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Thomas Cartmell

Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP
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Thomas Cartmell
Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP
Kansas City,



Tom Cartmell is a founding partner of Wagstaff & Cartmell LLP. A trial lawyer first, Tom has been lead or co-lead counsel in a large number of federal and state court trials throughout the country on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants, including bellwether trials in large MDL product liability cases. He is a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers and in the International Society of Barristers.

Tom began his career at a large, defense firm before co-founding in 1997 the litigation boutique, Wagstaff & Cartmell, LLP, in Kansas City, Missouri. Now with 32 attorneys and more than 50 supporting employees, the firm handles complex litigation nationwide in the areas of product liability, consumer fraud, class actions, antitrust, corporate malfeasance, professional liability, and representation of public entities.

With his extensive experience in all aspects of complex litigation, Tom has been appointed co-lead counsel and/or co-lead trial counsel in large, successful MDLs, including: In Re: Ethicon, Inc., MDL No. 2327 and In Re: Avandia Marketing and Sales Practices and Products Liability Litig., MDL No. 1871. In the Pelvic Mesh Repair System Products Liability Litigation, he was lead or co-lead counsel in five bellwether trials in federal and state courts.

In addition, Tom has been appointed by Judges across the country to MDL executive committee or steering committee positions in more than 10 other MDLs, including, among others, serving as the Government Entity Liaison Counsel and lead trial counsel for the first, scheduled school district bellwether trial in the In Re: Juul Labs, Inc., Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2913, in the Northern District of California, and serving on the executive committee in In Re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No 2885, in the Northern District of Florida.

Tom has extensive experience representing government entities, and he understands the issues unique to those clients. He has represented states, counties, cities, school districts, and municipally-owned hospitals. For example, he has represented Buchanan County, Missouri, with one of the highest rates of opioid prescriptions in the country over the past five years, in the National Prescription Opiate Litigation, MDL No. 2804. Tom currently represents the Commonwealth of Kentucky in consumer protection litigation against Johnson & Johnson and Ethicon involving transvaginal mesh. He and his partners also represented the State of Kansas in a multi-year arbitration against the tobacco industry.

A past president of the Kansas City chapter of ABOTA, Tom has been honored as one of the Kansas City Business Journal’s “Best of the Bar” for many years, Super Lawyers edition for nine straight years, and has continuously been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 2007. Tom has an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell.

Tom received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas in 1990. He graduated from The University of Kansas School of Law in 1994. While in law school, he was an editor on the Kansas Law Review. He has served as an Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Kansas School of Law and is also a frequent speaker at seminars which focus on trial tactics and strategy.

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