John is a founder of SouthBank Legal and his practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and serving as a mediator to help litigants resolve commercial disputes without incurring the time, expense, and uncertainty of modern litigation. He is a key member of the firm’s commercial litigation team ranked in Chambers in 2023. In more than 30 years of practice, John has represented individuals and companies in state and federal courts around the country and tried more than 40 cases to jury verdict. John’s litigation experience has involved a wide variety of substantive issues, including contract disputes, trade secret and non-compete claims, product liability and warranty cases, employment discrimination and retaliation, claims under the Fair Labor Standards Act, trademark and copyright infringement, conducting internal investigations for companies and universities, and representing individuals and businesses under investigation for alleged criminal conduct.
John began his legal practice as a Judge Advocate in the United States Marine Corps. John served primarily as “trial counsel,” prosecuting more than 300 criminal cases under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including seven murder cases, two of which resulted in the death sentence. After John was honorably discharged, holding the rank of Major, he began his litigation practice with an Am Law 100 firm. John was one of the founders of SouthBank Legal in 2008.
In addition to his law practice, since 2004, John has served as an adjunct professor at the Notre Dame Law School. John has taught trial advocacy, deposition skills, and military law, and also serves on the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.
In previous cases, John has:
- Represented a military vehicle manufacturer in contract disputes with an international government contractor resulting in trial verdicts for John’s client collectively exceeding $300 million.
- Served as national counsel and defense liaison counsel representing a Fortune 500 medical device manufacturer in multidistrict litigation involving more than 2,400 product liability cases.
- Defended a commercial vehicle manufacturer in a “bet the company” trademark infringement case filed by a major international automobile manufacturer, which resulted in a judgment for John’s client.
- Defended the former president of a publicly-traded company in a multimillion-dollar dispute with his former employer.
- Represented a nationally recognized artist and a home designer in multiple copyright infringement lawsuits.
- Represented automobile, commercial truck, and RV manufacturers in multiple product liability and warranty cases.
- Represented a major university in employment discrimination cases, including an age discrimination case involving the university’s head football coach.
- Represented multiple companies and individuals in trade secret and non-compete disputes.
- Conducted multiple internal investigations for universities and companies concerned about potential criminal conduct, employment discrimination, and Fair Labor Standards Act violations.
- Defended a corporate executive under federal investigation for potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
- Notre Dame Law School, J.D., magna cum laude
- Editor in Chief, Notre Dame Law Review
- Michigan State University, B.A.
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit