John defends companies against individual claims and putative class actions in state and federal courts throughout the country. He 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 represents financial institutions in commercial litigation, including in cases that implicate the Bank Secrecy Act and other federal banking regulations. He has defended financial institutions and other clients against alleged violations of state and federal consumer protection statutes.
Pretrial Discovery – John has deposed plaintiffs, experts and other significant fact witnesses, and has prepared company witnesses and experts for deposition. John also has drafted and responded to written discovery requests and litigated discovery disputes.
Expert Witness Development – John has identified and developed expert witnesses in a variety of areas, including medicine, toxicology, chemistry and workplace safety.
Trial – John handles complex issues and appellate preservation at the trial court level, and he has served on approximately 20 trial teams defending major consumer product manufacturers. He was the primary legal issues attorney at four trials where he was responsible for briefing and arguing Daubert, dispositive, trial procedure and in limine motions; identifying and arguing evidentiary and legal issues; all aspects of appellate issue preservation; arguing jury instruction and verdict form issues during charge conferences; and briefing and arguing directed verdict motions.
Post-trial and Appeal – John has drafted post-trial motions that have resulted in trial courts ordering new trials, and appellate courts reversing and remanding for new trials. He also has co-authored appellate briefs.
John maintains an active pro bono practice, including representing individuals appealing denial of asylum claims in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in cases in which the Department of Justice sought remand to the Board of Immigration Appeals. John participated in New York City’s Corporation Counsel’s Public Service Program, and served as counsel for the City of New York and several other defendants in a personal injury action, which was resolved on favorable terms the evening before jury selection. John also has reviewed cases for the Pennsylvania and Midwest Innocence Projects to determine whether the factual record supports claims of actual innocence.
New York’s Legal Aid Society recognized John for his pro bono work on behalf of individuals who challenged the adequacy of rent subsidies in New York City for families with children on public assistance who were facing eviction. The settlement of this case received coverage in The New York Times.
Before joining Shook, John was an associate in the New York office of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP. John is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Michigan Law School. During law school, John was a contributing editor to the Michigan Journal of International Law.
Dispositive and Daubert Motions
- 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 1303067 (E.D. Ky. 2016).
- Drafted a successful motion to dismiss a claim for a creditors’ bill asserted by a financial advisor. CIMA Capital Partners, LLC v. Febres-Cordero Ribadeneyra, No. 12-23902, 2012 WL 12865250 (S.D. Fla. 2012).
- Successfully argued for a directed verdict on a plaintiff’s loss of consortium claim based on Florida’s statute of limitations. Perrotto v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., No. 50 2007 CA 023841 (Fla. 15th Cir. Ct. 2014).
- Successfully argued in opposition to a motion filed by a personal injury plaintiff’s husband to assert a loss of consortium claim based on a same-sex marriage that post-dated the plaintiff’s alleged injuries, an issue of first impression in Florida. In re Engle Progeny Cases Tobacco Litig. (Caprio), No. 07-36719 (Fla. 17th Cir. Ct. 2015).
- Drafted a successful motion to dismiss failure-to-warn and negligent manufacturing claims asserted by a pro se plaintiff seeking $6 million in damages based on (i) the express preemption provisions of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act; (ii) conflict preemption; and (iii) Florida’s statute of limitations. Henry v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., No. 14-511, 2015 WL 5440614 (N.D. Fla. 2015).
- Developed legal strategy resulting in the dismissal of a product liability action based on the plaintiff’s failure to disclose expert witnesses on the issues of (i) whether the cigarettes he smoked were defectively designed; and (ii) medical causation. Bradley v. Lorillard Tobacco Co., No. 13-227, 2014 WL 5780428 (M.D. Fla. 2014), appeal dismissed for want of prosecution, No. 13-227 (11th Cir. 2015).
- Represented a foreign distributor of consumer products in a declaratory judgment action pending in the United States, including developing legal strategy for a motion to dismiss based on lack of diversity jurisdiction. Provided the client with strategic advice for litigating claims in multiple jurisdictions, the validity of service of process under international conventions and the limitations on personal jurisdiction in the United States.
Post-Trial Motions and Appellate Briefing
- 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., 4D15-759, 2017 WL 4535005 (Fla. 4th DCA 2017).
- Co-author of a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in a Frye challenge to the each-and-every-fiber opinion of a plaintiff’s expert in an asbestos case. Betz v. Pneumo Abex LLC, 44 A.3d 27 (Pa. 2012).
- Co-author of an amicus brief in a pharmaceutical product liability action. Sager v. F. Hoffmann-LaRoche, Ltd., Nos. L-197-05, L-196-05, and L-199-05 (N.S. Super. Ct. App. Div.)
- Co-author of an amicus brief urging the New Jersey Supreme Court to accept jurisdiction and to reverse the intermediate appellate court’s decision in an asbestos product liability action. Buttita v. AlliedSignal, Inc., 999 A.2d 462 (N.J. 2010).
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, Aug. 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 (Feb. 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 (Jan. 2011).
Co-author, Is `Private' Data on Social Networks Discoverable?, The National Law Journal (Aug. 23, 2010).
Co-author, Medicare Secondary Payer Statute: New Reporting Requirements for Products Liability and Toxic Tort Clients, New Jersey Law Journal (Dec. 2009).
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).