John has extensive first chair trial experience on a variety of complex business and commercial litigation matters, with special emphasis in the areas of antitrust, unfair trade practices, business torts, fiduciary duty violations, securities fraud, intellectual property, shareholder disputes, administrative law, franchise and distributorship controversies, regulatory actions, and a wide range of contractual disputes. John’s representative clientele over the years has included individuals and a range of businesses across a variety of industries, including multi-national corporations and cooperatives, oil and gas companies, financial institutions, high tech companies, franchisors, national distributors, publishing companies, airlines, public interest organizations, software developers, electronics companies, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing firms, online service providers, and many more.
Coupled with his litigation background, John also has experience serving as general counsel for a national publishing corporation and membership on the boards of several corporations and non-profit organizations. As a result, he understands the needs of businesses faced with a broad range of complex legal and regulatory issues, and he is well equipped to counsel clients on risk analysis, legal/regulatory compliance, compliant policies and procedures, litigation avoidance and management, due diligence, IP acquisition and protection, and, generally, making sound strategic decisions. Due to his business experience, John has also provided virtual general counsel services to clients.
After law school, John served two years as law clerk to Honorable Frank Theis, District Judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas, and then worked in private practice in Kansas City at the law firm of Weeks, Thomas & Lysaught. John later joined the law firm of Winstead in Dallas as a shareholder. During his 16 year tenure with Winstead, he served as head of the litigation and IP litigation sections. He was general counsel for Travelhost, Inc. for 15 years before joining Calhoun, Bhella & Sechrest as one of its founding partners.
John is board certified in Civil Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is licensed to practice law in Kansas, Texas, and North Carolina. He has been a member of the Pro Bono College of the State Bar of Texas since 1992. John was named Who’s Who in Litigation by the Dallas Business Journal in 1993, and he was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Men of Achievement. He was named a Texas Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers® from 2003 to 2008, and, for 25 consecutive years, he has been rated AV Preeminent (5/5) for Legal Ability and Ethics by Marquis Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings. More recently, John was awarded the Marquis Who’s Who Lifetime Achiever Award in the legal field.
John and his wife, Diadra, are authors and co-founders of Wings of Spirit Foundation situated in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. John is the father of two children and has five grandchildren. John is currently focusing his practice in the firm’s North Carolina office, serving clients throughout the state.
• Creation, management of implementation, and ongoing compliance review and monitoring of company-wide processes, procedures, and business/marketing practices for largest U.S. travel magazine distributorship, as well as handling all attendant legal/regulatory issues, administrative proceedings, and litigation.
• Served as outside litigation counsel to world’s then largest farmer owned and operated cooperative in a variety of complex litigation matters, including successfully representing the interests of individual farmers and farm cooperatives in litigation and regulatory proceedings seeking to limit their ability to effectively take advantage of federal rules and regulations designed to enable farmers to compete with large multi-national grain and chemical corporations, as well as successful defense of lawsuit seeking $25 million damages for alleged breach of contract in connection with purchase of output of 2 anhydrous ammonia plants.
• Represented a variety of clients in U.S. Department of Justice civil and criminal antitrust investigations/proceedings, as well as civil class actions and individual lawsuits, pertaining to price fixing and other anticompetitive behavior in the oil, dairy, plumbing, food supply, steel, soft drink bottling, and computer product industries — including participation in representing client in “Big Eight Case” seeking to massively restructure petroleum industry.
• Represented trustee bank in class action lawsuit brought on behalf of returning Vietnam POW’s and others in connection with nation-wide modular home securities investment scheme.
• Represented major shareholder of publicly held company in connection with alleged SEC insider trading securities violation resulting in finding of no violation.
• Managed structuring of statutory framework for establishment of tax exempt Port Authority Act to entice construction of automobile manufacturing plant; development of litigation strategy for obtaining expedited rulings of State’s highest court on constitutionality; and active involvement in handling litigation solidifying legality of reconstituted authorizing act and tax exemption provisions enabling project to move forward.
• During the savings and loan crisis, oversaw and managed the orderly prosecution and disposition of over 3,500 lawsuits involving the assets of 35 failed thrifts acquired by clients.
• Served as chief arbitrator of 3 member arbitration panel appointed by U.S. District Judge in dispute involving price redetermination under 4 gas purchase and supply contracts post-deregulation between Mesa Petroleum and Kansas Power & Light. Arbitration award confirmed and adopted by U.S. District Court.
• Represented client in thwarting regional airline takeover attempt resulting in injunction, removal of airline management, and awarding of right to control of airline to client.
• Represented regional hospital in dispute with large national health insurance carrier regarding continuing denials of certain hospital reimbursements for services deemed not to be “reasonable and necessary” in violation of applicable federal regulations.
• Prosecuted numerous state and federal lawsuits on behalf of major client for violations of non-compete agreements, tortious interference, and conspiracy, as well as successfully defending repeated legal challenges to the enforceability of client’s non-compete agreements.
• Managed and participated in successful resolution of administrative proceeding against client arising from FTC’s assertion of alleged non-compliance with the Franchise Act threatening to put client out of business.
• Represented nationally recognized rare coin dealer/expert in suit against insurance carrier for failure to pay claim for substantial value of stolen coins, as well as participation with client, in conjunction with local and federal authorities, in sting operation to reclaim stolen coins from Columbian drug ring.
• Represented manufacturer of surface acoustic wave devices in successful conclusion to suit accusing client of chemical contamination of headers allegedly resulting in malfunctioning of devices and substantial damages to wholesale supplier’s customers.
• Represented numerous clients on both sides in cases involving allegations of unfair competition, DTPA violations, fraud, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duties, and various other related business torts.
• Defended and prosecuted trademark, copyright and patent infringement lawsuits (food packaging, restaurants, clothing, domain names, computer software, biotech, etc.), as well as cases involving alleged thefts of trade secrets and/or violations of confidentiality agreements.
• Successfully represented client in suit brought by Ralph Lauren alleging trademark infringement arising from client’s parody on clothing products of man falling off horse.
• Successfully represented client in suit brought by Blue Bell Creameries alleging trademark in “Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream” and asserting infringement of same, as well as ice cream carton trade dress, by client’s competitive product.
• Represented landowners to enjoin potential adverse environmental impacts on clients’ property rights, as well as prosecution of inverse condemnation litigation against local and federal governmental agency actions causing substantial diminution in value of clients’ property interests without just compensation.
• Successfully represented terminated chief executive officer and minority shareholder in suit against corporation, officers and directors, and majority shareholders for breach of contract, wrongful termination, breach of fiduciary duty, minority shareholder oppression, and conspiracy.
• Successful representation of healthcare insurance online provider in suit alleging fraud, DTPA claims, and violations of state insurance code.
SPEECHES & PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS
• NOTE, The Latest Chapter in the Continuing Controversy Regarding Professional Service Corporations—The Roubik Case, 19 Kan. L. Rev. 349 (1970)
• COMMENT, Wyman Y. James: Welfare’s at the Door, 19 Kan. L. Rev. 486 (1971)
• Federal District Court Opinion Digests for Kansas Bar Journal (1978-1982)
• State Bar of Texas Professional Development Program, Selected Issues in Law 1989 Analyses — 1990 Forecast: “The ‘SUPERPOWERS’ OF THE AGENCIES—The D’Oench, Duhme Doctrine, 12 U.S.C. § 1823(e) and the Federal Holder in Due Course Doctrine” (Houston and Austin 1989)
• State Bar of Texas Professional Development Program, 13th Annual Advanced Civil Trial Course, “Litigation Involving the FDIC” (Dallas 1990)
• Dallas United Nations Association, Human Rights Expo, “The Rule of Law and Human Rights” (Dallas 1990 & 1991).
• Author: A Gathering of Light: Eternal Wisdom for a Time of Transformation and Co-Author: Soular Reunion: Journey to the Beloved.
CIVIC AFFAIRS & MEMBERSHIPS
• Northwood Hills Elementary School, Dallas (former Co-President of P.T.A.)
• Westwood Junior High School, Dallas (former Co-President of P.T.A.)
• Member: World Business Academy; Institute of Noetic Sciences
• Campaign for the Earth (former Coordinator of Government and Politics Strategic Area and Chapter of “Global Report”)
• Dallas United Nations Association (former Member, Board of Directors)
• Dallas, Texas, Citizens Group for SSC, advocating approval and funding of construction of super-collider, super-conductor particle accelerator proposed to be built in Waxahachie, Texas (ultimately built at CERN)
• Member: Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation• Wings of Spirit Foundation (Co-founder, V. President, Board of Directors — 1995 to present).
Kansas, Texas & North Carolina
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