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Hon. John Holstein

Areas of Expertise:
Business Litigation, Commercial, Compensation, Constitutional Law, Construction, Consumer, Contracts, Employment, Environmental Law, Insurance, Medical Malpractice / Medical Negligence, Personal Injury, Probate, Products Liability, Professional Liability / Malpractice, Real Property, Toxic Torts
Mediator, Arbitrator
Hon. John Holstein photo

Professional Experience:

Former Missouri Supreme Court Judge, and retired Shareholder of Polsinelli, PC, John Holstein has successfully mediated and arbitrated hundreds of cases in Missouri and around the country since leaving the bench in 2002.  Holstein served as Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court when Court Rule 17 on ADR, in its current form, was adopted. Judge Holstein has the distinction of being the only Judge in Missouri history to have served at every level of the Missouri state judiciary, authored more than 300 majority opinions, participated in more than 1,000 appellate decisions and completed every ADR course offered by the National Judicial College while on the bench.

Since returning to private practice he has additionally completed dozens of CLE courses in ADR, and has instructed attorney colleagues in ADR subjects.  His training also includes that required annually to remain a panelist with American Arbitration Association in commercial, construction and employment cases and such background has resulted in fellow lawyers and their clients seeking John out to find solutions to the most difficult cases. Holstein has been selected as a Missouri-Kansas Super Lawyer® and as a Best Lawyer in America® for 2015-2016 in the areas of appellate practice and commercial litigation as well as for real estate, banking and finance, labor and employment and land use and zoning. He was named as a local “benchmark litigation” star for 2009-2015.

Judge Holstein’s service as a neutral includes mediation, arbitration, acting as special master, and evaluating claims for attorneys and clients. With more than 45 years of courtroom experience as a lawyer and judge at every level of the Missouri state courts, John has the demonstrated ability to take complex legal issues and simplify them using a straight-talk style.

Judge Holstein served 27 years in the U.S. Army, active and reserved, holding the rank of Lt. Colonel when he retired in 1997. He has been active in the Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association, the Rotary Board, the board of the United Way of the Ozarks and on the fundraising committee of Legal Services of Southern Missouri.


Professional Affiliations:

  • Springfield Metropolitan Bar Association
  • National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals


  • Master of Law, University of Virginia 


  • Missouri (1970)

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