A trial attorney, John served as chair of Shook, Hardy & Bacon for 15 years. His careers as a litigator and chief executive give him unique insight into business challenges. He focuses on creative and practical solutions – alternative fees, litigation project management and more – to deliver budget predictability, efficiency and results. During his tenure as chair, Shook became the first and only law firm to win the Association of Corporate Counsel’s Value Champion award three times.

John has more than 35 years of experience in the courtroom. He has been involved in all facets of trial activity, including discovery, trial, appellate practice and mediation. He has served as national trial counsel in product liability litigation for Ford Motor Company, Weil-McLain, The Marley Company, ConocoPhillips, Evenflo Company, Inc. and Elf Atochem.

Highlights of John’s litigation experience include:

  • Representing one of the world’s leading healthcare information technology companies in a commercial litigation matter involving billing software.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict in a case involving a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The plaintiff, a quadriplegic, alleged the door latch of the F-150 was defectively designed.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict in a case involving a Ford F-150 pickup truck. The plaintiff alleged the roof of the truck was defective in both design and manufacture. The plaintiff was a minor who sustained a severe brain injury with more than $10 million in future economic damages.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict for Ford in a “lap belt” only case in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. The plaintiff was a minor who sustained a lumbar fracture and torn vena cava in the accident.
  • Defending Hallmark Cards Inc. in a right of publicity action brought by Paris Hilton.
  • Achieved a defense verdict in a roof-crush case in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The plaintiff was a restrained individual who sustained a C-7 fracture in a rollover of a Ford Taurus.
  • Obtaining summary judgment following a Daubert hearing, on the first day of trial, in a case involving a severely brain-injured young woman. The plaintiff claimed she was injured because the restraint system on her Ford Ranger unlatched during a rollover.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict for Ford in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death action. The plaintiffs claimed the door latch, restraint system and window glazing on an F-Series truck were defectively designed.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict for Conoco, Inc., in a multi-death action arising out of a propane explosion in rural Missouri.
  • Obtaining a defense verdict in favor of Colt’s Manufacturing LLC in a case involving allegations that a Colt single-action revolver was defective and unreasonably dangerous.
  • Involvement in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse litigation; trial counsel in the licensing actions against the structural engineers on that project.