J.A. “Jay” Felton

Jay has served clients for more than 20 years, providing legal advice that is responsive, strategic and efficient. Jay brings his breadth of skills and experience to every client engagement. He focuses his practice on litigation, representing a number of Fortune 1000 and other fast growing companies in complex commercial, product liability and class action matters. He also has extensive experience in a wide variety of both internal and external investigations.

A company’s legal decisions are, first and foremost, business decisions. That’s why Jay works diligently to understand each client’s unique people, history, products, processes and markets, as well as the opportunities and threats. In some instances this means visiting clients on his own time, serving on internal client Six Sigma teams, or walking the manufacturing line (or field, or laboratory) to ensure he understands and represents each client in a way that is consistent with its business strategy and core values.

Jay delivers bottom-line value to his clients by using strategies customized to meet their needs. He regularly utilizes lean staffing on his matters, with a hand-picked team of associates, paralegals and, when necessary, partners with specialized knowledge to get the job done. He incorporates technology and knowledge-sharing to more effectively and efficiently represent his clients. Furthermore, Jay works with his clients to structure alternative fees arrangements.

Whether creating the opportunity for decisive, favorable dismissal of an opponent’s claims or facing a lengthy jury trial, Jay handles multimillion-dollar and “bet the company” matters for his clients, working with them to determine, pursue and achieve their goals.

Recent examples of Jay’s experience include:

  • Serving as national panel counsel for product liability and warranty matters for a $20 billion multinational manufacturer with matters across the United States involving investigations as well as commercial, product liability and class action litigation.
  • Representing a multinational manufacturer as national product liability counsel, coordinating defenses of three class action lawsuits and numerous product claims. 
  • Serving as national panel counsel for a multinational agribusiness, natural resource and manufacturing company for environmental and product liability litigation and incident investigations. 
  • Serving as national panel counsel for a multinational agribusiness company on product liability, tort and intellectual property litigation and related investigations.

Jay is also a fifth generation farmer and remains actively involved in his family’s row crop operation.

Court Memberships

  • Missouri
  • Texas
  • Kansas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Trial Bar)


  • 2018 Client Choice Award for Litigation in Missouri, Client Choice, 2018
  • Acritas Star Lawyer, 2016 - 2018
  • Selected as a “Recognized Practitioner” by Chambers USA, 2015 - 2017
  • Selected for Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers, 2008-2011, 2015-2017
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America® for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2017-2018
  • Selected for “Best of the Bar,” Kansas City Business Journal, 2014
  • Selected as “Business Litigator of the Year - Missouri,” Acquisition International, 2014
  • Missouri 100, University of Missouri, 2012-2017 
  • National Security Forum, U.S. Air Force Air War College, 2008
  • Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Security Strategy Exercise, 2009
  • Martindale-Hubbell® “AV Preeminent”Rating
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Hardy Cross Dillard Scholar (University of Virginia School of Law)

Professional Affiliations

  • Derrick Johnson’s Defend the Dream Foundation, Executive Board, 2016-2017
  • Kansas City Sports Commission, Board of Directors, 2008-present
  • Aphasia Hope Foundation, Board of Directors, 2003-present
  • Kansas City Area Development Council’s Life Sciences Advisory Council, Chair, 2014-2016
  • Kansas City Area Development Council, Board of Directors, 2013-2016, 2018-2020
  • Boy Scouts of America; Pony Express Council Advisory Board, 1996-2015
  • Missouri Biotechnology Association, Board of Directors, 2006-2012
  • University of Missouri, Jefferson Club, Executive Committee, 2004-2010
  • University of Missouri Honors College, Instructor, “Issues for the 21st Century”, 1997-2005
  • University of Missouri Alumni Association, Executive Board, 2001-2003



  • Table of Experts: Agribusiness, Kansas City Business Journal, Kansas City, April 2016
  • Impact of the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Indianapolis, March 2016
  • Trends in how to Best Utilize Outside Counsel, Wichita, September 2015
  • Successful Ways to Define Outside Counsel Work Projects, Inside Counsel SuperConference, Chicago, May 2014
  • Business Succession Planning, CBT, Maryville, April 2014
  • E-discovery Strategy & Tactics, Indianapolis, November 2013
  • Ag Industry Trends, Kansas City, September 2013
  • Establishing Value Criteria, Inside Counsel SuperConference, Chicago, April 2013
  • Attorney-Client Privilege and Attorney Work Product Issues and Recent Developments, Indianapolis, April 2012
  • Strategies for Effective Internal Investigations, Kansas City, September 2011
  • Assuring Satisfaction in Litigation, ACC, Boston, October 2009 
Photo of J.A. “Jay”  Felton
F: 816.292.2001


Donna Smidt



University of Virginia School of Law, J.D., 1989

University of Missouri-Columbia, B.A., magna cum laude, 1986


  • Law Clerk to the Honorable John R. Gibson, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from 1989-1990