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Attorney General's News Release

January 22, 2009

Attorney General Koster names veteran litigators to key administration posts

Jefferson City, Mo. - Attorney General Chris Koster has made appointments to lead two divisions in his office:

  • St. Louis attorney Joel Poole will serve as Chief Counsel of the Litigation Division. Poole has been with the firm of Holloran White & Schwartz LLP since 1999, practicing in products liability and commercial law. Before that, he spent 14 years with both the Kansas City and St. Louis offices of Polsinelli White Vardeman & Shalton. In all, Poole brings to the Attorney General's Office more than 20 years of civil and complex litigation experience.

"Attorney General Koster is dedicated to fighting for Missouri, its citizens and its state agencies in all levels of federal and state court, handling some of the most complex cases imaginable," Poole said. "I'm honored to step in and lead that effort on his behalf," Poole said.

The Litigation Division defends the state, its agencies and its employees against thousands of lawsuits each year and handles some of the most complicated legal questions facing Missouri. These cases can involve any agency of state government and may include damage claims, construction and contract cases, class-action lawsuits, personnel issues, constitutional challenges or other types of civil litigation.

"Joel's extensive experience in the courtroom as well as interviewing witnesses, handling negotiations and counseling clients makes him a perfect fit for this job and an ideal leader for both the veteran and young attorneys in the Litigation Division," Koster said.

Poole majored in political science and criminal justice at Central Missouri State University, now the University of Central Missouri. He received his law degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

  • Assistant Attorney General Jack McManus will serve as Chief Counsel of the Agriculture and Environment Division. McManus has worked in the Attorney General's Special Litigation Unit since 2007, where he handled complex election cases and constitutional challenges. Prior to that, he spent 19 years in the Ohio Attorney General's Office handling environmental cases and representing the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Natural Resources.

"Protecting Missouri's environment has long been a priority for Attorney General Koster, and I'm honored and excited to bring my expertise in this area to help achieve that goal," McManus said.

The Agriculture and Environment Division protects Missouri's natural resources through legal action to stop pollution of the state's air, water and soil. The division has the authority to pursue injunctions, fines, penalties and, in the most serious cases, incarceration. The division also works to protect and enhance agriculture and the quality of life for rural Missourians by enforcing the law and advocating responsible public policy.

"This division of my office has benefitted from outstanding leadership under its former chief counsel and Attorney General Jay Nixon, and I couldn't ask for a better lawyer and leader than Jack to step in and continue that proud tradition," Koster said.

McManus received a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Oh., and his law degree from Cleveland State University School of Law.

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