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  • Bio
  • Credentials

Pat O'Brien


Attorney Pat O’Brien is a partner at SWMW Law. He joined the firm in 2024, focusing his practice on representing the rights of injured railroad workers, as well as representing those who have sustained catastrophic injuries.

Pat has earned the reputation of being one of the country’s premier Federal Employers’ Liability Act (FELA) attorneys with decades of experience fighting for the rights of those injured through their work with the railroad. His expertise within this niche practice area has established him as a formidable and tenacious advocate for his clients, resulting in significant verdicts and settlements over his 40-year career.

Before joining the firm, Pat started his career as an insurance defense attorney. After moving to the plaintiffs’ side of litigation, he worked for two different FELA firms from 1983-2004. He then joined forces with another attorney to litigate FELA cases in 2004. In 2009, he opened his own national law firm. Throughout his career, he has tried 75 cases to verdict in 16 states, including 12 verdicts in excess of $1 million. He’s been recognized by Best Lawyers as a Best Personal Injury Attorney from 2020-present and as a Best Lawyer for Railroad Law from 2013-present.

Pat’s impressive track record and history of success is rooted in his desire to make a difference in the lives of his clients, a dream he’s had since he was 10-years-old.

“My clients are often facing catastrophic injuries that severely impact their ability to live and enjoy their lives,” he said. “I know that I can’t give them back their health, but I can help to right the wrongs that have been done to them and hold accountable those who are responsible – and that’s an honor I don’t take lightly. It’s a dream I’ve held since I was a young child, and I feel very fortunate to stand beside my clients in some of their darkest days to reach a conclusion that will help restore their dignity and give them peace of mind.”

Pat thrives in the fast-paced word of litigation and realizes the importance of tailoring his approach to a case based on each client’s unique situation.

“I’m inherently drawn to the challenge of putting together each client’s unique case,” he said. “I’m critically minded, strategic, and naturally drawn to this kind of work. It makes me a great fit for this type of litigation.”

Leveraging his years of experience and deep desire to help others, Pat is a trusted advocate for those he represents. And while he’s proud of the results he’s secured for his clients in the courtroom, what Pat treasures the most is the gratitude and appreciation he receives from every client he represents, that they consider him to be more of a family member than their attorney by the end of their journey together.

“I strive to make clients feel heard and comforted because I genuinely care about them,” he said. “The legal process can be a daunting road to traverse, and it’s my goal to demystify that process and make it as easy to navigate as possible. It’s important my clients feel confident in our strategy and in my ability to secure them the justice they deserve. I often form very close relationships with my clients that last far beyond the conclusion of their case, and for me, that’s the greatest honor of all.”

Outside of his legal work, Pat served on the Town & Country Board of Adjustment from 1991-1994. He currently serves on the Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys Board of Governors, a position he’s held since 2021. He also volunteers his time as coach for youth sports and is a proud husband, father, and grandfather.

  • Missouri
  • Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Illinois
  • Supreme Court of Missouri
  • Supreme Court of Minnesota
  • Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit
  • Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit
  • Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Nebraska
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Oklahoma
  • Minnesota

  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis
  • Missouri Association of Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates – Former President, Eastern Missouri
  • Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys – Board Member

  • B.A. University of Missouri, Economics, Solon Summerfield Scholarship - Undergraduate School
  • J.D. Saint Louis University School of Law - Graduate School
  • American Association for Justice
  • MATA
  • The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis