John Neiman

John's Profile

John’s practice focuses on constitutional and regulatory litigation. A former U.S. Supreme Court clerk and Solicitor General of Alabama, John is a member of Maynard Cooper’s General Litigation group and serves as Chair of the Firm’s Appellate Practice group.

John represents clients in courts throughout the country. As state Solicitor General, John argued two cases at the United States Supreme Court and multiple cases in the Eleventh Circuit and Alabama Supreme Court. The Eleventh Circuit recently appointed him to defend a trial court’s decision not to certify a class action, and John successfully briefed and orally argued that position against appellate challenges from both the plaintiffs and defendant. Past wins include successful defense of the Alabama Governor’s decision to remove the confederate flag from state capitol grounds. John currently is litigating water-rights and civil-rights cases pending in the federal trial courts, insurance cases in the California appellate courts, and civil-rights cases pending in Alabama state courts.

Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business distinguishes John as a Band 1 leading attorney in the area of Appellate Litigation. Best Lawyers® named him the region’s 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” for Appellate Practice.

John's Experience

U.S. Supreme Court:

  • Packingham v. North Carolina, 137 S. Ct. 1730 (2017) (filed amicus brief for state and local government organizations defending constitutionality of law regulating sex offenders)
  • Montgomery v. Louisiana, 136 S. Ct. 718 (2016) (filed amicus brief for prosecutors’ organizations concerning juvenile sentencing)
  • Comptroller of Treasury of Md. v. Wynne, 135 S. Ct. 1787 (2015) (on team that filed amicus brief for state and local government groups in case concerning power of government to tax income earned out of state)
  • Nat’l Labor Relations Bd. v. Noel Canning, 134 S. Ct. 2550 (2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General)  (lead counsel for Alabama and 17 other amicus States in U.S. Supreme Court merits case concerning constitutionality of President’s appointments to NLRB)
  • Shelby Cnty. v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (lead counsel for Alabama as amicus in U.S. Supreme Court case concerning constitutionality of portions of Voting Rights Act)
  • Miller v. Alabama, 132 S. Ct. 2455 (2012) (as Alabama Solicitor General)  (argued U.S. Supreme Court merits case on constitutional issues concerning juvenile sentencing)
  • Maples v. Thomas, 132 S. Ct. 912 (2012) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (argued U.S. Supreme Court merits case on right to counsel)

Federal Courts of Appeals:

  • Griffin v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 898 F.3d 371 (4th Cir. 2018) (successfully orally argued case raising novel questions about ERISA standard of review)
  • James v. Total Solutions Inc., 691 F. App’x 572 (11th Cir. 2017) (successfully defended summary judgment entered for client in employment case)
  • Landeros v. Pinnacle Recovery, Inc., 692 F. App’x 608 (11th Cir. 2017)(successfully defended, by court appointment, judgment of district court declining to certify class action under Fair Debt Collection Practices Act)
  • Ingalls v. U.S. Space & Rocket Ctr., 679 Fed. Appx. 935 (11th Cir. 2017) (successfully argued and defended dismissal of employment claims brought against state agency)
  • DeCoursey v. Am. Gen. Life Ins. Co., 822 F.3d 469 (8th Cir. 2016) (in insurance case, orally argued and defended summary judgment issued on plaintiff’s claims against client and obtained reversal of summary judgment on client’s counterclaim against plaintiff)
  • Rismed Oncology Sys., Inc. v. Baron, 638 Fed. Appx. 800 (11th Cir. 2015) (obtained affirmance of dismissal of fraud claims)
  • In re Hubbard, 803 F.3d 1298 (11th Cir. 2015) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (obtained reversal of trial-court order requiring disclosure of legislative documents)
  • United States v. Thetford, 620 F. App’x 798 (11th Cir. 2015) (in appointed matter, obtained reversal of sentence under Armed Career Criminal Act)
  • Fondren v. Comm’r, Ala. Dep’t of Corr., 568 F. App’x 680 (11th Cir. 2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (obtained reversal of trial court decision requiring retrial of criminal defendant)
  • Harrison v. Culliver, 746 F.3d 1288 (11th Cir. 2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully orally argued Eleventh Circuit matter concerning defense of state officials against suit alleging unconstitutional prison conditions)
  • Arthur v. Thomas, 739 F.3d 611 (11th Cir. 2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully orally argued Eleventh Circuit case concerning right to counsel in capital appeal)
  • United States v. Alabama, 691 F.3d 1269 (11th Cir. 2012) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (orally argued and successfully defended portions of immigration law in Eleventh Circuit in challenge by Department of Justice)
  • Loggins v. Thomas, 654 F.3d 1204 (11th Cir. 2011) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully argued for state in Eleventh Circuit case concerning constitutionality of punishment for juvenile offender)
  • Paine v. Jefferson Nat’l Life Ins. Co., 594 F.3d 989 (8th Cir. 2010) (unpublished) (successfully defended trial-court judgment in Eighth Circuit case concerning alleged breach of life-insurance policy)
  • United States v. McCray, 345 Fed. App’x. 498 (11th Cir. 2009) (appointed by Eleventh Circuit and obtained reversal of indigent defendant’s conviction for gun possession)
  • Willenbring v. United States, 559 F.3d 225 (4th Cir. 2009) (appointed by Fourth Circuit to brief and orally argue for prisoner on issues concerning military jurisdiction)

State appellate courts:

  • MetLife Sec., Inc. v. Brandt, No. B282949, 2018 WL 6616097 (Cal. Ct. App. Dec. 18, 2018) (successfully orally argued case involving request for attorney fees)
  • G.R.L.C. Trust v. Garrison Decatur Crossings, LLC, 266 So.3d 690 (Ala. 2018) (successfully defended judgment in lawsuit seeking invalidation of long-term lease)
  • Ex parte Birmingham Airport Auth., 2018 WL 4656625, — So.3d —- (Ala. Sept. 28, 2018) (obtained writ of mandamus requiring dismissal of all claims against client due to statutory immunity defense)
  • Hasting v. Bentley, No. 1150009 (Ala. Jan. 21, 2016) (obtained dismissal of appeal for Governor in case challenging his decision to remove Confederate flags from state capitol grounds)
  • Sentinel Ins. Co. v. Ala. Mun. Ins. Corp., 188 So.3d 640 (Ala. 2015) (obtained reversal of trial court’s decision on insurance-coverage dispute)
  • Gilley v. S. Research Inst., 176 So. 3d 1214 (Ala. 2015) (successfully defended summary judgment for client against contract and fraud claims relating to intellectual-property issues)
  • State v. Yarbrough, 156 So.3d 947 (Ala. 2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (obtained reversal of trial court’s order on separation-of-powers grounds)
  • Ex parte State (In re: Luong v. State), 199 So. 3d 139 (Ala. 2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully orally argued Alabama Supreme Court case concerning ramifications of pretrial publicity; Court reinstated capital-murder conviction that intermediate appellate court had reversed because of press coverage)
  • Ex parte Ware (In re: Ware v. State), 181 So. 3d 409 (Ala. 2014) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully defended constitutionality of use of DNA evidence in rape case in Alabama Supreme Court)
  • Ex parte Henderson (In re: State v. Henderson), 144 So. 3d 1262 (Ala. 2013) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully orally argued Alabama Supreme Court case concerning application of state murder law to juvenile defendants)
  • State Superintendent of Educ. v. Ala. Educ. Ass’n, 144 So. 3d 265 (Ala. 2013) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully orally argued in Alabama Supreme Court in defense of state ethics-reform law)
  • Ex parte State 121 So. 3d 337 (Ala. 2013) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (in matter concerning “electronic bingo,” obtained first mandamus order from Alabama Supreme Court in more than a century requiring a trial judge to issue a warrant in a criminal case)
  • Steensland v. Ala. Jud. Inquiry Comm’n, 87 So. 3d 535, 536 (Ala. 2012) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully defended sanctioning of retired judge by judicial-ethics authorities in Alabama Supreme Court)
  • State v. Turner, 96 So.3d 876 (Ala. Crim. App. 2011) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (successfully orally argued Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals case rejecting constitutional challenge to state ethics laws)
  • Ex parte Rich, 80 So. 3d 219 (Ala. 2011) (as Alabama Solicitor General) (obtained Alabama Supreme Court order requiring judge to dismiss case after judge had threatened contempt sanctions against state lawyers)

John's Awards

  • Chambers USA, Leading Practitioner in Litigation: Appellate (2015 – present)
  • The Best Lawyers in America© for Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation (2016 – present); Civil Rights Law (2018 – present); Bet-the-Company Litigation (2019 – present)
  • Super Lawyers “Top 50 Lawyers in Alabama” (2018, 2019)
  • Best Lawyers® 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” for Appellate Practice
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers for Appellate (2016 – present)
  • Alabama Super Lawyers for Appellate (2011, 2015)
  • National Association of Attorneys General “Best Brief Awards,” Brief for Respondent, Miller v. Alabama; Brief for Respondent, Maples v. Thomas (July 2012)
  • Birmingham Magazine‘s “Top Attorneys” for Appellate (2017)
  • Birmingham Magazine‘s “Best Attorneys” (2011)

John's Affiliations and Civic Involvement


  • American Bar Association; Appellate Committee Chair (2012-2013); Vice Chair, 2007-present
  • American Law Institute
  • American Inns of Court
  • Eleventh Circuit Appellate Practice Institute Planning Committee (2014)
  • Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure, Advisory Committee (2011-2014)
  • Alabama State Bar
  • Birmingham Bar Association

Civic Involvement

  • Living River, Board of Directors (2011-2015)
  • First Presbyterian Church Birmingham, Elder
  • Leadership Birmingham Class of 2014-15
  • Alabama Leadership Initiative Class of 2012
T 205.254.1228
F 205.254.1999
C 205.790.6838
State Bar:Alabama
U.S. District Court:Alabama (Northern, Middle, Southern), District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals:Second Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, Federal Circuit, D.C. Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court

Harvard Law School (2000, J.D., magna cum laude)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997, B.A., with highest honors and highest distinction)


The Honorable Anthony M. Kennedy
U.S. Supreme Court; 2001-2002
The Honorable Paul V. Niemeyer
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit; 2000-2001

May 1, 2020
Maynard Cooper & Gale (Maynard Cooper) is pleased to announce that 41 of its attorneys and 11 areas of practice received high marks in the 2020 edition of Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, the industry’s well res...
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Maynard Cooper & Gale is pleased to announce that 130 of the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized as leaders in their practice areas in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©, a peer-review guide highlighting att...
May 1, 2019
39 Maynard Cooper & Gale Attorneys And 8 Practice Groups Receive Recognition In The 2019 Chambers USA Guide
Maynard Cooper & Gale (Maynard Cooper) is pleased to announce that 39 of its attorneys and eight of its practice groups have received high marks in the 2019 edition of Chambers USA, the industry’s most respected legal rankings publicat...
November 9, 2018
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August 15, 2018
Birmingham, AL. Maynard Cooper & Gale is pleased to announce that 116 of the Firm’s attorneys have been recognized as leaders in their areas of practice in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Included in the dis...
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