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Leo Nelson, Counsel

Leo Nelson

Leo W. Nelsen, Counsel

Direct: 314.584.4699

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  • Missouri, 1980
  • Illinois, 1981
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Missouri
  • United States District Courts for the Central and Southern Districts of Illinois

Practice Areas

  • Aviation
  • Products Liability
  • Toxic Torts
  • Insurance Defense
  • Administrative Law Actions against Pilots, Aircraft Owners, and Mechanics

Leo W. (“Lee”) Nelsen for over the past 35 years has been involved in the defense of a wide variety of civil lawsuits in the state and federal courts of Missouri and Illinois and in particular the defense of aviation and products liability cases.

Lee represented American Airlines in the crash of American Connection Flight 5966 (Kirksville, Missouri, October 19, 2004) and represented Trans World Airlines in the runway incursion accident involving TWA Flight 427 (St. Louis, Missouri, November 22, 1994).

Lee was also involved in the defense of the pilot’s estate in the crash of N8354N (the October 16, 2000, crash that killed Missouri Governor Mel Carnahan), of ValuJet in the Flight 592 litigation (the May 11, 1996, crash in the Florida Everglades) and of one of the product manufacturers in the crash of United Flight 232 (Sioux City, Iowa, July 19, 1989).

Lee recently successfully represented an aircraft component manufacturer in litigation in Missouri stemming from the October 30, 2014, crash of a Beechcraft King Air aircraft into the Flight Safety facility at Wichita Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas, in which four people died and several others were injured.

Lee is a private pilot and aircraft owner. He frequently represents pilots and aircraft owners in civil litigation and in FAA enforcement actions. Lee is also on the panel of approved attorneys for the AOPA Legal Services Plan.


  • University of Nebraska at Omaha (B.A., 1970)
  • University of Minnesota (M.A., 1975)
  • Washington University (J.D., 1980)

Affiliations and Honors:

  • Missouri Bar Association
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Illinois State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers
  • Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association
  • AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell™
  • Selected to 2005, 2010-2018 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the area of Aviation & Aerospace