Ruth Anne French-Hodson


Ruth Anne French-Hodson is a partner at Sharp Law focusing on the firm’s complex consumer class actions and appeals. She has served in leadership roles in numerous class actions and has experience in all aspects of case development from investigation and filing to discovery disputes to dispositive motions to bench and jury trials to post-trial motions and appeals. And she has seen all of these phases play out from the perspective of the federal judges she clerked for, the defense side as an associate at a large international defense firm, and now on the plaintiffs’ side.

Ruth Anne brings an analytical and scholarly rigor to the legal issues faced by her clients. Her doctorate in American political and legal development—especially outside the urban cores—provides important and unique perspectives on many legal disputes. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, she is pragmatic and practical. Growing up on a farm, problems were not esoteric but required prompt and practical thinking. She has brought this practicality to the law, and it has been strengthened by her experience seeing the tough decisions federal district court judges must make daily as well as understanding the perspectives of both her large corporate clients and individual consumers, farmers, and landowners.

Ruth Anne has brought this leadership and practicality to serve her clients in her cases at Sharp Law including:

  • In re SoClean, Inc. Marketing, Sales Practices, & Product Liability Litigation (W.D. Pa.): Ruth Anne serves as co-lead counsel in this multidistrict litigation related to alleged false marketing of ozone cleaners for CPAP breathing machines;
  • In re Crop Inputs Antitrust Litigation (E.D. Mo.): Ruth Anne serves on the Executive Committee in this multidistrict litigation related to overpricing in the crop inputs market due to coordinated, anticompetitive market activity;
  • In re Philips Recalled CPAP, Bi-Level PAP, & Mechanical Ventilator Products Liability Litigation (W.D. Pa.): Ruth Anne was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in this multidistrict litigation involving personal injury and economic loss actions related to the June 2021 recall of certain CPAP, BiPAP, and ventilator devices manufactured by Philips which contain sound abatement foam that may degrade or off-gas under certain circumstances.
  • In re EpiPen (Epinephrine Injection, USP) Marketing, Sales Practices, and Antitrust Litigation (D. Kan.): As part of the co-lead team in re EpiPen, Ms. French-Hodson assisted in major briefing including summary judgment, the pretrial order, and in limine motions as well as all aspects of trial preparation.
  • Appellate experience: Ruth Anne has led briefing and argued before the Tenth Circuit, Kansas Court of Appeals, and Missouri Court of Appeals.
  • Ruth Anne also currently leads wrongful death and personal injury cases related to medical devices and consumer products in federal courts across the country.

Ruth Anne is also firmly committed to providing pro bono services in a wide range of areas including voting rights, civil rights cases under Section 1983 , and assisting parents facing abuse and neglect allegations. Notably, she led an appellate team that secured a significant Missouri state appellate court victory ensuring that custodians of children who are entitled to counsel can access that help and that hearings in family court are full and fair for all participants.

Ruth Anne is also active in the broader legal and civic communities. Ruth Anne teaches a course on civil RICO with Ryan Hudson at the UMKC Law School. She also is a member of the Kansas Women Attorneys Association, Kansas Trial Lawyers Association, American Association for Justice, and the American Bar Association. She serves on the Amicus Committee of the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association and the Lindsborg Conference Programming Committee for the Kansas Women Attorneys Association.

And while she may live in the city, Ruth Anne is actively involved in thinking about the future of agriculture and sustainability. She is Vice-Chair of the board of The Land Institute, an international nonprofit in Salina, Kansas, committed to researching and developing food production methods and perennial grain crops that sustain the land and soil. She also regularly volunteers with BikeWalkKC, the American Association of Rhodes Scholars, and the Rhodes Trust.

Before joining Sharp Law, Ms. French-Hodson worked at a national defense firm representing major consumer and pharmaceutical companies in both mass and class actions at all stages including experience as trial and appellate counsel. Ms. French-Hodson also clerked for the Honorable Jon O. Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Michael A. Ponsor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. 

Ms. French-Hodson is a graduate of Yale Law School, the University of Oxford, and the University of Kansas. At Yale Law School, Ruth Anne was active in Yale Law Women, serving on the board as Community & Outreach chair and co-chairing a nationally publicized report on gender and legal education, Yale Law School Students and Faculty Speak Up about Gender: Ten Years Later. Through her clinic, she spent two years assisting the New Haven Corporation Counsel with affirmative projects related to housing conditions, accessible taxis, and immigration detainers. Before attending law school, Ruth Anne was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which supported her graduate education in political science at the University of Oxford.

She lives in Kansas City, Kansas, with her son and two rescue coonhounds.

Bar Admissions
  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Districts of Kansas, Colorado, Western District of Missouri, and Eastern District of Missouri
Publications and Speaking Engagements
  • Lecturer, Dole Institute of Politics, The Future of Big Tech (with Ed Duckers, Pedro Irigonegaray, Dr. Tarun Sabarwal, William “Tripp” Monts III, Jeff Cross), moderated debate on whether antitrust laws should be expanded to regulate anticompetitive practices by big tech corporations, April 26, 2022
  • Moderator, Kansas Women Attorneys Association Lindsborg Conference, A Conversation with Judge Deanell Reece Tacha, July 2022
  • Lecturer, University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School, Class Actions and MDLs; March 2023
  • Lecturer, University of Kansas Law School, Civil RICO and Consumer Protection; April 20, 2021, Nov. 29, 2022
  • Moderator, Kansas Book Festival, A Kansas Farm Boy’s Take on a Sustainable Society (moderator of conversation with Wes Jackson, co-founder of The Land Institute), September 2021 
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon Client Update, Review of Notable Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, 2018-2019, and Preview of Upcoming Term (with John Barkett and Bill Martucci), September 2019
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon Update of the Law CLE, Class Action Law – Update (with Andrew Trask and Tom Sullivan), June 2019
  • Lecturer, University of Kansas Law School, Expert Skills Workshop, Lawrence, KS (2019)
  • Global Overview and U.S. chapters (with Simon Castley and Greg Fowler), Getting the Deal Through: Product Liability (annual editions, 2016-2019)
  • Shook, Hardy & Bacon Client Update, Review of Notable Decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, 2017-2018, and Preview of Upcoming Term (with John Barkett and Bill Martucci), September 2018
  • University of Kansas, Political Science Dept., Departmental graduation commencement speaker, May 2018
  • Lecturer, Expert Skills Workshop, University of Kansas Law School, Lawrence, KS (2018).
  • When Aerospatiale Meets the GDPR: Can U.S. Litigants Expect Limits on Discovery of EU Personal Data?, SHB Data and Discovery Strategies Client Alert (January 2018) (with Jesse Weisshaar)
  • EU Data Protection Reforms on the Horizon – Impact on U.S. Discovery Obligations, SHB Data and Discovery Strategies Client Alert (May 2016) (with Jesse Weisshaar)
  • University of Kansas, Honors Program, Keynote speaker for University Scholars induction, 2014 and 2016
  • The Continuing Gender Gap in Legal Education, The Federal Lawyer, (July 2014)
  • Best Lawyers in America® – Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions – Plaintiffs (2024)
  • National Trial Lawyer – Civil Plaintiff – Top 100 Trial Lawyer in the state of Kansas
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, Missouri & Kansas, 2022, 2023
  • Team member for the AAI Antitrust Enforcement Awards 2022. Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement in Private Law Practice for work In re EpiPen Marketing, Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation.
Community Involvement
  • The Land Institute, Vice-Chair (2021-present), Board of Directors (2019-present)
  • BikeWalkKC, Board of Directors (2016-2022)
  • Rhodes Trust, Class Leader (2013-Present)
  • American Association of Rhodes Scholars
  • Yale Law Women Advisory Board (2013-2014)
Clerkship Experience
  • The Hon. Jon O. Newman, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • The Hon. Michael A. Ponsor, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts