Overview

John, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office, is a member of the litigation group and co-chair of the firm's appellate practice subgroup.  He has argued cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, the Supreme Court of Ohio and federal and state courts of appeals.  His practice focuses on civil litigation and appeals.  His experience includes a wide range of appeals involving constitutional, statutory, regulatory and common law issues; the trial of numerous cases; and leadership of the pretrial discovery and motions efforts in civil actions.  In addition, he has served at the request of federal and state courts as pro bono counsel for indigent clients in several actions presenting significant questions of law.

Career highlights include:

Securities Class Actions and Shareholder Derivative Litigation

  • Representing major corporations, directors, officers and auditors in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • Representing parties to large-scale commercial contracts in complex federal and state court litigation

Financial Services Litigation

  • Representing national and state banks and associations in lending-related litigation

Small Business and Family Trust Disputes

  • Representing closely-held corporation owners, business partners, trustees, beneficiaries and others in federal and state court business litigation, arbitration and mediation

News Media Defense

  • Representing nationally-prominent journalists and publishers in obtaining dismissal of federal court defamation actions
  • Representing journalism and broadcast associations in Supreme Court of Ohio proceedings over Ohio standard of liability for defamation

Health Insurance 

  • Representing third-party administrator in tandem with group health plan and administrator in federal court litigation involving the Medicare Secondary Payer Act

Higher Education  

  • Representing leading national university in federal and state court cases involving charitable gifts and student organization exercise of First Amendment rights
  • Representing leading national university in executive employment negotiations
  • Representing national higher education associations in litigation concerning student privacy rights

Oil, Gas and Coal Litigation

  • Representing mineral rights owners, producers and associations in federal and state court litigation

Procurement Litigation

  • Representing bidders in challenges to state and local contract awards
  • Representing government contractors in contract disputes
  • Representing national insurance broker in enforcement of state statute
  • Representing minority-owned business and its principals in certification and debarment proceedings

Elections Law

  • Representing officeholders and candidates in election law disputes and compliance proceedings
  • Representing municipal corporation in defense of challenge to election procedures

Ethics Law Compliance

  • Representing public officials, registered agents and others in ethics law advice and counseling

Guardianship

  • Representing adult and minor family members in guardianship actions

John is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association.

John clerked for the Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

John received his J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.  He received his B.A. from The Ohio State University.

Honors & Recognitions

Columbus CEO, Best Lawyers, Appellate, 2022

The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate "Lawyer of the Year", 2017; Civil Rights Law "Lawyer of the Year", 2023

The Best Lawyers in America, Appellate Practice, 2011-2023; Civil Rights Law, 2013-2023

Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2010-2021

Ohio Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2006-2007

Fellow of the Columbus Bar Foundation since 1994

Certificat pratique de français commercial et economique, Paris Chamber of Commerce, 1992

Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated

Professional & Community Activities

Upper Arlington City Council, 2020-2024

Columbus Zoological Park Association, Chairman of the Board, 1999-2000; President of the Board, 1997-1998; Board of Trustees, 1982-2016; Appointed Board, 1986-2016

International Center for the Preservation of Wild Animals, Inc. (The Wilds), Board of Trustees, 2003-2016

Federal Bar Association, Columbus Chapter, President, 2004-2005

Ohio Historical Society, Vice President, 2000-2001; Treasurer, 1997-2000, 2001-2002

Franklin County, Ohio, Democratic Party, Chair, Judicial Recruitment and Screening Committee, 1995-2001; Executive Committee, 1985-present

Catholic Social Services, Inc., Chairman of the Board, 1991-1993; Board of Trustees, 1987-1994

News & Insights

News

Education

Yale Law School, J.D., 1979

Yale Law Journal, Editor, 1978–1979

The Ohio State University, B.A., 1976

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Ohio
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
  • Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.

Judicial Clerkships

  • The Honorable Gilbert S. Merritt, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, 1979-1980
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