When I announced to my NYC friends that I was moving to St. Louis in 2013, one of them asked, “What do they do for entertainment in St. Louis? Cow tipping?”

In reality, I attend many more cultural events living in St. Louis than I did in NYC. Working in BigLaw, I would never have bought an entire season of tickets to concerts or plays. I had no reason to think that I might be able to actually be out of work in time to attend them. Instead, I always bought last-minute tickets to see shows.

In St. Louis, I subscribe to seasons at Jazz St. Louis and other places. And I actually go to the shows—even if I have to do some work online from home afterwards.

So for those of you who do not live in St. Louis, I am instituting a recurring periodic post called “What I Saw in St. Louis Last Week.” If you’re only interested in my substantive law posts, consider this fair warning: you can ignore all posts with this title, as they won’t contain legal content. But I want to share with the rest of you what I see in St. Louis. So here we go.

Last week I saw the national touring company’s production of Beetlejuice at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, which was originally built right before the Depression as a movie house and seats 4,500 people. It has two fantastic pipe organs. And it now it has an enlarged stage that allows touring shows to offload and install their own mechanical stages and sets.

I also saw St. Louis jazz diva Denise Thimes at the Sheldon. She interprets the hell out of the American Songbook and more. I love her re-intrepretation of the Beatles’ classic “And I Love Her.” To my New York City friends, Denise and her band of excellent St. Louis musicians are playing the 7:30 and 9:30 sets at Dizzy’s Club this Thursday and Friday at the Time Warner Center. You should definitely go hear her!

I also attended a breakfast and a luncheon featuring NPR’s Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg. She gave us such a fascinating glimpse at legal “inside baseball.”

And on Sunday, I went to the Blue Strawberry to hear Broadway and cabaret tenor phenomenon Ben Jones. His range and control of that gorgeous voice are incredible.

More next week.

A few weeks ago I presented at the Dowd Bennett attorneys’ retreat on the topic of Recent Developments in Class Action Litigation. My firm has a Denver office, which fortunately hosted our retreat in Vail just as the leaves were at their autumnal best. Because those incredible vistas were behind me as I spoke, I question just how much attention my colleagues actually paid to my presentation. Fortunately, I had a hand-out for them, which I am sharing with you, too. Given the fact that the majority of our lawyers are in St. Louis, you may think this handout is a little too heavy on Eighth Circuit law. But do not dismay. Future blog posts will involve cases from all over the country.

“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.