John is a self-described efficiency fanatic, who employs a deep work philosophy in his practice. Often rising before 4 a.m., John is driven to understand his clients’ needs and to deliver timely, cost-effective solutions to clients’ toughest legal challenges. 

Capabilities

Biography

Although John’s practice runs the gamut—including a wide range of transactional and litigation matters—John has a passion for appellate litigation. To every case, John brings a unique approach to legal problem solving. Three things set John apart.

First, at a law firm with dozens of seasoned attorneys whose expertise spans nearly every area of law, John knows the value of a team approach to legal problem solving. He leverages the extensive experience at his firm to bring cost-effective solutions to his clients’ pressing legal questions. John so believes in this collaborative approach that he rarely spends his “in-office” time holed up by himself. Instead, he spends the bulk of his “in-office” time meeting with clients, experts and his colleagues. To John, the office is a crucible for testing ideas and collaborating on next steps to achieve desired client outcomes. 

Second, John knows the value of deep work. Solving hard problems requires a depth of focus that is rare in a world of endless email inboxes, incessant text messaging and constantly ringing phones—to say nothing of the beck and call of social media or the 24-hour news cycle. John shuns these distractions and starts his days early—deeply focused on solving his clients’ hardest problems. Whenever possible, John dedicates the morning hours to deep tasks that deliver the highest value to his clients. Much of an attorney’s job is written communication—whether that be a transactional document, like a contract or merger, or a litigation brief. Well-crafted communication requires sharp thinking and careful framing, honed through concentrated effort. John’s deliberate deep work practices help him promptly deliver high quality work to his clients and sets him apart from many of his peers.

Third, John understands how judges see cases. Before private practice, he gained a wealth of experience working with three distinguished jurists. Evaluating issues from a neutral perspective sharpened John’s legal vision. He sees both the strengths and weaknesses of his clients’ positions. And this knowledge allows John to help clients address risks before problems arise. John’s work with judges afforded him another benefit as well. Judges handle hundreds of cases, and John did too, in his time as a law clerk. Each case has distinct factual and legal issues, so John quickly learned to waste no time getting to the heart of what’s important. One of John’s most important skills is his ability to quickly add value to a legal team—without endless hours “getting up to speed.”

Recommended Reading on John’s Deep Work Philosophy

Any of Cal Newport’s books, including Deep Work, So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Digital Minimalism, and A World Without Email

The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg 

Range, by David Epstein

Laura Vanderkam’s work, including The New Corner Office and Off The Clock

If you prefer listening to reading, John recommends Cal Newport’s “Deep Questions” podcast

Accomplishments

Academic

  • Utah Law Review, Editor-in-Chief
  • Order of the Coif
  • College Award for 3rd highest GPA in graduating class
  • CALI Excellence Awards (Administrative Law; Constitutional Law I; Contracts; Evidence; Judicial Process; Sexuality, Gender, & the Law; and Torts)
  • College of Law Outstanding Achievement Awards (Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Federal Courts, Legal Methods, Property and Statutory Interpretation)
  • Quinney Fellow 2013-2014

Professional

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2017-2018

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable N. Randy Smith

Utah Supreme Court, 2016-2017

  • Law Clerk to Associate Chief Justice Thomas R. Lee

United States District Court for the District of Utah

  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Jill N. Parrish

Utah County Office of the Guardian ad Litem, 2010-2012

  • Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)

Insights

Credentials

Licensed

Utah
Idaho
Wyoming
Montana
U.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit
U.S. Dist. Court, Dist. of Idaho
U.S. Dist. Court, Dist. of Utah
U.S. Dist. Court, Dist. of Wyoming

Education

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law