Russell Makepeace

Shareholder in St. Louis, MO

Russell solves system-level and patient-specific problems involving clinical care, regulatory compliance and forensic psychiatry. He manages internal issues of risk and defends liability matters before State and Federal courts, governmental commissions, probate forums and the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. He joined the St. Louis office of Sandberg Phoenix in 2000, where he has served in numerous mentoring and leadership roles, including as the firm’s Marketing Partner during its period of greatest growth.

For the past fifteen years Russell has chaired the firm’s Hospital Defense Group, the largest of its kind in St. Louis. The group manages conflict at the intersection of tort law, medicine and governmental regulation such as HIPAA, HITECH, EMTALA, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, and the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). Members of this unique team defend the most complex, high-exposure disputes involving medical providers in the region.

In the courtroom, Russell serves as lead trial counsel for the largest medical providers in the St. Louis metropolitan area. He has defended litigation involving virtually every medical specialty, with particular focus on cases involving obstetrical emergencies and birth trauma. His clients include the BJC Health System and Tenet Healthcare Corporation.

Russell’s appellate experience includes work before Federal and State appellate courts in both Missouri and Illinois. He was the lead brief writer on behalf of all intervenors when Missouri’s concealed weapons law was challenged in the Missouri Supreme Court in 2004. Reported cases include:

  • Woodall v. Christian Hospital NE-NW, 473 S.W.3d 649 (Mo. App. E.D. 2015)
  • Bohac v. Walsh, 223 S.W.3d 858 (Mo. App. E.D. 2007)
  • Brooks v. State, 128 S.W.3d 844 (Mo. 2004)
  • Witters v. Hicks, 338 Ill. App. 3d 751, 790 N.E.2d 5 (Ill. App. 5 Dist. 2003)
  • Bella v. Turner, 30 S.W.3d 892 (Mo. App. S.D. 2000)


Medical Malpractice Defense


Hospitals Physicians & Allied Health Professionals