Michael J. Kleffner focuses his practice on tort and product liability litigation. He handles matters involving automobiles; heavy truck and bus accidents; accident reconstruction and investigation; product design, testing and performance; warnings; mass tort matters related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices; and medical negligence. In each practice area, Michael has handled cases involving significant personal injuries or alleged wrongful death.
Michael has defended motor vehicle product liability cases throughout his entire career, representing major automobile manufacturers in all phases of litigation, including at trial. For more than a decade, he also has represented a major manufacturer of commercial motor vehicles, heavy trucks and buses in product liability matters.
These cases have typically involved catastrophic accidents and significant damage allegations.
In addition to his work in automotive litigation, Michael defends major manufacturers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals in mass tort litigation. Defending these cases requires extensive knowledge of the medicine and science behind the product, and using that knowledge during litigation.
This defense work also requires an understanding that work in one case has potential implications for thousands of others. He has served as national settlement counsel for a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, and has successfully negotiated and resolved hundreds of claims and lawsuits in multiple mass tort litigation.
In his trial work, Michael has helped to obtain multiple defense verdicts, including three recognized by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as top defense verdicts of the year in the State of Missouri. Notably, both trials lasted more than two months against top-tier, aggressive plaintiff’s counsel.
He also has handled cases in challenging jurisdictions for corporate defendants—commonly known as “judicial hellholes”—including the City of St. Louis, Madison County in Illinois, and Clark County (Las Vegas), Nevada.
One of Michael’s most frequently recognized skills is taking and defending high-level depositions, including those of key corporate witnesses, experts and third-party medical providers, as well as trial preservation depositions.
Michael also has briefed and argued cases before Missouri appellate courts, including the Missouri Supreme Court.
- J.D., University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law, 2000
- B.A., Marquette University, 1997
- U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
- Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
- Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
- The Missouri Bar
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