John began practicing law in 1979 with the Richmond, Virginia law firm, Browder & Russell. By the late 1980’s, John became the head of the insurance coverage group. John has tried and argued hundreds of insurance coverage related actions, including declaratory judgment actions and bad faith/extra-contractual damages actions. Since co-founding Harman Claytor Corrigan & Wellman, John’s practice has involved all types of policies: GL, commercial umbrellas, auto and property, environmental/pollution liability, professional liability, director and officers, trucking and the like. John focuses his practice in risk transfer matters, including contractual indemnification and coverage based on additional insured status, and insurance regulatory matters involving Virginia’s SCC/Bureau of Insurance. He has participated in numerous significant global mediations representing the interests of insurers with coverage defenses and has been a frequent lecturer and author on many insurance law topics.
- Universityof Virginia, B.S., 1976
- University of Richmond, J.D., 1979
- Law Review
- McNeill Law Society
Professional Honors & Activities
- Henrico County Bar Association
- Richmond Bar Association
- American Bar Association
- Virginia State Bar, Member, Special Committee to Study the Virginia State Bar’s Future Role in Lawyer Malpractice Insurance (1989)
- Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, President (1993-1994)
- Robert M. Furniss Jr. Award (1994)
- Defense Research Institute, State Chairman (1988-1992)
- DRI Exceptional Performance Citation Award (1994)
- Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC)
- International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)
- Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, Premium Member (CLM)
- Virginia Super Lawyers, Insurance Coverage (2007 – 2018)
- Top 50 Lawyers in Virginia (2008)
- Top 100 Lawyers in Virginia (2013 – 2014, 2016 – 2018)
- Top 50 Lawyers in Richmond (2016 – 2018)
- 10 Years Selected to Virginia Super Lawyers
- Virginia Super Lawyers, Business Edition, Insurance Coverage (2009 – 2013)
- Best Lawyers in America, Insurance Law (2007 – 2019)
- Lawyer of the Year – Richmond, VA – Insurance Law – 2014, 2018, 2019
- Martindale-Hubbell® AV Rated
Bar & Court Admissions
- Virginia State Bar, 1979
- United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit Court
- Co-Editor, “Insurance Law in Virginia,” VA CLE (2015 & 2002)
- Firemen’s Ins. Co. of Washington, D.C. v. Kline & Son Cement Repair, Inc., et.al, 474 F.Supp.2d 779, (E.D.Va., Feb. 13, 2007)
- ABT Building Products Corp. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, 472 F.3d 99 (4th Cir.(N.C.), Dec. 19, 2006)(No. 05-1739)
- Great American Ins. Co. v. Gross, 468 F.3d 199, RICO Bus.Disp.Guide 11, 151 (4th Cir.(Va.), Oct. 30, 2006)(No. 05-2069)
- Harleysville Mut. Ins. Co. v. Conner, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2005 WL 2427907 (E.D.Va., Sep. 30, 2005)(No. Civ.A. 2:04CV93)
- St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co. v. American Intern. Speciality Lines Ins. Co., 365 F.3d 263 (4th Cir.(Va.), Apr. 9, 2004)(No. 02-2360, 02-2361)
- Government Employees Ins. Co. v. Moore, 266 Va. 155, 580 S.E.2d 823 (Va., June 6, 2003)(No. 022242)
- Sentry Ins. v. U.S. Fidelity and Guar. Co., Not Reported in S.E.2d, 51 Va. Cir. 418, 2000 WL 2884676 (Va. Cir. Ct., Mar. 15, 2000)(No. LF-2387-4)
- Fuisz v. Selective Ins. Co. of America, 61 F.3d 238, 23 Media L. Rep. 2325 (4th Cir.(Va.), Aug. 1, 1995)(No. 94-2120)
- State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Major, 239 Va. 375, 389 S.E.2d 307 (Va., Mar. 2, 1990)(No. 890541)
- State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Jones, 238 Va. 467, 383 S.E.2d 734 (Va., Sep. 22, 1989)(No. 880383)
- State Farm Fire and Cas. Co. v. Scott, 236 Va. 116, 372 S.E.2d 383 (Va., Sep. 23, 1988)(No. 860185)
- State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v. Floyd, 235 Va. 136, 366 S.E.2d 93 (Va., Mar. 4, 1988)(No. 841568)
- Buschi v. Kirven, 775 F.2d 1240, 54 USLW 2270, 120 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 3059, 1 IER Cases 1726 (4th Cir.(Va.), Oct. 29, 1985)(No. 84-1280)
- Great American Ins. Co. v. Cavalier Printing Ink Co., Inc., 620 F.Supp. 1082 (E.D. Va., Oct. 11, 1985)(No. Civ.A. 85-0514-R)
- Swiatlowski v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 585 F.Supp. 965 (W.D.Va., Apr. 10, 1984)(No. Civ. 83-0049-C)
- Morris v. Coleco Industries, 587 F.Supp. 8 (E.D.Va., Mar. 16, 1984)(No. Civ. 83-0662-R)
- T.M. Graves Const., Inc. v. National Cellulose Corp., 226 Va. 164, 306 S.E.2d 898 (Va., Sep. 9, 1983)(No. 810223)
- Successfully served as co-counsel in a three-day federal court jury trial in Alexandria, Virginia in which a secondary liability insurer sued a primary liability insurer for a bad faith settlement of an underlying tort action.
- Is involved as co-counsel in a declaratory judgment action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia involving general liability coverage for claims asserted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), an issue of first impression in the District of Columbia.
- Has represented a School Board Association Pool in the resolution of significant property claims arising from the total destruction of an elementary school due to fire.
- Has been a frequent lecturer and author on Third Party Liability Coverage, Extra-Contractual Damage, First Party Property Loss and Insurance Litigation issues.
- Has represented insurance clients in regulatory and related matters involving Virginia’s Bureau of Insurance.
- Has represented a School Board Association Pool in the handling of multiple and significant first party property damage claims involving school facilities arising from the central Virginia earthquake of August 23, 2011.
- Was successful co-counsel in Virginia’s seminal third party bad faith failure to settle case, State Farm Mutual Auto Ins. v. Brian Floyd (1988).
- Has represented an insurer addressing multiple coverage issues, arising from numerous radon bodily injury and property damage claims filed in West Virginia state court.
- Has represented an insurer concerning general liability and professional liability coverage issues arising from the 2/6/10 collapse of hangars at the Dulles Jet Center.
- Has represented an insurer concerning general liability coverage issues arising in Maryland lead paint litigation.
The cases referenced above do not represent the lawyer’s entire record. Each case must be evaluated on its own facts. The outcome of a particular case cannot be based on past results.