John has served in senior positions as both in-house and outside counsel. This potent combination has instilled in John a broad appreciation for how to best partner with clients to achieve their objectives.
Before joining Momkus McCluskey, John spent over eight years as General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel of a publicly-traded property and casualty insurance holding company. While in-house, John oversaw a number of high-stakes litigation matters and guided the company through several large M&A and financing transactions. John also served as the company’s Privacy and Chief Compliance Officer, charged with ensuring compliance with SEC and NASDAQ regulations, state insurance laws, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and other requirements. John has substantial experience providing practical legal and business advice to clients on a variety of substantive issues.
Prior to working in-house, John was a litigation partner with a large international law firm where he gained first and second chair trial experience in commercial, securities, employment, products liability and other complex litigation matters. John has considerable experience conducting internal investigations and has also represented clients responding to subpoenas and investigations by government agencies. John was also a partner with an entrepreneurial litigation boutique in Chicago.
In addition to his litigation practice, John provides insurance regulatory and corporate transactional services. Before pursuing a career in law, John attended the United States Naval Academy and served for five years as a surface warfare officer.
- N.D. Illinois, Trial Bar
- C.D. Illinois
- Seventh Circuit
- University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2001,
- United States Naval Academy, 1993
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Dupage County Bar Association
- North Shore General Counsel’s Association, Emeritus Member
- Privilege Concerns Over Disclosures to Independent Auditors, Securities Law 360, 11/10/2006
- Expanding the Tri-Partite Relationship: Extending Evidentiary Privilege to Fourth-Party Legal Audits, 2000 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1339
- Panelist, Rule 12 Motions and Pre-Trial Procedure, 7th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts, April 29, 2016 (Pincus Professional Education)
- Speaker, Boilerplate Checkup: Lurking Litigation Issues in Your Commercial Contracts, North Shore General Counsel Association, May 10, 2016
- Panelist, Management and Leadership of New Attorneys, Eleventh Hour PRMCLE, DuPage County Bar Association, May 20, 2016
- Panelist, Procuring and Producing Electronically Stored Information and Investigating and Gathering Evidence from Challenging Sources, Advanced Litigation Strategies, November 10, 2016 (Pincus Professional Education)
- Panelist, Rule 12 Motions and Pre-Trial Procedure, 7th Annual Federal Court Boot Camp: The Nuts and Bolts, May 25, 2017 (Pincus Professional Education)
- Speaker, A Checklist Manifesto for Preparing or Responding to Litigation, Property and Casualty Insurers Association of America - Litigation and Governmental Affairs Committee Annual Meeting, June 22, 2017
- Won a $1.4 million arbitration award for wrongfully terminated franchisee of a national paramedical services provider.
- Successfully vacated $7 million default judgment and obtained dismissal with prejudice of claims against a public digital media company.
- Obtained favorable settlements on behalf of multiple franchisees of chiropractic services chain alleging fraud, breach of contract and wrongful termination.
- Prevailed in arbitration of dispute between joint venture partners regarding the failure of a project to develop an advanced pavement striping system.
- Obtained favorable jury verdict on fraud claim against a software development company.
- Obtained summary judgment prior to class certification in action seeking to invalidate DUI policy exclusion for first-party claims.
- Defended securities fraud claims brought against a successful mutual fund market timing investor. Litigated in numerous venues, including an SEC civil enforcement action in federal court, New York Attorney General criminal proceedings in state court, class action claims consolidated in a multi-district litigation proceeding and state securities department administrative proceedings.
- First-chaired defense of workers compensation retaliatory discharge action settled during trial for nominal value.
- Key member of defense team for Big Four audit firm in SEC and PCAOB investigations into audits of a Fortune 500 manufacturing company.
- Key member of team retained to conduct internal investigation of potential securities fraud arising out of complex inventory accounting methods employed by a major clothing manufacturer.
- Successfully defended and resolved products liability action involving catastrophic fire aboard luxury yacht allegedly caused by defective hydraulic hose.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of products liability claim arising out of an allegedly defective electrical switch.
- Successfully defended and resolved a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the manufacturer of a warehouse automatic storage and retrieval system.
- Defended officers and directors of an insurance company in liquidation against civil RICO claims brought by the Illinois Director of Insurance and settled case well within limits of D&O insurance policy.
- Represented seller in $3M purchase of funeral home business and associated real estate.
- Led legal due diligence, documentation and negotiation efforts for $95M strategic divestiture of managing general agency operations.
- Managed due diligency, legal issues and negotiations for $120M sale of retail insurance agencies consisting of approximately 200 store locations and premium finance operations.
- Coordinated legal issues related to refinancing of $200M secured debt facility with new senior and subordinated debt facilities. Drafted and negotiated numerous debt facility amendments, waivers and forbearance agreements.
- Negotiated and closed $7.8M sale-leaseback of IT assets.
- Conceived and executed complex transaction injecting $5M of capital into regulated insurance subsidiary through mortgage on real estate asset under lease to federal government.
- Negotiated mortgage transaction documents, including lease amendments and authorizations from General Services Administration, and secured approval from regulators in two states.
- Managed all legal and regulatory matters to launch premium finance business. Obtained licenses in seven states, developed finance documentation and established compliant operational processes.
- Provided legal counsel to numerous start up entities on seed and angel investments.