Main Menu Main Content

Overview

With extensive and varied legal experience, John brings a significant depth of legal skills and knowledge to litigation clients. John represents clients in a variety of industries when they are involved in disputes pending in state and federal court, arbitration, and administrative tribunals. His experience includes contract and business torts litigation, construction claims, class action lawsuits, and aviation-related disputes.

John was elected Partner in 2024. Prior to joining Calfee in 2021, John served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Michael H. Watson of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

John previously worked for several years in the Columbus office of a global law firm and as a Contract Negotiator for the U.S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, where he acted as the primary business adviser for the acquisition of aircraft modifications and research for the Air Force Research Lab.

John earned his J.D., cum laude, from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where he was the Managing Editor of The Ohio State Law Journal. He earned his B.A. in History, magna cum laude, from The Ohio State University.

Prior to beginning his legal career, John served as a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps Reserves, Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marines, where his experience included one combat tour in Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom III) and six years of service as a mortarman.

Honors & Recognitions

  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Litigation - Real Estate (2024)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers, Ohio Rising Stars, Civil Litigation: Defense (2023)

Education

J.D., cum laude, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Managing Editor of The Ohio State Law Journal, 2009

B.A., magna cum laude, History, The Ohio State University, Honors Student, 2006

Experience

Experience

Representative Construction and Construction Litigation Matters

  • Representing a large Midwestern university in relation to the client's expansion of its medical center and campus. The University began the construction of a new energy plant, which will generate cooling and heating for several new buildings, including a new cutting-edge medical center. Due to the size, complexity, and regulatory issues impacting the project, the University selected Calfee’s construction practice to help advise and guide the project through construction and completion. Calfee has been asked to prepare materials for Board approval, draft construction documents and addendums, prepare regulatory filings, and take part in strategy sessions with the University’s project team.
  • Represented a state government commission client in a matter involving a construction company that had served as the general trades’ contractor for a renovation project for the client. The construction company caused multiple delays on the project, resulting in claims being asserted against the client by the other prime contractors and the construction company’s subcontractors on the project. The construction company was terminated by the client and multiple lawsuits were filed. Calfee advised the client in the resolution of all claims other than those asserted by the construction company. The construction company’s and the client's claims against one another were litigated up to the date of trial, but Calfee was able to achieve for the client an agreement to settle all the pending claims.
  • Represented a facility design and energy services firm in an arbitration matter against a medical marijuana grower and processor and certain affiliated entities. The client performed design work for several marijuana facilities in multiple states. The client also performed construction services for one of the projects, but the client's customer failed to pay agreed-upon amounts for the work. The project owners asserted delays on the projects and failures to perform by Calfee's client, which the owners asserted led to property damage at one of its buildings and crop losses. The owners sought tens of millions of dollars in damages. The matter was settled favorably to Calfee's clients and arbitration demands were dismissed.
  • Representing an American manufacturing company in arbitration against a design and construction firm, as well as a related claim against an insurance company, under a construction performance bond that the insurance company issued as the design and construction firm surety. The design and construction firm was the general contractor for a large construction project at one of the client's production facilities. The client terminated the design and construction firm’s contract, made a claim under the insurance company's performance bond, and alleges that the design and construction firm breached the contract by failing to complete the work within the time required by the contract, defective work performed by the firm and its subcontractors, and other reasons. The design and construction firm filed an arbitration demand against Calfee's client alleging that the client company wrongfully terminated the firm and that the firm is entitled to payment. Calfee's client filed a counterclaim in the arbitration. The design and construction firm also filed a lawsuit against Calfee's client in state court to foreclose a mechanic’s lien that the firm filed against the property where the project is located. Calfee attorneys were able to secure a stay of the litigation in state court pending the outcome of the arbitration.
  • Represented a general contracting company client in an arbitration filed against a roofing company. Our client was the general contractor for a construction project for the repair and replacement of the roofing systems for two public high schools. The roofing company was our client’s subcontractor on the project and was responsible for completing its scope of work within 162 days. Our client terminated its subcontract with the roofing company and alleged that they breached the subcontract in multiple ways, including failing to adequately staff the project and complete the work in a timely manner, failing to perform the work in accordance with the standards of a top-tier firm in the construction industry, and failure to comply with safety laws and regulations. The roofing-company subcontractor counterclaimed asserting that it was owed unpaid sums under the subcontract. Calfee also represented the client’s surety, a Fortune 100 insurance company, in a related lawsuit. Prior to the client’s filing of the arbitration discussed above, the roofing company subcontractor sued the insurance company in U.S. District Court for an alleged breach of a payment bond the surety issued as surety for the school’s construction project. Calfee successfully moved the court to stay this payment bond litigation pending the resolution of the arbitration.  
  • Representing a manufacturer of building products in a matter involving a payment bond claim and related litigation with a construction industry insurance company. Calfee's client sold more than $1 million of construction products to its customer to install as part of a construction project for a U.S. government entity. The customer purchasing the construction products was a subcontractor to the project. After the subcontractor failed to pay for the products delivered to the project, Calfee's client made a claim under a payment bond, which was issued by the insurance company to guarantee payment by the subcontractor. After Calfee's client made the claim against the insurance company payment bond, the insurance company filed a lawsuit in United States District Court asserting claims against the subcontractor alleging that they fraudulently induced the insurance company to issue the payment bond. The insurance company also has filed a declaratory judgment claim against Calfee's client seeking a declaration from the court that it is not obligated to make payment to Calfee's client under the bond. Calfee represents our client in the lawsuit and has filed counterclaims against the insurance company for breach of contract and a declaratory judgment that the insurance company is obligated to make payment to our client under the bond.

Representative Business, Corporate, and Commercial Litigation Matters

  • Served as lead litigation counsel for one of the nation’s premier retirement systems. The client issued an RFP for the administration of its Medicare and non-Medicare healthcare benefits plans beginning January 1, 2024. After a thorough evaluation of the applicants, the client selected a healthcare services provider as a single provider for both the Medicare and non-Medicare benefits. An unrelated private health insurer challenged the selection process and filed a TRO to prevent the client from executing the contract with the selected provider and from proceeding with the selected provider as a single provider of medical benefits for the over 110,000 retirees. The unrelated private health insurer’s main arguments were that the client did not follow the state’s public procurement statutes and that the client violated the RFP in numerous ways, including, but not limited to, relying on unannounced criteria, communicating directly with applicants outside the RFP process, ignoring certain federal standards pertaining to the administration of Medicare plans, and by rejecting the recommendation of a third-party hired to assist the client with the RFP process. Because of the TRO, and because the client had limited time to complete contract negotiations before the January 1, 2024 go-live date, the case was set on an expedited track. The Court granted our client’s motion for summary judgment. Shortly thereafter, the unrelated private health insurer filed an appeal; however, before their appellate brief was due, the party dismissed the appeal. It was a complete victory for Calfee’s client.
  • Representing an independent equipment finance and secured lender in litigation pending in Common Pleas Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the client’s efforts to gain possession of multiple aircraft and aircraft engines in connection with a loan default. The action has involved prosecuting the client’s complaint and motion for replevin, as well as claims by other lenders. This action implicates international treaties and federal law regarding the priority of security interests in aircraft and engines, which has required presenting multiple complex legal theories to state and federal courts.
  • Serving as lead counsel to a global chemical company assisting the client in all aspects of a cyberattack matter. Among other things, Calfee assisted the company in investigating the source of the cyberattack and in obtaining insurance coverage relating to the attack. Calfee has also been retained to defend the company with regard to losses arising from the cyberattack and the network outage. Calfee has also been retained by the insurer to pursue subrogation claims against the company whose negligent conduct caused the cyberattack.
  • Served as lead litigation counsel to a publicly traded, Fortune 500, multi-billion-dollar chemical company. Calfee’s client acquired a business unit from a competitor and assumed responsibility for its litigation with a private chemical company. The litigation involved a dispute over a plant closure and the resulting termination of a supply agreement for hydrochloric acid. The case presents unique questions of law relating to a company’s legal basis for avoiding contractual obligations due to a plant closure. The case also involves novel questions relating to the calculation of damages under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
  • Serving as lead counsel in a litigation matter involving the prosecution, on behalf of the client, of fraud, civil conspiracy, fiduciary duty, derivative claim, promissory estoppel, and unjust enrichment against the Defendants.

Professional & Community

Professional & Community

  • Pro bono representation of veterans

  • Assistant Treasurer and Board Member, local church

  • Middle school and high school youth leader (10+ years)

News & Events

PDF

Clerkships

  • Honorable Michael H. Watson, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (2017-2021)

Licensed In

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
Jump to Page