John Howard

A corporate, business and Constitutional litigator for more than forty years, John Howard has distinguished himself both at trial and in his ability to successfully short-circuit major lawsuits through the skillful use of early motions. He has handled more than one hundred cases though trial, mediation, arbitration and dismissal throughout his career.

Mr. Howard has deployed his trial skill for dozens of clients in cases throughout the nation, successfully pressing their rights in state and federal court. A recognized Constitutional scholar whose analytical skills have been recognized at the highest levels, Mr. Howard has served as a consultant to the Utah State Legislature on matters of Constitutional law, state/federal relations and state sovereignty since 2014. He has also served as special counsel to the Attorney General of the State of Utah.

In 1986, Mr. Howard became general counsel of one of San Diego’s largest and most successful privately held companies, parlaying his litigation skills to implement loss mitigation and insurance programs that not only resulted in reducing claims and preventing litigation but, also, substantially reducing insurance costs and fees to outside lawyers by more than one million dollars.
He brought his experience in litigating major corporate disputes to the skill of corporate governance, negotiating and drafting contracts and addressing corporate and regulatory compliance issues. He instituted policies that successfully minimized the risk of litigation and reduced legal claims by 80%.

John W Howard - Founder
John Howard

Business & Constitutional Trial Lawyer


Mr. Howard served in that capacity until 1995 when he returned to private practice, establishing JW Howard/Attorneys to bring his combination of major corporate transactional experience and litigation skill to other companies. Since that time he has assisted dozens of companies in creating structures that prevent claims; efficiently litigating those that cannot be avoided and negotiating protective agreements that mean disputes never arise.

At the same time as Mr. Howard was assisting corporate clients with protective transactions and litigation defense, he became nationally known as a Constitutional litigator in the trial courts, representing counties and states in disputes with the federal government and numerous plaintiffs whose First Amendment rights had been threatened. His cases in this area were profiled in Time, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, The Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fox News and many others.

Mr. Howard has been recognized as a “Preeminent Attorney” by Martindale Hubbell and has received the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Who’s Who and has been listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law for more than 25 years. He has been listed as a “Top Attorney” by Marquis Who’s Who as well as by San Diego Magazine among the “Best Attorneys in San Diego”.

“John Howard is a man of massive integrity, and there’s not many like him.”

Michel Anderson
San Diego Union-Tribune,
September 16, 2004

Mr. Howard is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego, in philosophy and history. He received his law degree from California Western School of Law and completed the University of California Hastings Law School College of Advocacy. He is a member of the Enright Inn of Court of the American Inns of Court.

For twenty years, he served as an arbitrator appointed by the San Diego Superior Court and as an Administrative Law Judge for employment disputes for the City of Los Angeles in 1994-95.

Mr. Howard served as chairman of the Indigent Defense Advisory Board by appointment of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in capacity he was responsible for the creation of the first public defender office in San Diego County.

He was also appointed by the Mayor Roger Hedgecock as chairman of the Public Arts Advisory Board of the City of San Diego. His work on that board resulted in the establishment of San Diego’s first Commission for Arts and Culture.

Mr. Howard has also served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations and has been recognized both by the State Bar of California and the San Diego Volunteer Lawyers Program for exemplary service to the profession.

When he is not defending clients, John enjoys writing essays on political philosophy, Constitutional history, politics, travel, preparing haut cuisine, collecting (and tasting) fine wine, historical research, reading philosophy, collecting fine art, symphony, theatre and branding cattle in spring roundup.

Admitted to Practice:

United States Supreme Court
All courts in the State of California
All courts in the State of Colorado
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia
United States Court of Federal Claims
Federal District Court, Northern District of California
Federal District Court, Eastern District of California
Federal District Court, Central District of California
Federal District Court, Southern District of California
Federal District Court, Eastern District of Michigan

Professional Societies:

Enright Inn of Court
American Corporate Counsel Association
Association of Business Trial Lawyers
Corporate Directors Forum
American Bar Association

Charitable Boards:

The Patrick Henry Memorial Foundation – Board Member – Brookneal, Virginia
The Edgar Allen Poe Museum – Board Member – Richmond, Virginia
The Bowery Theatre – President, Board Member – San Diego
The San Diego Festival of the Arts – Vice President, Board Member – San Diego
Muscular Dystrophy Association – 1st Vice President, Board Member – San Diego
San Diego Theatre League – Founder, Board Member – San Diego
Multiple Sclerosis Society – Board Member – San Diego
Teatro Mascara Majica – Board Member – San Diego
San Diego Civic Light Opera – President’s Circle
(and others)


Who’s Who in America
Who’s Who in the American West
Who’s Who in American Law

John branding calf

My Colleagues

Michelle Volk
Michelle Volk

Business & Civil Lawyer

Scott Street - Attorney
Scott Street

Corporate & Business Trial Lawyer

Robert F Kennedy Jr
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Constitutional and Environmental Litigator

Mitchell Stein
Mitchell B. Stein

Business and Real Estate Litigator

AV Preeminent Award

Judicial Review

Client Champion Award

Client Champion 2020