Home > People > Carl Rowley

Carl Rowley


St. Louis
314 552 6100 direct

Carl is a first-chair trial lawyer whose cases and verdicts have been covered by The National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg News, CNBC, and other national media outlets.  He chairs the firm's Mass Tort Practice and co-chairs its Consumer Products Practice and its Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Practice.

Carl tried the largest defense jury verdict in the history of tobacco cost recovery litigation, assisted in the defense of the largest civil RICO case ever brought by the United States Department of Justice, and was a member of the defense team of the longest jury trial in the history of the United States. He has defended consumer product manufacturers in state and federal courtrooms throughout the United States, including in class actions, mass consolidations, state attorneys general cases alleging false advertising, consumer protection cases, targeted marketing lawsuits, and cases alleging false or misleading product labelling.

Carl has defended tobacco industry clients in high stakes litigation for decades, including as lead trial counsel in the defense of billion-dollar damages claims.  Not just a "litigator" or motions lawyer, he has tried to verdict a wide variety of lawsuits, including wrongful death, individual smoking & health, asbestos/synergy, mesothelioma, and business tort cases.  Carl has served on national litigation strategy and industry punitive damages committees for major product manufacturers over a period of decades.  His books on jury instructions, now in their third edition, have been in continuous publication for 27 years.

Carl has served on the firm's Compensation Committee, Management Nominating Committee, and Associate Review Committee.

Landmark representation

Lead trial counsel for a major domestic cigarette manufacturer in a lawsuit tried against dozens of hospitals and hospital systems seeking more than $4 billion in compensatory damages. During the three-month trial, 26 jurors (including 14 alternates) heard testimony from 49 witnesses. Following seven days of deliberations, the jury returned defense verdicts on all claims by all plaintiffs. The National Law Journal described the win as "the largest defense victory in a tobacco cost-recovery suit to date."

National coordinating counsel in mass tort litigation for one of the country's largest pneumatic power tool and equipment manufacturers, overseeing the defense of thousands of cases arising out of industrial and occupational exposures.

National trial counsel for a major domestic tobacco manufacturer for more than a decade in a variety of lawsuits including class actions, multi-plaintiff smoking and health lawsuits, mesothelioma cases, and asbestos/synergy cases.

National counsel for a major rail carrier in its hearing loss and cumulative trauma litigation, coordinating the defense of thousands of cases throughout the country.


Thompson Coburn takes stage at Cannabis Business Summit

Is San Francisco’s sugar-sweetened beverage rule watering down First Amendment rights?

UPDATE: Cannabis, pain reduction, and opioid abstinence

Weighing risks and benefits: Cannabis use and metabolic syndrome risk

Weighing risks and benefits: Cannabis, pain reduction, and opioid abstinence

Limiting Tort Liability for Cannabis: Failure to Warn Part I – the LivWell Lawsuit

Limiting tort liability for cannabis: Dram shop-type laws


"Is San Francisco’s sugar-sweetened beverage rule watering down First Amendment rights?";
Food Fight, June 2016

"Illinois Non-Pattern Jury Instructions – Annotated IPI Companion - (Third Edition)";
Author, Book, West Group, New York, 2001

"Enemies List: A Vigilant Journalist’s Plea for a Renewed Red Scare";
Contributor, in P.J. O’Rourke, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1996

“Medico-Legal Aspects of Head Injury”;
Author, Book Chapter, in Head Injury & Post-Concussive Syndrome, Churchill Livingstone, Inc., New York, 1995

"Illinois Non-Pattern Jury Instructions - (Second Edition)";
Author, Book, Lawyer’s Cooperative Publishing Company, New York, 1991

“Intrastate Forum Non Conveniens in Missouri”;
Author, 47 Journal of the Missouri Bar II, January-February, 1991

“Missouri’s Federal Employers Liability Act Verdict Director Denies Railroad Defendants a Fair Trial”;
Author, St. Louis Bar Journal, Fall, 1989

“Distinctive Aspects of Litigation Under the Federal Employers Liability Act: An Overview”;
Author, The St. Louis Bar Journal, Fall, 1989

“Federal Employers Liability Act Cases -- Instructing on Sole Cause”;
Author, Journal of the Missouri Bar, April-May, 1988

"Illinois Non-Pattern Jury Instructions";
Author, Book, The Lawsource Publishing Company, Chicago, 1987