Tristan Duncan

Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP

$ $$$

Grand Boulevard 2555
Kansas City 64108 MO US

Tristan L. Duncan focuses her practice in constitutional, class action and energy law. In that capacity, she prosecutes and defends challenges to state and federal legislation, leading the firm’s constitutional law efforts and the firm’s comprehensive national and international energy-related litigation in product liability, environmental and toxic tort, antitrust, consumer fraud, and commercial disputes.

She also has significant experience handling federal and state governmental investigations and administrative proceedings.

With vast experience in class actions and multidistrict litigation as well as federal and state appellate work, Tristan is the co-chair of Shook’s Class Action and Appellate Litigation Practice Group.

Tristan also advises international and national energy companies on climate change matters at the federal and state levels and is lead counsel in climate change litigation pending in federal and state courts.

Tristan has spoken and published widely on these matters and has been quoted in national publications, including the Wall Street Journal and ABA Journal. In 2013, the Association of Corporate Counsel recognized Tristan as a “Value Champion” for her “innovative, collaborative and savings-driven approach” in nationwide litigation.

This defense work also garnered praise from The National Law Journal, which named her one of the nation’s top 50 Energy & Environmental Trailblazers in 2015, and Missouri Lawyers Media, which honored her as a 2013 Legal Champion.

She was also recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star after clients singled her out for her excellent service during an independent interview process.

Representative Matters:

  • Co-leads team on biometrics class action litigation involving data privacy and security issues pending in federal court in Illinois.
  • Leads a legal team representing a major multinational energy company in environmental and toxic tort litigation, involving significant constitutional arguments, including takings, due process, and fair notice.
  • Leads a legal team representing 12 retailer and wholesaler defendants under an innovative joint litigation strategy. Tristan was first-chair trial counsel and won unanimous defense verdicts in the first bellwether consumer fraud class action, and also made new case law with a resulting 10th Circuit decision, which established the “First Amendment Associational Privilege” against disclosure of petitioning strategies.
  • Leads a trial and appellate team in climate change litigation across the country, including serving as lead counsel for a coalition of energy companies in the Clean Power Plan litigation in which the legal team won an historic landmark stay by the United States Supreme Court of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • Served as lead counsel along with Laurence H. Tribe in a constitutional challenge to the Kansas school finance system and the state cap on local spending for public education.
  • Obtained an appellate victory for homeowners against a municipality with respect to the proper interpretation of zoning regulations.


  • J.D., with distinction, University of Iowa, 1989
  • Post Doctoral Scholar, Yale University, 1989
  • B.A., Duke University, 1984 (Political Science)

Bar Admissions:

  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • The Aspen Institute
    • Justice Circle, Co-Chair
    • Justice O’Connor Constitutional Conversation, Founder
  • American Bar Association, Litigation/Advocacy Committee, Women Rainmaking Sub-Committee
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Counsel
  • National Propane Gas Defense Association
  • The Missouri Bar


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Grand Boulevard 2555
Kansas City 64108 MO US
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