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John Phillips


[email protected]

John is one of the youngest Board Certified Civil Trial lawyers in the State of Florida. This allows him to be called an expert in these cases. He is also AV-Preeminent rated and has won many awards for his role in the courtroom and in the community. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and before the U.S. Supreme Court, and does so, with passion and compassion.

John is originally from Mobile, Alabama, but made Florida his home in 2001. He graduated from the University of Alabama, which is the highest ranked public law school in the southeast and ranked 22nd in the nation. He has obtained many million-dollar and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of his clients, as well as changed the way that companies and governments operate.

John is the married father of two boys, Bennett and Weston. He used to be seen traveling the world, as he has run with the bulls, dived the great barrier reef, caught a marlin in international waters and loves to travel. However, he is happiest with his children in tow, attending Jacksonville Jaguar games and spending time with family and friends.


  • Grew up on the Gulf Coast
  • Clerked for US Congressman Sonny Callahan
  • Clerked for the Honorable James C. Wood
  • Sworn into Alabama, Florida & Georgia Bars
  • Became partners in a prestigious insurance defense firm
  • Joined and departed Morgan & Morgan
  • Opened his own law office in Jacksonville, Florida
  • Office selected as a Company with Heart and other awards
  • Admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court


John’s grew up hearing stories about his grandfather and great grandfather who were lawyers in Mississippi. His mother would tell him stories of them taking what people could pay and making a difference.

With them in mind, John always sought to help others. After high school, John was named a Bedsole Scholar, attending the University of Alabama on full scholarship, where he studied political science and criminal justice. John clerked for Congressman Sonny Callahan during a summer in college, trying to learn as much as he could about government and law. He was on pace to graduate in three and a half years at Alabama, but he could not start law school until the fall. So, John stayed and actually taught his very own section of criminal justice. He also volunteered at an alternative school, working with kids who were born to dire circumstances.

John then obtained a Juris Doctorate (Law Degree) from Alabama, the 22nd ranked law school in the nation. In law school, he was Senior Editor of the Law & Psychology Law Review, involved with the Student Government Association and undertook many other activities. Again, John was on pace to finish in less than the three years usually reserved for law school. However, finishing early would not properly prepare John for the Bar exam.

After School

After graduation from law school, John accepted a judicial clerkship in Mobile before moving to Jacksonville, Florida. He watched trials and hearings every week and coordinated the efforts of the Honorable James C. Wood (now retired).

John M. Phillips spent 8 years as a trial lawyer for businesses such as State Farm, Coca-Cola, Hertz, JM Family / Southeast Toyota, USF&G, Anderson Columbia, GEICO, Cambridge and a host of other large companies. He became a named member of the firm of Dore, Lanier & Phillips at age 32 and left Dore & Phillips at age 35, moving on to represent individuals, working at one of the largest personal injury firms in the world.

Feeling unfulfilled, he founded his own Florida trial law office in 2011. He has won awards for his work in and out of the courtroom, appeared on national television as a legal expert, has achieved a multi-million dollar verdict while Good Morning America’s cameras rolled and is regularly seen volunteering and donating his time and money in our community.

Bar Admissions

• Alabama Bar, 2000

• Florida Bar, 2001

• Georgia Bar 2002

• United States Supreme Court, 2014

Federal District Courts:

• U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 2001

• U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2009

• U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 2014

• U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 2009

• U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 2014

Awards and Accolades

Just during the last few years, John and his office have been selected as:

• “Best Lawyer,” by readers of the Folio Weekly

• “Righteous Crusader,” by readers of the Folio Weekly

• “#1 Lawyer,” by readers of Void Magazine

• “Face of Justice in the 904,” by 904 Magazine

• “Top Lawyer,” by 904 Magazine

• “Company with Heart,” by 904 Magazine

• “Best Lawyer,” by Jacksonville Magazine

• Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine

• “Who’s Who in Law,” by Ponte Vedra Recorder

• AV – Preeminent (the highest rating obtainable), by peers according to Martindale- Hubbell,

• 10 / 10, by Avvo

• Top 100 Trial Lawyer, by the National Trial Lawyers Association

• Top 40 Under 40, by the American Society of Legal Advocates

• SuperLawyer, by Florida Super Lawyers

• Litigator Award, Trial Lawyers Board of Regents

Unique Victories

Our settlement and verdict pages have many of our accolades, but John has a few unique accolades which sought something more valuable than money:

• Several hundred people were falsely labeled by Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and local tax collectors as sexual offenders and sexual predators. John and his clients sued and compelled the DHSMV to completely change their computer system to add safety measures to prevent this.

• Duval County jail inmates were allowed to refuse service of process in civil cases. John and his team changed that policy such that inmates are now compelled to accept service.

•A serial bully caused torment and injury to one of John’s clients. We pushed for an injunction and the judge banned the bully from the entire Duval County School system. Although this decision was overturned on appeal, the appellate court directed the state legislature to change the law and by the time the decision came down, the attacker was already living out of state.

• George Zimmerman planned to sell artwork he substantially copied from one of John’s clients. John stepped in and worked with the Associated Press to shut down Zimmerman and stop his dissemination of the artwork.

• Recording artist Katy Perry claimed copyright and trademark to “Left Shark” after Super Bowl 50. A young artist made 3D figurines of dancing sharks and was rebuked by Katy’s lawyers. We assisted him in preserving his rights in a confidential settlement. The sharks can be purchased here.


Our Own Left Shark


Reported Decisions

Erin Joynt v. Volusia County, not yet reported, pending before 5th DCA.

Paris Cannon v. Melisia Thomas (Aria Jewett), 133 So. 3d 634 (Fla. 1st DCA 2014)

Essex Ins. Co. v. Underwood, 81 So. 3d 434 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012)

All Fla. Pipe & Supply, Inc. v. Green, 977 So. 2d 580 (Fla. 1st DCA 2008)

Boatright v. Smith, 905 So. 2d 127 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005)

Nall v. Burrows Interiors, Inc., 840 So. 2d 228 (Fla. 1st DCA 2003)

Awards & Recognitions


  • • In 2014, John received a verdict in the amount of $2.6 Million dollars against Volusia County, one of the largest personal injury verdicts ever handed down against Volusia County and one of the largest in the state that year. It was featured on Good Morning America and reported on daily. Volusia County appealed $600k verdict and John has filed a declaratory judgment action against the County’s insurance carrier.
  • • In 2014, John confidentially resolved a medical malpractice case in which he represented a brain injured boxer who contended that she was injured as a result of her training staff and medical team failing to diagnose, treat and prevent her from fighting due to a head injury.
  • • In 2013, John filed an action and vigorously defended a declaratory judgment action against Progressive Insurance and its insured Michael Dunn over the shooting death of Jordan Davis. John received a policy limits settlement on a large automobile policy as a result of favorable rulings and advocacy.
  • • In 2012, John received a verdict in the gross amount of $1.1 Million dollars against Coca-Cola in Alachua County, one of the 50 largest verdicts in the State that year and one of the largest ever soft tissue verdicts in Alachua County.
  • • In 2012, John tried another case in Gainesville and ultimately recovered about triple what State Farm’s last offer was. It’s about keeping the carriers honest. We don’t just try the big cases.
  • • In 2011, John tried a case against Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville. The case ultimately mistried in jury selection, after several jurors revealed that they could not be fair in a slip and fall case. It was John’s efforts in jury selection that lead to the jurors being struck one-by-one and the case ultimately living to be settled later on despite a panel of poisoned jurors.
  • • In 2011, John tried a declaratory judgment action against Essex Insurance, who challenged coverage in the incident. John not only won at the trial level, but successfully argued the appeal which he won.
  • • In 2010, John tried a case in which State Farm conducted extreme discovery against a client’s physicians. The case resulted in a verdict almost at $1 Million dollars and a judgment over $1 Million dollars

As Seen On