John holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Montana State University in Bozeman and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.
In the past 10 years, John has lead litigation teams recovering over $100 million in complex and multi-forum cases including minority shareholder litigation, director and officer liability cases, partnership disputes, accounting malpractice and insurance coverage disputes, for example:
In the Yellowstone Club World cases, John was lead counsel for the Chapter 7 Trustee of YCW, a membership club headquartered in Big Sky, Montana, which promised full access to resort properties around the world, along with use of various yachts and private jets, for its members. YCW’s owners diverted assets belonging to the club and its members for their own personal use and for use by their various other business entities. The firm recovered tens of millions of dollars from liquidation of resort properties around the world in order to compensate club members and other legitimate creditors.
In the Tidyman’s cases, John was co-lead counsel with Mike Black and Patrick HagEstad representing employee ESOP participants whose retirement accounts valued at $29 million were wiped out after corporate management made self-interested decisions to hold onto company stock when an opportunity to sell existed. This litigation involved several cases at the trial court level in four distinct actions in state and federal court across two states, as well as three separate appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Montana Supreme Court.
In the Vann’s Inc. litigation, John was lead counsel for the Chapter 7 Trustee of Vann’s, Inc, which had been a successful, employee-owned retail appliance and electronics business in western Montana for many years. After its founder retired, its remaining officers, directors and managing agents engaged in a series of “insider” transactions effectively “looting” the company, and destroying Vann’s financial solvency. Vann’s was forced into bankruptcy, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs, the failure to pay millions of dollars owed to Vann’s legitimate creditors, and the loss of employee retirement funds. In that case, John led a team of legal and financial professionals who recovered $15.5 million (less certain defense fees) for distribution to the employee owners of Vann’s and other legitimate creditors.
In the BDHS v. Chubb litigation, John was co-lead counsel with Gary Zadick in representing Bozeman Deaconess hospital against its insurance carrier after the carrier failed to defend and then abandoned the hospital in underlying antitrust litigation.
In the Montana Hospitals litigation, John was co-lead counsel with John Morrison for employees of five Montana hospitals. The hospitals made a secret deal with a health insurer to charge above market employee health coverage prices in return for a $26 million cash payment split among the hospitals. The Hospitals agreed to pay $6.9 million to employees to resolve the case.
Areas Of Practice
- Personal Injury - Plaintiff
- Complex Business Litigation
- Car Accident Injuries
- Slip & Falls
- Employment Law - Employee Focused
- Medical Malpractice
- Legal Malpractice
- Aviation Liability
- Bad Faith Insurance
- Toxic Exposure
- ERISA Litigation
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty Litigation
- U.S. District Court District of Montana
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court Montana
- US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, District of Columbia - 1988, Honors
- Law Journal: Georgetown Law Journal, Administrative Editor
- Montana State University, B.S., Civil Engineering - 1984