John M.Walker

Of Counsel

Atlanta + 1.404.581.8396

John Walker is a trial lawyer with experience defending national clients in high-stakes product liability litigation, including more than 25 trials. He has been extensively involved in representing R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in smoking and health litigation in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico courts, including serving as lead trial counsel in numerous state and federal jury trials and arguing legal issues in trial and appellate courts.

Following the decertification of a high-profile Florida class action, John has been active in the management and defense of thousands of smoking and health actions brought by individual plaintiffs throughout Florida. As part of this work, he helps coordinate R.J. Reynolds' overall strategy in these cases on key legal and trial issues.

Before attending law school, John participated in Jones Day's Morehouse-Spelman Internship Program, in which Jones Day provided unparalleled learning opportunities for talented, law school bound students from two of the nation's most prominent historically black colleges — Morehouse College and Spelman College, in Atlanta, Georgia. Upon returning to Jones Day after law school, he served for years as co-coordinator of the program and as a mentor to past interns.

John speaks and writes Spanish (advanced fluency) and Italian (basic fluency) and has been active in various activities sponsored by local Latin American and Italian organizations. He is a member of the Product Liability Advisory Council. He has been selected as one of "Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars" numerous times and also was featured as an "On the Rise, Rising Lawyer Under 40."

Experience

  • R.J. Reynolds wins second complete defense verdict in Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuitOn December 20, 2019, following three weeks of trial, a jury in state court in Boston, Massachusetts returned a complete defense verdict in favor of Jones Day client, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, in a wrongful death case.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Delancy "Engle progeny" trialOn October 24, 2019, following nearly three weeks of trial, a jury in Stuart, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a wrongful death action.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Gamble ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitOn March 8, 2016, following an 11-day trial and less than one hour of deliberation, a jury in Jacksonville, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in an "Engle progeny" lawsuit.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Lennox "Engle progeny" trialOn February 11, 2015, following six days of trial and approximately five hours of deliberation, a jury in Tampa, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a personal injury action finding that the smoker was not an Engle class member.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Bishop ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitOn November 5, 2014, after almost three weeks of trial, a state court jury in Orlando, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in federal Meeker ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitOn January 13, 2014, following five days of trial and approximately five hours of deliberation, a jury in Tampa, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a personal injury action finding that the smoker was not an Engle class member.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Chamberlain ''Engle progeny'' trialOn November 15, 2013, following nine days of trial and less than two hours of deliberation, a jury in Fort Myers, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds in a personal injury action finding that the smoker was not an Engle class member.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Frailey ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitOn June 28, 2012, after almost three weeks of trial, a state court jury in Jacksonville, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in first federal "Engle progeny" lawsuitJones Day successfully represented R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the first "Engle progeny" lawsuit tried to verdict in federal court.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Hargroves trialOn May 19, 2011, after two weeks of trial, a state court jury in Tampa, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in a wrongful death case.
  • R.J. Reynolds wins jury verdict in Rohr ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitIn October 2010, Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company was lead defendant for the industry in this wrongful death case where a state court jury in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida returned a verdict in favor of R.J. Reynolds and three other defendants in this "Engle progeny" lawsuit.
  • R.J. Reynolds secures victory in first "Engle Progeny" appealOn July 22, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued a watershed decision favorable to Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in the first appellate opinion in an "Engle progeny" case which is binding in the more than 4,400 Engle progeny cases currently pending in federal court in Florida, and provides crucial appellate guidance for the similar number of cases pending in Florida state courts (Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 611 F.3d 1324 (11th Cir. 2010); Brown v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 576 F.Supp. 2d 1328 (M.D.Fla. 2008)).
  • R.J. Reynolds secures the industry's first defense verdict in Gelep ''Engle progeny'' lawsuitOn March 24, 2009, after two and a half weeks of trial, a state court jury in St. Petersburg, Florida returned a verdict in favor of Jones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company in Reynolds' first trial of an "Engle progeny" lawsuit (Gelep v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Case No. 98-006584-CI-13 (Fla. 6th Cir. Ct.)).
  • R.J. Reynolds secures dismissal of smoking and health caseJones Day client R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company secured a dismissal of an individual smoking and health case pending in the U.S. District Court of South Carolina.
  • R.J. Reynolds appeals rulings in smoking and health case to Florida appellate court and U.S. Supreme CourtIn this smoking-and-health case, Jones Day secured a defense verdict for R.J. Reynolds at trial on all of the plaintiffs' claims except the claim for design defect strict liability, for which the plaintiff-smoker was awarded only $165,000 and the plaintiff-spouse recovered nothing.
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