Jerina D. Phillips maintains a wide-ranging litigation practice representing individuals, companies, and municipalities in a variety of disputes, including complex commercial litigation, employment litigation, media and communications law, and consumer litigation. Jerina has successfully represented clients throughout the United States and across nearly every industry. Prior to joining Lewis Rice, Jerina clerked for judges at every level of the Missouri state court system, including an internship with the Missouri Supreme Court and a one-year clerkship with the Missouri Court of Appeals after her law school graduation. Jerina also completed a federal clerkship in the Southern District of Illinois.
Jerina is a member of the Firm's Recruiting Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Committee. In 2018, she received a Women’s Justice Award in the Litigation Practitioner category and was selected for inclusion in Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars® for 2018-2020 and in The Best Lawyers in America® Ones to Watch for 2022. In 2020 Jerina was selected to join The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, an organization dedicated to recognizing and promoting African American legal excellence. Jerina regularly volunteers with local non-profit organizations and serves on a number of local boards.
Representing clients in virtually every type of business-related dispute, Jerina understands the significant impact litigation can have on a company’s ability to achieve its business objectives. To this end, Jerina works closely with clients to obtain a comprehensive understanding of their objectives for each matter and develop a successful strategy, which could include negotiating an early settlement or conducting extensive discovery and proceeding to trial.
Jerina has successfully represented companies, including financial institutions, in defending against a wide variety of claims, including breach of contract claims, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and claims brought under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act by individuals and as class actions. Jerina was a member of a defense team engaged to defend a company in what might be one of the largest class action lawsuits ever filed in Missouri.
Jerina has significant experience in defending employers in all types of employment matters. From handling matters at the administrative phase to presenting evidence at trial, Jerina has successfully represented national retailers, public and private universities, and small, family-owned businesses in all of their employment litigation needs. Jerina also counsels employers on matters relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.
First Amendment Litigation
Jerina has experience representing clients in a wide variety of First Amendment issues, including defending against claims of defamation brought by business competitors.
- Saint Louis University School of Law (J.D., 2012)
- Faculty Fellow to Professor Aaron Taylor, 2011-2012
- Civil Litigation Clinic, appellate group member, 2012
- Frederick Douglass Moot Court Competition Regional Champion, 2011-2012
- ABA National Moot Court Competition, SLU Law representative
- Loyola University New Orleans (B.A., 2009)
- Dean’s List; National Dean’s List
- Social Justice Scholarship Award
- Outstanding Community Service Award
- Judicial law clerk to Judge Donald Wilkerson, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois (2013-2014)
- Judicial law clerk to Judge Angela Turner Quigless, Missouri Court of Appeals, Eastern District (2012-2013)
- Judicial intern to Judge Lisa Van Amburg, 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of Missouri (2011)
- Judicial intern to Judge Michael A. Wolff, Missouri Supreme Court (2011)
- Legal intern, trial division, Missouri Public Defender System (2010)
- The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 (2020)
- Board member, Southern Illinois Regional Wellness Center
- Board member, Greater East St. Louis Community Fund
- Board member, Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation
- Mound City Bar Association (former Member-at-Large, 2013-2014)
- American Bar Association
- Women Lawyers' Association of St. Louis (former Member-at-Large, 2016-2018)
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Theodore McMillian American Inn of Court (2011-2012)
- Missouri Bar
- United States District Court
- Eastern District of Missouri
- Central District of Illinois
- Southern District of Illinois
- Western District of Missouri
- District of Kansas
Charitable & Civic Activities
- Mentor, Big Brothers Big Sisters
- Volunteer, Join Hands ESL
- Volunteer, Southern Illinois Regional Wellness Center
Honors & Awards
Women’s Justice Award, Litigation Practitioner Award (2018)
Missouri & Kansas Rising Star Award (2018-2020)
Regional Business Counsel, Leadership 100 (2020-2021 Cohort)
National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 (2020)
American Bar Foundation, The Fellows of the American Bar Foundation (2018 to present)
- Recruiting Committee
- Diversity & Inclusion Committee