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Accepting cases in Alabama

SELECTED 2013-2017

John Phillips, B.C.S.


Even 15 years into the practice of law, John is still one of the youngest Board Certified Civil Trial lawyers in the State of Florida. This allows him to be called an expert in civil trial law, after peer review, substantial trial experience, hours of advanced seminars and a full day exam. He is also AV-Preeminent rated and has won many awards for both his actions in the courtroom and in the community, including being named one of the 29 most influential people in northeast Florida and the Face of Justice on the First Coast. He is licensed to practice law in Florida, Georgia and Alabama (and before the United States 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 was ranked 28th in the nation in a recent U.S. News Survey. 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.

In 2015, John was selected to give a TEDx talk on race and equality. It was one of the first speeches that TEDx broadcast live on its YouTube channel and it stands as one of the most watched talks in the State of Florida. He has also spoken at Howard University, at the NAACP Annual Meeting, at PeaceJam in Ghana, at many high schools and colleges and regularly gives seminars to other lawyers. He regularly seeks out experts to learn how to be a better lawyer, leader and father.

In 2015, John was nominated by Jacksonville’s Mayor and confirmed by City Council to Jacksonville’s Human Rights Commission. In addition to having an audience with multiple Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, John has been recently invited to attend the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland.

The vast majority of John’s time is spent in his offices, working up cases for his clients and telling stories of people who have been injured or lost loved ones. Good Morning America even filmed and broadcast portions of one of his trials in 2014. Much of the work he does is unseen by cameras and done with a wonderful hand-picked staff.

John is married to his best friend, Angela, and is the 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
  • Selected by Mayor to join Human Rights Commission


John’s grew up hearing stories about his grandfather and great grandfather who were lawyers in Mississippi. His mother would tell him tales of them making a difference without concern for profit- people paid what they could when they could.

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 was selected to teach his very own section of Criminal Justice 101 at age 22. He also volunteered at an alternative school, working with kids who were born to dire circumstances.

John obtained a Juris Doctorate (Law Degree) from Alabama, the 28th 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. He used the time to get more involved and actually bartended at an establishment, Boo Radleys, named after the key character in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

Career Development

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

Upon moving to Florida, 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 injured individuals, working at one of the largest personal injury firms in the world, Morgan & Morgan.

Feeling unfulfilled, John founded his own Florida trial law office in 2011. He has won awards for his work in and out of the courtroom, regularly appears 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

• “One of 29 Most Influential People in Jacksonville,” by Folio Weekly

• “Attorney of the Month (with Photo on the Cover),” by Attorney at Law Magazine

• “#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 where he obtained 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 and the School System implemented a anti-bullying hotline.

• 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.

• John and his team have helped solved crimes that police were too busy to solve and helped keep pressure on prosecutors to do the right thing.

And many more. Justice isn’t always defined by the dollar.

First National TV Appearance (2011)

Case tried to $2.6 Million Verdict in 2014

TEDx Talk (2015)

This talk was performed live before an audience of 400, simulcast to an audience of several thousand and has been viewed over 300,000.

Our Own Left Shark


Reported Appellate Decisions

Erin Joynt v. Volusia County, 179 So.3d 448 (Fla. 5th DCA 2015).

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

Verdicts & Settlements

  • • In 2016, we resolved a case for over $1 Million Dollars in just 51 days. A 2-year-old was run over and killed by someone pulling out of the family’s driveway. He kept on going, either not realizing it or trying to evade the situation. We assisted putting the evidence together and achieved prompt justice for this grieving family.
  • • In 2015-2016, we achieved a $1 Million Dollar settlement against a strip club where our client Brandon Green was shot and killed by a fellow customer. We also sat by the family of the victim at the criminal trial and assisted the State by giving them the location of crucial evidence such that the killer was convicted.
  • • In 2015, John was contacted by a few mothers of children who had been mistreated by their pediatric dentist. Working with these parents, the dentists office was shot down, his licenses to practice were revoked, he faces criminal charges and John reached an unprecedented settlement of 104 dental malpractice cases at once, which is confidential. He still represents 27 additional children. There is more about this case here.
  • • 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 of the 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.
  • • Read about MORE HERE.

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