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Ronald Fox

Areas of Expertise:
Admiralty, FELA, Personal Injury, Products Liability, Professional Liability / Malpractice, Toxic Torts
Ronald Fox photo

Professional Experience

Recognized as Icon in the Missouri legal community, Ron Fox has successfully defended clients in hundreds of cases in more than 35 jurisdictions nationwide. Ron is an “AV” rated lawyer and listed as a Missouri Super Lawyer for 10+ years. For over 40 years Ron worked as an effective maritime defense attorney. Ron also has broad experience successfully handling hundreds of complex cases in many areas of law. Ron has tried over 75 cases to verdict or judgment, including maritime, contract, medical malpractice, product liability, trucking, will contests, and other complex or high-exposure cases. He is a proctor member of the Maritime Law Association and a trained mediator. 

Recognized as a premier maritime and trial attorney, Ron has published numerous articles on maritime issues and is a frequent speaker at national maritime conferences and on trial techniques. Ron trained at the University of Missouri School of Law Center for Dispute Resolution and is a Certified Neutral for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and Southern District of Illinois. Ron began his legal career as a clerk to Missouri Supreme Court Judge A.J. Higgins. Ron is on the Board of Trustees at Whitfield School in St. Louis County.

Representative Experience

  • Obtained first appellate ruling in the United States to hold that maritime employers are entitled to a jury trial in Jones Act suits.
  • Numerous defense verdicts in Jones Act cases tried throughout the Midwest, including challenging jurisdictions such as the City of St. Louis, Madison and St. Clair Counties, Illinois, and federal district court in East St. Louis.
  • Lead and managed a team of Fox Smith attorneys in a major environmental action involving RCRA, clean air, and water claims resulting in a $45,000,000 settlement for the client.
  • Defense verdict in a million dollar maritime contract and bailment action related to the Great Flood of 1993.
  • Over 15 judgments denying seaman status to Jones Act plaintiffs, including 6 jury verdicts.
  • Multi-million dollar judgment for a prominent St. Louis brewing family member in a will contest trial.
  • Defense verdict for a hospital in Madison County, Illinois, in a suit charging wrongful death for failure to diagnose a dissecting aortic aneurysm.
  • Restricting plainiff's verdict to $8,100 after a Fortune 50 client admitted liability following a trucking accident resulting in plaintiff’s above-the-knee amputation.
  • Defense verdict in the City of St. Louis for a refuse truck manufacturer involving crush injuries and death.
  • Obtaining a judgment for an insurance underwriter charged with bad faith, fraud, and punitive damages.
  • Successfully defending Japanese kerosene heater manufacturers in numerous product liability burn and fire damage cases.
  • In the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, successfully reversed a multi-million dollar verdict against a lawnmower manufacturer due to improper denial of the state-of-the-art defense.
  • Successful argument in the Missouri Supreme Court establishing a basis to defeat venue in the City of St. Louis.


  • Maritime Law Association
  • Missouri Bar Association
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Madison County Bar Association
  • St. Clair County Bar Association
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers


  • J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law (1981)
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Washington University (1978)


  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits
  • various U.S. District Courts in Missouri and Illinois

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