Biography

John is a trial lawyer with a national practice in complex commercial litigation and class actions involving a wide range of industries.

A skilled litigator with extensive courtroom experience, John frequently cross-examines causation and damages experts and other witnesses in cases involving multiple parties.

His trial resume includes a precedent-setting financial services verdict. The three-week jury trial in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, which he tried alongside Fox Partner Eric Nystrom, resulted in a judgment of more than $17 million in favor of American Bank of St. Paul and 25 other banks. The case is believed to be the first reported verdict in the country in which a bank was held liable for aiding and abetting the fraud of one of its customers and the only time a bank has been held liable for conspiracy to commit fraud.

In 2017, John defended a manufacturer in a month-long jury trial in San Francisco. The case, arising out of a large construction project, involved multiple defendants. Among other witnesses, John cross-examined two of the plaintiffs’ causation and damages experts. 

Extensive Trial Experience

John honed his skills as a trial attorney with the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, where he developed a detailed knowledge of government contract law. John defended the government against contract claims brought by nuclear utilities against the Department of Energy over its failure to begin disposing of spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain and made the closing argument in the first spent fuel case to go to trial. He was lead trial counsel for the government in lawsuits brought by Southern Nuclear and Pacific Gas & Electric, and cross-examined the utilities’ damages experts in numerous other cases.

Over nearly two decades, John has defended numerous class actions brought under myriad federal and state statutes against financial institutions and other businesses. He also has extensive experience defending clawback and discharge cases in bankruptcy courts across the country.

Businesses in a wide variety of industries rely on John’s skills as a trial attorney. He has a wealth of experience in financial services, manufacturing, government contracts and construction. John has defended or prosecuted claims involving issues that include contract and warranty, fraud and other business torts, deceptive trade practices, shareholder oppression, the Sherman Act and RICO.

Selected Reported Decisions

  • American Bank of St. Paul v. TD Bank, N.A., 713 F.3d 455 (8th Cir. 2013) (affirming entry of judgment in favor of plaintiffs)
  • Indiana Michigan Power Co. v. U.S., 422 F.3d 1369 (Fed. Cir. 2005) (affirming trial court’s finding of no damages in first spent fuel case to go to trial)
  • Southern Nuclear Operating Co. v. U.S., 77 Fed. Cl. 396 (2007) (trial court decision following two-week trial)
  • Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. U.S., 74 Fed. Cl. 333 (2006) (trial court decision following three-week trial)
  • Yankee Atomic Elec Co. v. U.S., 73 Fed. Cl. 249 (2006) (trial court decision following seven-week trial)
  • Canal Elec. Co. v. U.S., 65 Fed. Cl. 650 (2005) (granting government’s motion to dismiss)

Beyond Fox Rothschild

John is president of Park Valley United FC, a Minneapolis-area community soccer club.

Honors & Awards

Minnesota Super Lawyer 2013-2017

The U.S. Department of Justice’s 2006 John Marshall Award for Outstanding Legal Achievement for Trial of Litigation

U.S. Department of Justice-Civil Division Perseverance Award (Dec. 2004)