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Mike Ponder

715 N. Clark
Cape Girardeau MO 63701

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Call : 1-877-337-6651

Leveling the playing field.

In business and in life, there are those who do not play fair. Usually, it is a big business or an insurance company. They use their size, power and money to get away with harming smaller businesses or to keep from paying a fair settlement to an injury victim. At CBPW, we have tried hundreds of cases. We use our years of trial experience to right these wrongs, to level the playing field and to hold these companies responsible for fair compensation. We have litigated cases from Kansas City to Cape Girardeau, from Phoenix to Philadelphia and from Miami to Minneapolis. We are at home in the Federal Courts, the Courts of Appeals and the State Court systems.

Taking on the tough cases.

Litigation can be complex and expensive. In complex cases, millions of documents are sometimes produced in discovery and many thousands of dollars must be spent on economic, medical and scientific experts. Our success has given CBPW the resources it needs to pursue these cases. Whether it is a case involving a defective product, a pharmaceutical error, or fraud and unfair competition in business, we have handled complex cases with outstanding results.

In fact, the highest compliment paid to CBPW is that we are often asked to partner with other firms to take the lead on these types of cases. We welcome these opportunities.

Maximizing results.

President Theodor Roosevelt said, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.” Many firms claim to try cases. In reality, only 2% of cases ever reach trial. At CBPW, we regularly go to trial and win. In fact, our lawyers have record setting verdicts in multimillion dollar cases to their credit. This means when we try to reach a settlement before trial, the other side listens to our demands.

Fighting the Paper War.

Before you can get to trial, you have to litigate. At CBPW, our partners have a wealth of experience in motion and appellate practice. Over the years, we have won thousands of motions requiring extensive briefing. These range from simple dismissal motions to complicated motions in class action cases. Once we have won, we are often called upon to ensure the win in the court of appeals. Our battles in the courts of appeals have resulted in several precedent setting decisions.

Using Honesty and Integrity.

It has been said that you should never do anything you would be ashamed to see published in the newspaper. Here, at CBWP we take this seriously. We recognize that a lawyer’s reputation for honesty and integrity is his most valuable asset. For this reason, we are very careful about the cases we take. We don’t sue people who don’t deserve it and we don’t file frivolous lawsuits. Judges know this about us, and lawyers defending the cases know it too. Our good reputation helps us more effectively represent our clients.

Serving the areas of Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston, Kennett, Farmington, and Carbondale Illinois


Call : 1-877-337-6651


John L. Cook

Born: September 18, 1950 in California, MO

Admitted to Missouri Bar: 1975

Education: University of Missouri

B.A. 1972, J.D. 1975

Member: The Missouri Bar; Cape Girardeau, and American Bar Associations; Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers; Association of Trial Lawyers of America

John graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law in 1975. The first year after law school he was the law clerk for Honorable Robert T. Donnelly on the Missouri Supreme Court. He moved to Cape Girardeau in 1976 and married Rebecca McDowell Cook, who later became Secretary of State of Missouri. John was a solo practitioner and an assistant prosecuting attorney through 1979.
John has been with the firm since 1980. For more than 30 years he has been engaged solely in trial practice representing people who have been injured and also defending people against whom claims have been brought. He is one of the few trial lawyers in Missouri who has broad experience in both plaintiffs practice and defense practice. This gives him a perspective which is useful in fairly evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of any kind of case.

John’s practice includes medical negligence cases, products liability cases, automobile accidents and other serious injury cases. He has some of the largest verdicts for plaintiffs in Southeast Missouri and St. Louis. However, his practice includes any matter that is tried in front of a jury. He has recently defended a case involving several hundred acres of land in Wayne County and has prosecuted a case for misappropriation of intellectual property. John is proud of the fact that he has tried more cases to conclusion in front of juries than almost any other lawyer currently practicing in Southeast Missouri.

John is an instrument rated private pilot.

Phillip J. Barkett, Jr.

Practice Areas: Personal Injury – Plaintiffs

Admitted: MO-1975, MA-1974, IN-1973

Law School: Harvard Law School (J.D. cum laude 1973)

College: University of Notre Dame (B.S. maxima cum laude 1970)

Member: The Cape Girardeau County Bar Association, The Missouri Bar, Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers

Born: Cairo, Illinois – November 1, 1949
Phil joined the firm in 2003. He is an experienced litigator who has practiced law in Southeast Missouri since 1975. Prior to joining us here in Cape Girardeau his practice was located primarily in Sikeston, Missouri. Phil has settled or tried to verdict five personal injury and wrongful death cases for $1 million or more with the latest occurring in late 2009. In 1998 Phil received a verdict of $1.4 million actual damages and $4 million punitive damages in a case venued in the City of St. Louis.

J. Michael Ponder

Admitted to Missouri Bar: 1990
Admitted to Illinois Bar: 1996

Central Methodist College, B.S. 1986
University of Missouri, J.D. 1990

Federal Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
8th Circuit Court of Appeals
Federal Court for the Western District of Arkansas
Mike joined the firm in 1996 and has been a partner since 1998. He has successfully litigated catastrophic injury cases involving pharmaceuticals, industrial furnaces, chemical exposures, tractor-trailer/automobile collisions and pharmacy prescriptions. Mike has also handled complex business class actions as lead or co-lead counsel in cases dealing with anti-trust, breach of contract, corporate fraud and securities. He has had four cases recognized by Missouri Lawyers’ Weekly as Top Ten Verdicts or Settlements. He is past co-chair of the Missouri Bar Committee on Torts and past assistant editor of the Missouri Bar’s Courts and CLE Bulletin. He has been a contributing editor and speaker since 2005 for the Missouri Bar’s Annual Update of the Law. In September of 2000, Mike’s courtroom skill was recognized with the Missouri Bar’s Lon O. Hocker Award for trial excellence and he has frequently been asked to teach trial practice methods and techniques to other lawyers at seminars and trial colleges. He has litigated cases in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Kathleen A. Wolz

Admitted to Missouri Bar: 1986
Admitted to Illinois Bar: 1985

Southeast Missouri State University, B.S. 1979
Southern Illinois University, J.D. 1985

Federal Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
8th Circuit Court of Appeals
US Federal Court of Claims

Kathy joined the firm in 1998 and has been a partner since 1999. She serves as our research and litigation support attorney. In that role she participates in all of our major trials and handles the majority of our motion practice, writ and appellate work. She has extensive experience in the Missouri Court of Appeals and in the United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. Kathy has been instrumental in protecting some of our largest verdicts against reversals by appellate courts and in obtaining relief for our clients when the law has been improperly applied at the trial court level.

Call : 1-877-337-6651

Cape Girardeau MO Personal Injury Lawyer

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