John is a Shareholder and Co-Chair of the Financial Institutions, Corporate Governance & Fiduciary Litigation Practice at Maynard Cooper. He has held numerous other positions of leadership in the firm, including serving for many years on the Executive Committee.
John has broad experience handling complex civil litigation, including securities class actions and shareholder derivative actions, individual securities arbitrations, individual and class-wide insurance and annuity cases, and a variety of other types of cases. Those cases have involved allegations of fraud, misappropriation, unfair sales or business practices, and lender liability, as well as complex contractual disputes, appraisal claims, business ownership disputes, and business interference claims. He has defended actions in state and federal courts and before arbitration panels across Alabama, the Southeast, and in many other states across the country, including Delaware. John also has substantial experience in defending regulatory matters and managing investigations.
His skills and success as a litigator have earned him distinguished accolades, including a ranking by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a Leading Practitioner in the area of Litigation: Commercial. He is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell and listed in Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America©, which tapped him as the 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” in his region for Insurance Law, and the 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” for Securities Litigation. John has also been distinguished by Super Lawyers as a “Top 50 Lawyer” in Alabama, and he is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
John earned his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, and he holds a B.S. from the University of Alabama, summa cum laude.
- Lead attorney for publicly traded corporation in multiple shareholder derivative actions resulting in dismissal of claims, and in successful defense of judgment on appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court.
- Co-lead counsel in defending multiple putative securities class actions in federal and state courts, obtaining dismissals in multiple cases and litigating others to a successful conclusion.
- Lead trial attorney, achieving defense verdict for life insurance company in Clarke County, Alabama trial of insurance sales practice and servicing claims.
- Achieved defense verdict for life insurance company in Walker County, Alabama trial of vanishing premium and fraudulent tax scheme claims.
- Lead attorney in case in which Alabama Supreme Court established full faith and credit treatment in Alabama of nationwide class action settlement approved by New York state courts, extinguishing claims of non-opt outs. New York Life Ins. Co. v. Robinson, 735 So. 2d 463 (Ala. 1999).
- Participated for appellee life insurance company in obtaining affirmance by Mississippi Supreme Court of dismissal order in life insurance fraud case. The appellate ruling clarified Mississippi common law barring claims of oral misrepresentation that are inconsistent with writings delivered at time of sale of insurance policies. Stephens v. The Equitable Life Assur. Soc. of the United States, 850 So. 2d 78 (Miss. 2003).
- Negotiated to a successful conclusion multiple multi-state, FINRA and/or SEC securities settlements for broker dealers, investment advisory firms, and individual clients.
- Chambers USA, Leading Practitioner for Litigation: General Commercial (2015 – present)
- The Best Lawyers in America© for Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law, Litigation: Banking and Finance; Litigation: Securities; Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions: Defendants (2006 – present)
- Best Lawyers® 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” for Insurance Law
- Best Lawyers® 2015 “Lawyer of the Year” for Securities Litigation
- Benchmark Litigation “Litigation Star” (2014 – present)
- Mid-South Super Lawyers for Securities Litigation (2016-present)
- Mid-South Super Lawyers “Top 50 Super Lawyers in Alabama” (2016-present)
- Alabama Super Lawyers for Business Litigation, Civil Litigation Defense, Securities Litigation (2008-2015)
- Alabama Super Lawyers “Top 50 Lawyers in Alabama” (2014 and 2018)
- Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent Rating
John's Affiliations and Civic Involvement
- American Bar Association
- Alabama State Bar Association
- Mississippi State Bar Association
- Birmingham Bar Association, Judicial Liaison, Past Executive Committee Member, Past Chairman Civil Courts Procedures, Past Co-Chairman Continuing Legal Education, and membership on various other committees including Grievance Committee
- Association of Life Insurance Counsel, Board of Governors
- Southern Law Network – affiliation of ten member firms from across the Southern United States – Chairman of Management Committee
- John Fraser Ramsey Scholarship, University of Alabama, Board of Trustees
- Birmingham Bar Foundation Board of Directors
- Southpoint Bank, Board of Directors, (former member, 2006-2015)
- St. Elias Maronite Catholic Church, Chairman of Stewardship Committee (2005-2009); Past Chairman of Building Committee; Lector
- Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon, USA, Order of St. Sharbel Honor Guard for the Maronite Bishop, residing in St. Louis, Missouri
- Birmingham Bar Legal Aid Board of Directors, Past Director
- Project Corporate Leadership, City of Birmingham
- Leadership Birmingham, 2017-2018 Class
Vanderbilt University Law School (1987, J.D., Patrick Wilson Scholar in Law, Executive Research Editor, Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law, Moot Court Board)
University of Alabama (1984, B.S., summa cum laude, Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, John Fraser Ramsey Award, Beta Gamma Sigma)