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A former General Attorney at Union Pacific Railroad Company for nearly 12 years, John Lord has successfully litigated personal injury, fatality and property damage cases filed against numerous railroads in state and federal courts.  John has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Saint Louis University, teaching Trial Advocacy to third-year law students.

Prior to joining Union Pacific, John served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in St. Louis County for 14 years. He prosecuted high-profile criminal cases including homicides, narcotics cases, white-collar crime and political corruption cases. During that time, John was appointed to serve as a Special Assistant Attorney General and he taught at the Trial Advocacy School for Prosecuting Attorneys at the University of Missouri School of Law. He began his career as a Law Clerk for all of the Circuit Judges in St. Louis County, and has tried over 75 jury trials and hundreds of bench trials to completion.


  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
  • USDC, Eastern District of Missouri
  • USDC, Eastern District of Arkansas
  • USDC, Western District of Arkansas
  • USDC, Eastern District of Oklahoma


  • University of Colorado School of Law, J.D.
  • Denison University
  • University of Missouri, B.J.
    • University Scholar
    • Journalism Honor Society

Memberships & Activities

  • American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
    • Chair of the General Counsel Committee
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • Missouri Bar
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel


  • Contributing Editor, Railroad Litigator’s Notebook, Fourth Edition National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel
  • Defense of Railroad Grade Crossing Cases, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association’s Legal Tracks (2007)
  • Federal Railroad Preemption: Past, Present and Future., American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association’s Legal Tracks (with John F. Mahan, Jr.) (October 2008)


  • John is a frequent presenter on a wide variety of topics at national and international transportation conferences.

Awards & Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers® in America, St. Louis Metropolitan Area
    •  Railroad Law (2016-present)
  • Selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers®, 2019-present

Community Involvement

  • Municipal Judge, City of Warson Woods, MO
  • Alumni Association of John Burroughs School (Former President)
  • Villa Duchesne – Oak Hill School Board of Trustees (Former Member)

News & Events

Twenty Baker Sterchi Lawyers Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America 2021

08.20.20 | Twenty Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice lawyers are recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2021 across numerous practice areas.

Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers Recognizes Nineteen Baker Sterchi Attorneys

11.15.19 | Nineteen Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice attorneys have been named to the 2019 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. The named attorneys include...

Baker Sterchi Recognized in 2020 U.S. News Best Law Firms

11.01.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice has been recognized with national and metropolitan rankings in U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firms 2020. Rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, and peer review from leading attorneys in their field. Receiving a tier designation reflects the high level of respect a firm has earned among other leading lawyers and clients in the same communities and the same practice areas for their abilities, professionalism and integrity.

The Best Lawyers in America (2020 Edition) Recognizes Fourteen Baker Sterchi Lawyers

08.20.19 | Fourteen Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice lawyers have been recognized in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© across numerous practice areas.

John Lord Appointed ASLRRA General Counsel Committee Chair

05.15.19 | Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Member John Lord has been appointed as the 2019-2020 General Counsel Committee Chair by the Board of Directors of the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA).

Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice Lawyers Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

08.15.18 | Fourteen Baker Sterchi Cowden & Rice lawyers have been recognized in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® across numerous practice areas.


BSCR Helps Auto Finance Company Client Avoid Class Action Lawsuit

BSCR secured a dismissal in St. Louis County Circuit Court for an Arkansas auto finance company client facing a potential class action lawsuit comprised of a nationwide class of people who purchased automobiles financed by the company.

Blog Posts

An Approved Jury Instruction Isn't Always the Best Choice

12.11.19 | The Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District) recently reversed a defense verdict because the trial court's verdict directing instruction, taken from the Missouri Approved Instructions, didn't accurately state the law applicable to Plaintiff's claim.

Jury Instructions in Railroad Employment Case Rejected Again by 8th Circuit

10.14.19 | The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has, for the second time, reversed and remanded a railroad employment case. Both reversals were based on jury instructions the Court deemed erroneous.

Taxation of Lost Wages Awards Under the FELA: the Illinois Appellate Court Applies Loos v. BNSF

08.21.19 | The U.S. Supreme Court recently resolved a split among state and federal courts on the issue of whether lost wages under the Federal Employers' Liability Act (FELA) are taxable under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA). The Illinois Appellate Court was one of the first in the nation to apply the Supreme Court's holding that awards of lost wages in FELA cases are taxable.

Federal Preemption Doesn't Bar Railroad's Suit Against Locomotive Seat Manufacturer

08.24.18 | The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a railroad's products liability and breach of contract claims that were based on federally-imposed standards of care are not preempted. BNSF Railway Co. v. Seats, Inc., (No. 17-1399, 8th Cir. 2018).

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