Mr. O’Dear is a trial lawyer who represents clients in high-stakes business and class action litigation in courts throughout the United States and internationally. He has prosecuted and defended cases involving a wide range of claims, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, antitrust law violations, negligence, federal and state wage and hour law violations, and alleged violations of consumer protection and other state and federal statutes. He is one of the few trial lawyers who has actually tried a class action case to verdict before a jury.
Mr. O’Dear has extensive experience in intellectual property litigation in the areas of restrictive covenants and misappropriation of trade secrets in many jurisdictions across the country. His experience in this area includes a restrictive covenant enforcement program for a national propane retailer, extensive experience in the insurance industry, and a number of cases involving accelerated litigation and injunctive relief.
He has substantial experience in product liability litigation as well, having handled lawsuits involving a variety of products, including airplanes, helicopters, turbine and piston aircraft engines, grade-crossing warning systems, racquetball safety eyewear, farm equipment, multipiece truck wheels, automobile tires, chainsaws, playground equipment, and rigging equipment for stunt and sailing applications.
Mr. O’Dear received his Bachelor of Science, cum laude, in Engineering Management, with a Chemical Engineering concentration, from the University of Missouri-Rolla (now the Missouri University of Science and Technology). He received his law degree from Vanderbilt University School of Law on a Patrick Wilson Scholarship, which at the time was one of the two largest law school scholarships in the nation.
Mr. O’Dear is consistently recognized by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, and The Kansas City Business Journal as “Best of the Bar” in business and product liability litigation. He was also named one of the “Top 500 Leading Litigators in America” by Lawdragon magazine and a Missouri Litigation Star by Benchmark Litigation.
Mr. O’Dear is a member of the firm’s Strategic Growth Team, which is charged with the task of attracting outstanding people and firms to become part of Bryan Cave. He has served two three-year terms on the firm’s Executive Committee as well as serving as the leader of the firm’s Commercial Plaintiff’s Litigation Group and the firm’s Product Liability Client Service Group. He became Partner in 1990, after being hired as one of three Kansas City lawyers hired by Bryan Cave in October 1988 to establish the Kansas City office.