Portia Kayser Partner
Portia Kayser With over 13 years of litigation experience, and 18 years of business consulting experience, Portia’s practice focuses on litigation and appeals in the practice areas of Construction, Municipal Liability, Law Enforcement Defense, OSHA Compliance, and General Liability matters. She represents both small and large businesses, including architects, engineers, contractors, and owners in complex construction law cases, involving defense of claims of catastrophic personal injuries occurring at construction sites, construction defect claims on commercial and residential projects, mold infestation, EIFS failure, professional design liability and OSHA administrative matters. Portia also represents city and county governments, and other public entities in a wide range of legal matters, including law enforcement liability, civil rights, municipal liability, open records and meetings, and zoning and land use issues.
Portia earned her Juris Doctor and Certificate of International and Comparative Law, cum laude, from St. Louis University School of Law and has an MBA in International Management and Finance. She has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America© in the areas of municipal litigation, real estate and infrastructure by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as a Women’s Justice Award recipient. In addition to her practice, Ms. Kayser is an adjunct professor at St. Louis University School of Law. She is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from Construction Safety and Contracting to Appellate Advocacy. While in law school, she served as judicial intern to the Honorable Judge E. Richard Webber of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Portia is a certified mediator with a passion for helping parties find creative resolutions to their conflicts. She is a strong advocate of alternative dispute resolution and putting the power to resolve cases in the hands of the parties rather than having to accept a decision made by strangers in a court of law.
Prior to joining Harris Dowell Fisher & Young, Portia was the Managing Partner of Practus, LLP’s St. Louis, Missouri office. When she’s not working, Portia enjoys spending time with her 5 kids and 4 dogs. She also loves cooking, baking, and traveling.
St. Louis University School of Law, J.D., cum laude
Thunderbird, Garvin School of Global Management, M.I.M., magna cum laude. (MBA in International Management)
University of Wyoming, B.A. in International Studies, B.A. in Economics
- United States Supreme Court
- United States Court of Appeals for 8th Circuit
- Uniform Bar
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
- United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Council Member – Construction Law Council
- Former Chair – Construction Law Continuing Legal Education
- Former Chair – Construction Law School Outreach
- United States Bankruptcy Court Eastern District Local Rules Advisory Committee
- Bar Association of St. Clair County, Illinois
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
- Missouri Association of Defense Lawyers
- Women Lawyer’s Association
- American Bar Association
- Zang v. St. Charles (Mo. banc. 2023).
- Clark v. Clark, 926 F. 3d 972 (8th Cir. 2019) (Cert. denied).
- Mosley v. Fatoki, 762 F.Appx. 358 (2019 WL 1513518) (8th Cir. 2019).
- Kruse v. Budget Truck Rental; 2015 IL App (5th) 140179-U.
- Watson v. Clayco, Concrete Strategies, and John Liss, (Mo.App. W.D. 2015).
- Rapp v. Eagle Plumbing, Inc., 440 S.W.3d 519 (Mo.App. E.D. 2014).
- Brett Busse v. SCP Worldwide I, L.P. et al., 409 S.W.3d 428 (Mo. App. E. D. 2013).
- Hill v. Norton & Young, Inc., 305 S.W.3d 491 (Mo.App.E.D. 2010).
- Guccione v. Rays Tree Service, 302 S.W.3d 252 (Mo.App. E.D. 2010).
Areas of Expertise
- Best Lawyers in America© – 2022 Missouri Lawyer of the Year – Municipal Litigation
- Best Lawyers in America© – 2022 Lawyer of the Year – Real Estate and Infrastructure
- Best Lawyers in America© – Municipal Litigation
- Missouri Lawyers Weekly Women’s Justice Award: Leader of Tomorrow
- Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society
- Robert M. Lynch Award in Contracts
- David Grant Clinical Student of the Year
- St. Louis Top Lawyers
- Certified Mediator: Certification for Missouri and Illinois (Civil and Domestic Cases)
- Habitat for Humanity, Solano County – Member at Large
- Little Panthers Youth Sports Association – Past Vice President, Treasurer and Cheerleading Director
- Evolution Elite AAU Basketball Board – Not for Profit Organization offering kids the opportunity to play in high level college exposure AAU basketball.
- Active Participant in Various Charity Events supporting:
- Cancer Research
- Law Initiatives to provide representation to the indigent
- SPCA and Animal Adoption
- Girls on the Run