As chair of the firm, John has led Shook's evolution in its quest to be "the best in the world at providing clients creative and practical solutions at unsurpassed value." Shook has honed its ability to deliver the promise of its vision statement by focusing on such areas as science and technology, knowledge management, litigation support, operational efficiency and a culture that causes diversity to thrive. The success of these efforts culminated in the selection of Shook, Hardy & Bacon as the inaugural Global Products Liability Law Firm of the Year by the International Who's Who of Business Lawyers.
Prior to his appointment as chair, John was actively involved in the management and trial of significant lawsuits for a number of corporate clients. His 25 plus years of experience involves many facets of trial activity, including discovery, trial, appellate practice and mediation.
John worked as national trial counsel in products liability litigation for Ford Motor Company, Weil-McLain, The Marley Company, ConocoPhillips, Evenflo Company, Inc. and Elf Atochem.
Highlights – National Products Liability Litigation
John's achievements as a trial attorney include:
Obtained a defense verdict in January 2001 in a case involving a 1996 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The plaintiff, a quadriplegic, alleged the door latch of the F-150 was defectively designed.
Obtained a defense verdict in March 2000 in a case involving a 1991 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The plaintiff alleged the roof of the F-150 was defective in both design and manufacture. The plaintiff was a 9-year-old who sustained a severe brain injury with over $10 million in future economic damages.
Obtained a defense verdict for Ford in a "lap-belt" only case in May 1999 in the United States District Court, District of South Carolina. The plaintiff was a 5-year-old girl who sustained a lumbar fracture and torn vena cava in the accident.
A defense verdict in March 1998 in a roof-crush case tried in the United States District Court, Western District of Oklahoma. The plaintiff was a restrained individual who sustained a C-7 fracture in a rollover of a Ford Taurus.
In October 1996, obtained 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 allegedly inertially unlatched during a rollover.
Obtained a defense verdict for Ford Motor Company in July 1996 in a multimillion-dollar wrongful death action. The plaintiffs claimed that the door latch, restraint system, and window glazing on an F-Series truck were defectively designed.
In 1995, successfully obtained a defense verdict in his representation of Conoco, Inc., in a multi-death action arising out of a propane explosion in rural Missouri.
In 1991, obtained a defense verdict in favor of Colt's Manufacturing Company, Inc., in a case involving allegations that a Colt single-action revolver was defective and unreasonably dangerous.
In 1984, was actively involved in the Kansas City Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse litigation and was trial counsel in the licensing actions against the structural engineers on that project.