Shareholder | Seattle
John serves as a trusted advisor for individuals and businesses in high stakes, complex civil litigation, including aviation law, commercial and intellectual property litigation, product liability, and torts.
John has extensive experience defending airlines, aviation operators, and aircraft and component manufacturers in litigation stemming from aviation accidents. John’s commercial and intellectual property experience includes representing businesses involved in contract disputes, business torts, consumer protection act and unfair business practice claims, and trademark disputes. John represents several automotive manufacturers in product liability matters, and he has extensive experience defending high-value wrongful death and catastrophic injury claims.
Clients turn to John for his ability to accurately and quickly assess cases to formulate effective and cost-efficient resolution strategies. John has successfully tried numerous cases to verdict and is among the most experienced trial attorneys at Stokes Lawrence. Although most cases resolve through private settlement, John's depth of experience and skill at trial help to leverage optimal outcomes through alternative dispute resolution.
John is a past President of the Asian Bar Association of Washington and past President of the Filipino Lawyers of Washington. He serves in leadership with the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and is a member of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. In 2016, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association selected John for its “Best Under 40” award. In 2017, the American Bar Association recognized John among the nation’s Top 40 Young Lawyers.
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
- U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Seattle University School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude, Associate Editor, Seattle University Law Review, Seattle University National Moot Court Team (2008)
- Washington State University, B.A., magna cum laude (2004)
Recognition & Honors
- Washington Super Lawyers (2023)
- Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (2024) - Litigation - Intellectual Property; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants
- Seattle University Academic Achievement Scholarship
- King County Bar Foundation Scholar
- Cheney and Metzger Legal Writing Scholarships, Finalist
- CALI Award: Legal Writing, Seattle University School of Law
- CALI Award: Evidence, Seattle University School of Law
- Frederic C. Tausend Moot Court Competition for Appellate Advocacy, First Place
- Rising Star, Washington Super Lawyers (2013 - 2022)
- Best Lawyers Under 40, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (2016)
- On the Rise, Top 40 Young Lawyers, the American Bar Association (2017)
ExperienceExtern to Hon. James L. Robart, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
Business Disputes/Commercial Litigation
- Represented individual in securities fraud litigation, securing judgment for client for the principal amount of his investment, treble damages, interest, and attorneys’ fees.
- Represented individual in breach of contract lawsuit involving a high-value personal services contract.
- Represented individual in breach of fiduciary duty litigation against property developer/manager, which resulted in a judgment of $1.2 million in favor of client.
- Represented Japanese auto manufacturer in warranty dispute.
- Defended municipality in multimillion dollar land use litigation related to large housing development.
- Defended Acura dealer in unfair business practices claim. Obtained full defense verdict at trial.
- Represented construction equipment manufacturer in breach of contract action against specialty metal parts supplier.
- Defended international merchant bank in lender liability action.
- Defended business process outsourcing company in breach of contract action.
- Represented owner of closely held corporation in breach of contract action against co-owner.
- Represented several commercial property owners in breach of lease disputes.
- Designated counsel for commercial airline in mass casualty response and litigation.
- Multiple matters defending avionics manufacturer involved general aviation crash litigation.
- Multiple matters involving representation of airports and airlines in premises liability actions.
- Representation of airline in false arrest litigation. Prevailed on summary judgment.
- Multiple matters involving airlines’ allegedly negligent provision of special services on behalf of disabled passengers.
- Represented estate of private pilot in wrongful death action involving crash of WWII warbird and death of passenger.
- Represented cruise line in multiple wrongful death actions arising from crash of aviation site seeing tour in Alaska.
- Represented commercial airline in TSA regulatory enforcement action involving cargo security regulations.
- Represented commercial airline in wrongful death lawsuit involving ground-service worker.
- Represented commercial helicopter operator in wrongful death action involving crash with three fatalities.
- Defended commercial airline in civil rights lawsuit.
- Defended private weather service in action by commercial airline passengers for injuries related to turbulence. Prevailed on summary judgment.
- Defended commercial airline in negligent infliction of emotional distress claim where engine fan cowls dislodged during flight.
- Defended several commercial airlines in boarding/deplaning trip-and-fall claims.
- Represented general aviation manufacturer in air crash litigation.
- Represented homeowners in action against property insurer for insurance coverage relating to damaged sewer line.
- Represented homeowners in action against property insurer and construction contractors for insurance coverage and damages relating to dishwasher failure and defective remediation by contractors.
- Represented chiropractor in insurance coverage lawsuit against professional liability insurer and commercial general liability insurer.
- Represented liability insurer in large contribution action against co-insurer.
- Regularly represents companies involved in trademark litigation in jurisdictions across the country and before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
- Regularly represents auto manufacturers in product liability claims, including claims involving airbag deployment, restraint systems, fire cause and origin, and crashworthiness.
- Represented medical device manufacturer in action involving claim of defective endotracheal tube.
- Represented medical device manufacturer in action involving claim of defective bio-engineered bone graft device.
- Regularly defends general aviation and component manufacturers in product liability actions.
- Represented injured plaintiff in premises liability action.
- Represented plaintiffs in head-on automotive collision.
- Defended municipality engaged in habitat conservation projects against claims that a project obstructed a watercourse and caused flooding to an adjacent landowner; achieved defense verdict in favor of client following three-week jury trial.
- Defended national mortgage field services company against claims of trespass, conversion, negligence, and violation of the consumer protection act.
- Represented trucking company in jury trial involving auto collision and catastrophic injuries.
- Represented cash logistics, armored transportation company in auto collision litigation.
- Defended municipality in flood litigation.
Publications & Presentations
- "Minority Bar Ratings Process," panelist (2019), WSBA Judicial Institute
- "Goodbye 'Sweetheart': The Ethics of Eliminating Discrimination and Promoting Diversity in Legal Practice," co-author & co-presenter, KCBA 44th Annual Pacific NW Aviation Law & Insurance Conference
- "Are Self-Insurers Subject to PIP and UM Coverage Requirements (update)," co-author, The SIRMon, ABA Self-Insurers and Risk Managers Committee Newsletter (Spring 2017)
- "Minority Bar Ratings Process," panelist (2017), WSBA Judicial Institute
- "Legislative Tracking," regular contributing author, The Voice, DRI
- "Case Law Update (Ninth Circuit)," contributing author, DRI Product Liability Conference, February (2015)
- "Is Self-Insurance Really Insurance? UM and PIP Coverage Obligations for Self-Insurers," co-author, The SIRMon, ABA Self-Insurers and Risk Managers Committee Newsletter (2009)
- Also published in: WSBA Litigation Section Newsletter (2010); and The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel (2009)
- "State of Washington Construction Law Compendium," co-author, USLAW Network (2009)
- "Goodbye 'Sweetheart.' The Ethics of Eliminating Discrimination and Promoting Diversity in Legal Practice," co-presenter and author, King County Bar Association Aviation and Space Law Section’s Annual Meeting (2017)
- "Is the Common Carrier Doctrine Still Relevant in Modern Aviation?" presenter, 38th Annual Pacific NW Aviation Law & Insurance Seminar (2011)
- "Aviation Case Law Update," presenter, 37th Annual Pacific NW Aviation Law & Insurance Seminar (2010)
- "Tribal Self-Insurance: Opportunity and Related Medicare Law Changes," presenter, Tribal Economic Development Seminar (2009)
Professional & Community Activities
- Asian Bar Association of Washington, President (2021); President-Elect (2020); Communications Chair (2018); Board of Directors (2018 - present)
- Filipino Lawyers of Washington, Immediate-Past President (2018); President (2017); President-Elect (2016); Board of Directors (2013 - present)
- Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee, (Co-Chair, 2016)
- National Filipino American Lawyers Association, Awards & Endorsements Committee, Chair (2017 - present); Scholarships Committee, Member (2017 - present); In-House/Partners Committee, Member (2016 - present)
- American Bar Association, TIPS, Leadership Academy, Graduate (2017); Business Litigation Committee, Vice-Chair (2017 - present); Self-Insurers & Risk Managers Committee, Vice-Chair (2017 - present); Leadership Academy Task Force (2017 - 2019); Litigation Section, Member (2008 - present); Young Lawyers Division, Member (2008 - present)
- Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy, Graduate (2016)
- National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NABABA)
- Federal Bar Association
- King County Bar Association
- Northwest Aviation Insurance Association
- Washington State Bar Association
- King County Bar Association Neighborhood Legal Aid Clinic (International District), Pro Bono Attorney
- Oregon State Bar Association, Member
- Alaska Bar Association, Member
- Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Volunteer Attorney
Background & Interests
John is a native of the Pacific Northwest, an avid soccer fan, and he enjoys spending time with his family.