John defends companies against individual claims and putative class actions in state and federal courts throughout the country. He also provides clients with strategic advice on defending against international litigation, including coordinating the defense of cases pending in multiple jurisdictions. John has represented manufacturers of a broad range of products, including cigarettes, prescription pharmaceuticals, animal vaccines, specialty chemicals, industrial equipment, asbestos and sports equipment. 

John also regularly represents companies in complex commercial litigation. He has represented these clients in matters from breach of contract claims to alleged violations of state and federal consumer protection statutes. He represents clients in bankruptcy court and has significant experience responding to bankruptcy filings by other parties in product liability and commercial litigation.

John’s substantial experience in high-stakes product liability and commercial litigation includes being a member of over two dozen trial teams—many of which involved multi-week jury trials. He has served in many different roles in the litigation process, from developing and executing legal strategy, to handling virtually every aspect of pretrial discovery, to drafting interlocutory appeals during trial. John’s appellate work, including drafting and arguing post-trial motions and writing appellate briefs, has turned unfavorable rulings in lower courts into favorable outcomes. 

Because of his experience throughout all phases of litigation, John brings a comprehensive perspective to each case—he’s not just thinking about what discovery boxes need to be checked off after the answer is filed. He thinks about what evidence can be presented at trial, how the clients can best tell their stories in the courtroom, what legal arguments may result in cases being dismissed through dispositive motion practice, and how to preserve key issues for appeal in the event of adverse rulings.  

He also has substantial experience advising clients on regulatory issues, including developing warnings and instructions for novel products. His pragmatic advice is based on what he has seen at trial, and he helps clients minimize litigation risk while ensuring compliance in highly regulated industries. 

John maintains an active pro bono practice and is currently advising a local nonprofit on appealing real estate tax assessments for owners of manufactured and mobile homes. He is also supervising the firm’s review of cases for the Pennsylvania Innocence Project to determine whether the factual record supports a claim of actual innocence. Prior to joining Shook, John worked with New York City’s Legal Aid Society on class action litigation that resulted in increased rent subsidies for families with children on public assistance who were facing eviction.

John is a native Philadelphian who joined Shook after working for several years for another international law firm in its New York City, Jersey City and Miami offices.

Representative Matters

  • Developed legal strategy and drafted a Daubert motion that resulted in the exclusion of the plaintiff’s six general and specific causation experts on the issue of whether a wood preservative (chromated copper arsenate) causes pulmonary nodular lymphoid hyperplasia, which led to the court granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants on all claims relating to this condition. McCarty v. Arch Wood Protection, Inc., No. 11-109, 2016 WL 1306067 (E.D. Ky. 2016).

  • Drafted mistrial and post-trial motions resulting in the reversal of a jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff based on improper closing arguments by the plaintiff’s counsel. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Gafney, 188 So. 3d 53 (Fla. 4th DCA 2016).

  • Developed a legal argument and co-authored a post-trial motion resulting in an order granting a new trial based on errors in jury selection process, which was affirmed on appeal. Irimi v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 234 So. 3d 789 (Fla. 4th DCA 2018).

Publications

Joseph Blum, John Lyons & Sean Wajert, Corporations: Are You Voluntarily Consenting to General Jurisdiction in Pennsylvania?, Westlaw Journal: Corporate Officers & Directors Liability, July 10, 2017. 

Joseph Blum & John Lyons, Court Rejects 'Res Ipsa Loquitur Dressed Up as Expert Opinion,' The Legal Intelligencer, February 9, 2017.

Co-author of bi-annual updates to Product Liability by Theodore V.H. Mayer, Robb Patryk and John S. Allee, Law Journal Seminars-Press, 2011-2016.

Co-author, Second Circuit Affirms Decision Confirming $300-Million Arbitration Award That Was Annulled by a Mexican Court, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP International Arbitration Legal Bulletin, August 24, 2016. 

Co-author, Significant Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Will Protect Drafts of Expert Reports from Discovery, Current Developments in Federal Civil Practice 2011, Practising Law Institute, February 8, 2011. 

Co-author, District Court Dismisses Medicare's Suit Seeking Reimbursement from Defendants, Insurers and Attorneys, Law Journal Newsletters—Products Liability Law and Strategy, January 2011.

Co-author, Is `Private' Data on Social Networks Discoverable?, The National Law Journal, August 23, 2010.

Co-author, Medicare Secondary Payer Statute: New Reporting Requirements for Products Liability and Toxic Tort Clients, New Jersey Law Journal, December 2009.

Presentations

Personal Jurisdiction Post-Daimler: Recent Developments and Looking to the Future, Update of the Law CLE, Kansas City, Missouri, June 22, 2017 (with April Byrd, Erin Loucks and Chris McRae).