• J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law (1982)
  • B.A., history, University of Notre Dame (1979)
  • Certified Mediator: Missouri Supreme Court Rule 17


  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Courts, Northern and Southern Districts of Illinois, Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals, Seventh Circuit and Eighth Circuit


  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel: Northern Coordinator of the State Representatives
  • Defense Research Institute
  • The Missouri Bar
  • Illinois State Bar Association


John Cooney concentrates on the defense of civil lawsuits. Insurance litigation is a staple of John’s practice—in over 25 years he has seen more than 75 jury trials to verdict and personally handled in excess of 25 appeals. He also relies on mediation and direct negotiation to resolve matters wherever possible.

Much of John’s work is in the transportation industry including trucking companies, airlines, and rental car companies. He also serves the retail and hospitality sectors (department stores and restaurants) primarily with premises liability issues, as well as professional liability defense for legal and medical practitioners.

John represents individuals and corporations, often through their insurers and risk management organizations, though he finds he is increasingly engaged directly by those he defends. Recent matters include:

  • Receiving a directed verdict in the defense of an individual involved in an intra-family wrongful death case. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeals.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict in a federal trial claiming serious injuries resulting from in-flight turbulence.
  • Acquiring a trial-morning dismissal of an action seeking a multi-million dollar recovery from a major rental car company due to the death of a motorcyclist. This verdict was upheld by the Court of Appeals.
  • Achieving summary judgment in a coverage dispute between two major insurance companies regarding duty to defend and the allocation of risk on a series of large property damage and personal injury settlements.

John’s personal interest in his clients’ well-being is sincere and deep-rooted. He works hard to resolve problems quickly so they needn’t lose another night’s sleep. His goal is to “fashion clever solutions” for problems, but, more importantly, he enjoys being a daily resource when no litigation is pending to help keep it that way.


  • Contributing editor: “Duty to Defend Compendium” DRI. Featured speaker: “Mold Summit” for Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.
  • Speaker on Missouri tort reform at various local and national seminars; “Handling the Auto Injury Claim,” National Business Institute; “Emerging Trends in Hospitality Litigation,” Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel’s annual meeting.
  • Adjunct professor, Saint Louis University School of Law.