiffs, and state attorneys general cases alleging false advertising.

Carl’s cannabis practice is limited to issues relating to federally-legal hemp, assisting Firm clients in avoiding inadvertent violations of federal law, and providing advice on due diligence and precautions that foreclose and prevent potentially unlawful effects within the United States that could arise from doing business in foreign countries where cannabis is federally legal. He also advises Firm clients outside the industry on the legal and business risks of doing business with companies within the industry. Carl is a Lifetime and Sustaining Member of the International Cannabis Bar Association and has served on two committees of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

In addition to his current role as in-house counsel to the Firm, Carl has served on the Firm’s Compensation Committee, Management Nominating Committee, Associate Review Committee, and as co-chair of its Tobacco Practice. His books on jury instructions, now in their third edition, have been in continuous publication for over 30 years.

  • University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law,
    • J.D.
    • Board of Editors, Missouri Law Review
  • Bradley University,
    • B.S.
    • Phi Kappa Phi; Omicron Delta Epsilon
  • Illinois
  • Colorado
  • Missouri
  • Missouri USDC, Eastern District
  • US Ct Appeals, 11th Circuit (Covers AL, FL, GA)

Thompson Coburn’s product liability attorneys have successfully handled cases in almost every state and countless federal courts across the country, including outside the continental United States. We have handled class actions, attorney general investigations, and numerous other matters that involve product liability issues.

We frequently serve as national and regional counsel in litigation involving a variety of products and pattern litigation, including acting as coordinating counsel in multidistrict litigation. We have counseled manufacturers and sellers about conducting potential recalls, and assisted clients in both developing an effective recall strategy and working with the appropriate governmental agencies to implement that strategy. We have worked with clients on product development.

We help clients evaluate and manage litigation risks, from pre-litigation counseling through alternative dispute resolution, trials, and appeals.  We work collaboratively with the client to understand every aspect of its product design, investigate alleged defects, and provide a robust, purposeful defense. We work directly with engineering, medical, and other technical experts in multiple disciplines to develop effective company defenses.  We have developed an extensive and nation-wide network of attorneys and experts around the country that we can call on to assist in navigating the risks associated with defending attacks on our client’s products.

In any product liability matter, effectively managing personnel, documentation, and electronic data is critical. Our group frequently works with the in-house electronic systems management team to handle documents and data of varying sizes.  By doing this work internally, we deliver to our clients the efficiencies and attention to detail they deserve.

For almost 90 years, Thompson Coburn LLP has provided the quality legal services and counsel our clients demand to achieve their most critical business goals. With more than 400 lawyers and 50 practice areas, we serve clients throughout the United States and beyond. Whether helping with a real estate or employment issue, navigating a complex acquisition or defending a product or service in litigation, we have the knowledge and resources to meet any legal need.

If you are a client looking for assistance, you’ve come to the right place. We know that you are seeking a law firm with attorneys who will listen to your concerns, understand your needs and help craft a practical business solution to your legal problem. We understand that you want measurable returns for your investment in us, and that’s why performing work in a cost-effective and timely manner is an imperative for all of our attorneys.

Supported by our firm’s state-of-the-art technology, lawyers in our Chicago, Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, Southern Illinois, St. Louis and Washington, D.C. offices enjoy a nationwide practice.