Don M. Downing

Top rated class action & mass torts attorney in St. Louis, Missouri

Gray Ritter Graham
Don M. Downing
Gray Ritter Graham

Practice Areas: Class action & mass torts, Business litigation, Appellate; view more

Licensed in Missouri since: 1982

Education: University of Missouri School of Law (Columbia)

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2022

Gray Ritter Graham

701 Market Street
Suite 800
St. Louis, MO 63101 Visit website


Don M. Downing is Vice President of Gray Ritter Graham, in St. Louis, Missouri. Focusing his practice on complex commercial and class action litigation, he has helped to recover millions of dollars for his plaintiff clients through verdicts and settlements in matters including agricultural litigation, business disputes, antitrust claims, and commercial and real estate litigation.

He was appointed national co-lead counsel for thousands of plaintiff farmers and other businesses in multi-district litigation involving contamination of the U.S. rice supply by genetically modified rice. He was lead trial counsel in three bellwether rice trials, and obtained plaintiffs’ verdicts totaling in the millions of dollars. Mr. Downing led a negotiation that resulted in a global settlement for farmers of $750 million. Additional settlement payments to affected businesses have brought total settlement payments to over $1 billion.

Additionally, Mr. Downing has represented thousands of consumers in class action litigation against cellular telephone and internet service providers, drug companies, hospitals, and other entities that engaged in deceptive and unfair trade practices. For example, Mr. Downing recently served as co-lead counsel in a pharmaceutical class action that resulted in a $220 million settlement for Missouri consumers.

A 1979 recipient of a Bachelor of Science in economics cum laude from the University of Missouri, Mr. Downing earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1982, where he was an editor of the Missouri Law Review.

Prior to joining Gray Ritter Graham, Mr. Downing served as managing partner of the St. Louis office of one of the region's largest law firms. He is a former chief deputy attorney general for the Missouri Attorney General's Office.

Admitted to practice before state courts in Missouri and Illinois, Mr. Downing is also admitted to practice before multiple federal district courts in both states as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Downing has received numerous awards and honors, including the Citation of Merit by the University of Missouri School of Law in 2011.

The holder of an AV-Preeminent* rating from Martindale-Hubbell, he has been listed in Best Lawyers in America each year since 2005 – including being named a Best Lawyers "St. Louis Lawyer of the Year" - and has been named as one of the Law dragon Leading 500 Lawyers in America. Mr. Downing is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.  He has a Band 1 rating for Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs in Chambers and Partners.

Practice areas

Class action/mass torts: plaintiff, Business litigation, Appellate

Focus areas

Class actions, Toxic torts

  • 50% Class action/mass torts: plaintiff
  • 40% Business litigation
  • 10% Appellate

First Admitted: 1982, Missouri

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow
  • American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Illinois, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois
  • Board of Trustees, University of Missouri Law School Foundation, Law Library Campaign Committee
  • Chairman,  Board of Curators of the University of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Chair, Board of Directors, National Benevolent Association, Legal Committee
  • Missouri, 1982
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • University of Missouri Jefferson Club
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Law Review: Editor, Missouri Law Review, University of Missouri Columbia School of Law, Columbia, Missouri, 1982
  • Committee Bars Section 1983 Action for Unconstitutional Ad- ministration of State Tax System 47 Missouri Law Review 897, 1982
  • Enforcement of Due-On-Sale Clause by Federal Savings & Loan Association 47 Missouri Law Review 366, 1982
Educational Background:
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, B.S. in Economics, Cum Laude, 1979
  • , Band 1 Rating, Litigation: Mainly Plaintiffs, Chambers and Partners, 2021
  • Missouri Lawyers Weekly ICON Award, 2020
  • Best Lawyers In America  2020 St. Louis Litigation – Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year
  • Recipient, “Influential Lawyer” Award, 2018 Missouri Lawyers Weekly Awards
  • Recipient, “2018 Top Plaintiff’s Settlement,” 2019 Missouri Lawyers Weekly Awards
  • Best Lawyers In America 2018 St. Louis Litigation – Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year
  • Best Lawyers in America 2016 St. Louis Banking and Finance Lawyer of the Year
  • Faculty-Alumni Award, Mizzou Alumni Association, 2015
  • Best Lawyers in America 2015 St. Louis Lawyer of the Year – Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Plaintiffs
  • Best Lawyers in America 2014 St. Louis Lawyer of the Year – Banking & Finance Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in America ® 2013 St. Louis Litigation: Antitrust Lawyer of the Year
  • Named National Litigator of the Week, American Lawyer Litigation Daily, July 7, 2011
  • 2011 Recipient, Citation of Merit from the University of Missouri School of Law
  • 2011 Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America
  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2005 - Present
  • Appointed by the judges of the United States Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to serve as a member of the merit selection panel for the appointment of a United States Magistrate Judge, 2013
  • Citation of Merit, University of Missouri School of Law, 2011
  • Best Lawyers in St. Louis, St. Louis Magazine, 2005 - Present

Office location for Don M. Downing

701 Market Street
Suite 800
St. Louis, MO 63101

Phone: 314-897-2575


17 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2022

Top Lists

Top 50: St. Louis Super Lawyers: 2007, 2013 - 2014 Top 100: Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers: 2013

Articles about Don M. Downing by Super Lawyers

The Good Seed

Additional sources of information about Don M. Downing

Attorney resources for Don M. Downing

Page Generated: 0.129154920578 sec