John’s practice emphasizes civil litigation and litigation-avoidance strategies. He works primarily in the fields of employment law, discrimination (including housing and public accommodation discrimination), and consumer finance and regulation. John is a member of our Employment Law Practice Group and an active participant in the firm’s Credit Union initiative. He is a member of the Firm’s COVID-19 Task Force, and has advised scores of clients on legal compliance, risk reduction, and employee management strategies in the time of pandemic (including his many well received Town Hall webcasts for client groups). He is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as in Virginia; he appears frequently in civil litigation of all stripes in the “Rocket Docket” of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Former Chair of the Virginia Bar Association Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, past Chair of the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers, and a former member of the VSB Standing Committee on Professionalism, John is a frequent speaker and compliance trainer to lawyers, corporate managers, law students, and to business groups nationwide. He has spoken in venues from Oregon to Key West, from Boston to San Diego, and in every law school in Virginia, on topics such as telework, harassment avoidance, legal professionalism, consumer class actions, fair credit reporting, and reasonable accommodations in cyberspace. He is the editor for the Virginia Employment Law section of Chambers Global Practice Guide (2019 and 2020).


Representative Matters

  • Won dismissal of several federal civil cases against credit unions, the first such dismissals in the nation, alleging their websites did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; won unanimous reported decision in first-in-the-nation appellate case as well as winning first-in-the-nation federal district court case
  • Regularly provides representation and counsel in class actions against financial institutions alleging procedural or regulatory irregularities
  • Defended multiple federal court “collective” actions alleging unpaid overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as other single-employee claims
  • Enforced many covenants restricting competition by former employees, including obtaining preliminary injunctions against unfair competition and money damages for violation of a valid covenant
  • Counsel employers on ADA compliance and employment law provisions
  • Defended against many attempts to enforce invalid covenants, either by negotiated resolution or litigation, on behalf of new employers
  • Represented employers in ADA and Fair Housing Act accessibility matters
  • Routinely defends employers in administrative and federal court proceedings alleging claims of harassment, discrimination, or failure to hire under anti-discrimination laws including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Provides training, policy guidance, and advice on specific situations to employers of all sizes regarding compliance with Civil Rights and other employment laws
  • Experienced in arbitration involving employment or civil rights matters, consumer claims, and other cases
  • Provides training, policy guidance, and advice on specific situations to employers of all sizes regarding compliance with Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other employment or financial regulatory laws

Recognition & Honors

  • Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2021
  • Top Lawyers; CoVaBIZ Magazine, 2020
  • Norfolk Employment Law – Management Lawyer of the Year; Best Lawyers in America, 2013, 2018
  • Norfolk Labor and Employment Lawyer of the Year; Best Lawyers in America, 2010, 2019
  • America’s Leading Business Lawyers, Tier One; Chambers USA, 2004-2020
  • Virginia Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition; Law & Politics, 2008-2010
  • Virginia Super Lawyers; Law & Politics, 2007-2020
  • Virginia’s Legal Elite; Virginia Business Magazine, 2009-2019
  • AV® Rated; Martindale-Hubbell
  • Virginia State Bar faculty on Professionalism; Past Member
  • Virginia State Bar faculty on Professionalism for Law Students; long-time former statewide Chair
  • “Lawyer of the Year;” Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, 1996


  • Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Professionalism; Member
  • Virginia State Bar Education of Lawyers Section; former Chair; Board of governors, 2013- present
  • Virginia Bar Association; Chairman, Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, 2006-2007; Member, Governing Council, Section on Labor Relations and Employment Law, 1997-2009
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Maryland State Bar
  • Defense Research Institute, Former Member and multiple national conference presentations for Appellate Advocacy Committee
  • Virginia Continuing Legal Education Advisory Committee on Employment Law


  • Harvard College; A.B., magna cum laude in History, 1980
  • Harvard Law School; J.D., cum laude, 1983

Press & Publications