“I had a farm in Africa . . .”

Well, not quite. But about twelve years ago, I had a blog on the LexBlog platform. It was a mouthful: consumerclassactionsmasstorts.com. Some of you know me from there. And my Wheaten Terrier, Ted E. Bear, who made regular appearances on the blog. And my random photos of the day. At the time I stopped blogging, I was living in New York City and was a partner in the Mass Torts Group at Skadden. It was a busy time in my life, and blogging ultimately didn’t fit with my other responsibilities.

And now I’m back. I’ve made a few changes. The blog is now noclasslawyer.com. In 2013 I made a change of venue; I now live in St. Louis, not NYC. (My parents still live in my hometown in Southwest Missouri, and living in St. Louis ensures that I see them regularly. I am an only of onlies, so that’s important. Family reunions are quite small at my house.)

In 2014, I brought home a companion for Ted—the sweetest labradoodle in the world—and named her after my beloved grandmother, Ruby. Ted pretended not to be happy about it, but every morning he was interested in playing with her. By lunch, however, he was done. And he hated when she would try to lead him around by his leash!

Ted left us during the pandemic. Ruby hated being alone, so I brought home a companion for her in January of 2021: a rambunctious goldendoodle named Murphy Brown. I can attest that karma exists; Murphy aggravates Ruby every bit as much as Ruby aggravated Ted. And I chuckle at it all.

For seven years I hung out my own shingle, representing a few of my former clients on my own. But I missed the daily joy of collaborating with brilliant friends that I had experienced at Skadden. Fortunately, one of my clients steered me to Dowd Bennett, where I started in November of 2020 as a counsel, and am now a partner. This is a firm of triiiaaaal lawyers, as they would drawl in my hometown. All things being equal, my partners would much prefer to try a case to a jury than settle it. That makes for some exciting dynamics in aggregate litigation. And it is a refreshingly different approach than many BigLaw lawyers have.

I am truly fortunate. Today I do the same kind of interesting work I did in NYC for many of the same clients, with people I admire and truly enjoy. Most of my cases are outside of Missouri. (One is even outside the U.S.!) And I am still learning. I have taught aggregate litigation at Washington University’s law school for the last decade. The students there keep me on my toes.

And now I get to learn from you, too. Blogging requires you to read and digest a lot of recent cases, but it also educates you by inviting the input of others who have different experiences and perspectives. I am happy to meet you—or to be reacquainted with you. I hope you’ll join the conversation at noclasslawyer.com. I’m happy to be here, and I hope you are, too.