John has successfully argued numerous appeals in federal and state appellate courts, including four en banc hearings before the Mississippi Supreme Court. He has been recognized for his litigation experience in Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America and Mid-South Super Lawyers.

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Bar Admissions

  • Mississippi, 1976
  • New York, 1978 (Inactive)
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Mississippi: Northern, Southern
    • New York: Southern
  • U.S. Court Of Appeals
    • 4th Circuit
    • 5th Circuit
    • 6th Circuit
    • 11th Circuit
    • Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • AV-Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
  • Chambers USA, America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Litigation: Appellate, Litigation: General Commercial
  • The Best Lawyers in America® Lawyer of the Year, Litigation Antitrust
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Appellate Practice; Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; Communications Law; Litigation - Antitrust; Litigation - First Amendment
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers®, Business Litigation
  • Top 50, Mississippi Super Lawyers®, 2012-2013
  • Professionalism Award, Capital Area Bar Association, 2011
  • Fellow, American Academy of Appellate Lawyers
  • Fellow, Mississippi Bar Foundation
  • More...

Education & Honors

  • University of Mississippi, J.D., with honors, 1976
    • Editor-in-Chief, Mississippi Law Journal, 1976
  • University of Mississippi, B.A., English and Philosophy, 1972
  • Clerkship,
    Hon. Charles Clark, Circuit Judge, ​U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, 1976-1977


  • Has successfully argued numerous appeals in federal and state appellate courts, including four en banc hearings before the Mississippi Supreme Court, in cases involving numerous issues of first impression or the reversal of multi-million dollar judgments.
  • Has appeared as counsel for amici curiae in several federal and state appeals where the federal or state appellate courts have adopted the legal arguments of amici.
  • Has been first chair in jury and bench trials in federal and state courts in Mississippi, including trying cases to verdict in Claiborne, Copiah, Hinds, Holmes, Humphreys, Jones, Rankin and Warren Counties.
  • Has successfully defended antitrust class actions brought against BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc. and Michelin Tire Company.
  • Obtained habeas corpus writ for indigent death row inmate at State Penitentiary found incompetent to be executed under the Eighth Amendment.
  • Derr v. Swarek, -- F.3d --, 2014 WL 4435854, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 17421 (5th Cir. Sept. 9, 2014) (upholding district court’s refusal to enforce German judgment which failed to extend comity to prior Mississippi judgment), aff’g, 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 169663 (S.D. Miss. 2013).
  • Flores v. Ethicon, Inc., 563 Fed. App’x 266 (4th Cir. 2014).
  • Dixie-Net Communications, Inc. v. BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc., 915 F. Supp. 2d 784 (N.D. Miss. 2012), Aff'd, 516 Fed. Appx. 407 (5th Cir. 2013). 
  • City of Memphis, fub Memphis Gas Light & Water v. Tandy Gilliland Family, LLC, 391 S.W.3d 60 (Tenn. App. 2012). 
  • More...


  • Co-author for the past 25 years of the Mississippi section for Media Law Resource Center’s annual 50-State Survey: Media Libel Law and co-author for the past 10 years of the Mississippi section for its 50-State Survey: Employment Libel and Privacy Law, both published by Media Law Resource Center of New York City and Oxford University Press.
  • Has published numerous articles on different legal issues for law reviews and professional magazines.