People

John Lawless is counsel in King & Spalding’s Litigation Practice Group, with a focus on Product Liability and Toxic Tort Litigation.  The firm earned Law360’s Product Liability Group of the Year designation in 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015.  Mr. Lawless has significant experience defending Fortune 100 and other large companies in a wide range of complex litigation matters, including commercial and product liability cases.

Mr. Lawless received his J.D. from the University of Southern California in 2002.  There, he was a member of the Southern California Law Review and was elected to the Order of the Coif.  He received his B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1997.  Mr. Lawless is a member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and serves as a mentor to law students by participating in the Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity program.  He received the firm’s Mentor Award in 2015.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., University of Southern California

B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder

California

Los Angeles County Bar Association

News

Press Release

November 5, 2015
King & Spalding Elects 24 New Partners

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Matters

Pharmaceutical

Represents GlaxoSmithKline in nationwide product liability litigation concerning allegations of a link between the company's antidepressant, Paxil®, and an increased risk of certain congenital defects.

Represented AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in numerous product liability actions regarding alleged injuries resulting from the administration of an anesthetic medication through a “pain pump.”

Part of the national defense team responsible for defending a major pharmaceutical company against alleged claims of heart valve damage and primary pulmonary hypertension due to the ingestion of diet medication. 

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Matters

Pharmaceutical

Represents GlaxoSmithKline in nationwide product liability litigation concerning allegations of a link between the company's antidepressant, Paxil®, and an increased risk of certain congenital defects.

Represented AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in numerous product liability actions regarding alleged injuries resulting from the administration of an anesthetic medication through a “pain pump.”

Part of the national defense team responsible for defending a major pharmaceutical company against alleged claims of heart valve damage and primary pulmonary hypertension due to the ingestion of diet medication. 

Groundwater Contamination

Represents Shell Oil Company against product liability claims relating to alleged contamination of various California water systems as a result of historical use of agricultural chemicals. Mr. Lawless has conducted the depositions of various witnesses, defended the deposition of a former Shell salesman, and aided in investigations and preparation of witnesses.

Toxic Torts – Benzene

Has represented a number of Fortune and Global 1000 companies, including AkzoNobel, Benjamin Moore & Co., D Aircraft Products, Cytec Industries, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, The Glidden Company and Union Carbide Corporation in personal injury cases, involving claims of exposure to various chemicals, including benzene. 

Toxic Torts – Asbestos

Represents various clients, including AkzoNobel, Cytec Engineered Materials Inc., Benjamin Moore & Co., Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard Company, ICI Americas, Inc., PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., and Cargotec USA Inc. in products and premises liability matters involving alleged harm as a result of exposure to asbestos. He has experience in handling all aspects of these cases and, as such, has secured dismissals or favorable settlements for his clients.

Mr. Lawless obtained a defense verdict for Fiberite after a seven-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court where the plaintiff claimed he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to a Fiberite molding compound.

He recently second-chaired a trial for American Cyanamid where plaintiff alleged he worked with the client’s specialty adhesives in the manufacturing of airplane parts. Mr. Lawless handled all aspects of the case from inception through trial, including portions of voir dire and the cross-examination of plaintiff’s key product identification witness. The team successfully resolved the matter at a sum favorable to the client after a week of trial.

Mr. Lawless has also defended several asbestos cases that have been set for “preference” trial pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 36..

Lead Paint

Represented American Cyanamid Company and an international petroleum company in a nuisance action being prosecuted by cities and counties throughout the State of California against the manufacturers of paint pigments, seeking the abatement of lead paint from all buildings and homes within their boundaries.

Motor Vehicles

Mr. Lawless is a member of the King & Spalding team conducting internal investigations of and defending two different car manufacturers from allegations that they knowingly installed undisclosed auxiliary emission control devices in some of their vehicles.

Consumer Class Actions

Represented a pharmaceutical company in putative class actions related to alleged telephone call recording

Commercial

Represented Cytec Engineered Materials Inc. in a matter involving claims of alleged breach of contract, in which a favorable settlement was secured.

News

Press Release

November 5, 2015
King & Spalding Elects 24 New Partners

View all

Matters

Pharmaceutical

Represents GlaxoSmithKline in nationwide product liability litigation concerning allegations of a link between the company's antidepressant, Paxil®, and an increased risk of certain congenital defects.

Represented AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in numerous product liability actions regarding alleged injuries resulting from the administration of an anesthetic medication through a “pain pump.”

Part of the national defense team responsible for defending a major pharmaceutical company against alleged claims of heart valve damage and primary pulmonary hypertension due to the ingestion of diet medication. 

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Pharmaceutical

Represents GlaxoSmithKline in nationwide product liability litigation concerning allegations of a link between the company's antidepressant, Paxil®, and an increased risk of certain congenital defects.

Represented AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP in numerous product liability actions regarding alleged injuries resulting from the administration of an anesthetic medication through a “pain pump.”

Part of the national defense team responsible for defending a major pharmaceutical company against alleged claims of heart valve damage and primary pulmonary hypertension due to the ingestion of diet medication. 

Groundwater Contamination

Represents Shell Oil Company against product liability claims relating to alleged contamination of various California water systems as a result of historical use of agricultural chemicals. Mr. Lawless has conducted the depositions of various witnesses, defended the deposition of a former Shell salesman, and aided in investigations and preparation of witnesses.

Toxic Torts – Benzene

Has represented a number of Fortune and Global 1000 companies, including AkzoNobel, Benjamin Moore & Co., D Aircraft Products, Cytec Industries, Inc., The Dow Chemical Company, The Glidden Company and Union Carbide Corporation in personal injury cases, involving claims of exposure to various chemicals, including benzene. 

Toxic Torts – Asbestos

Represents various clients, including AkzoNobel, Cytec Engineered Materials Inc., Benjamin Moore & Co., Ford Motor Company, Hewlett-Packard Company, ICI Americas, Inc., PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc., and Cargotec USA Inc. in products and premises liability matters involving alleged harm as a result of exposure to asbestos. He has experience in handling all aspects of these cases and, as such, has secured dismissals or favorable settlements for his clients.

Mr. Lawless obtained a defense verdict for Fiberite after a seven-week jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court where the plaintiff claimed he developed mesothelioma as a result of exposure to a Fiberite molding compound.

He recently second-chaired a trial for American Cyanamid where plaintiff alleged he worked with the client’s specialty adhesives in the manufacturing of airplane parts. Mr. Lawless handled all aspects of the case from inception through trial, including portions of voir dire and the cross-examination of plaintiff’s key product identification witness. The team successfully resolved the matter at a sum favorable to the client after a week of trial.

Mr. Lawless has also defended several asbestos cases that have been set for “preference” trial pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 36..

Lead Paint

Represented American Cyanamid Company and an international petroleum company in a nuisance action being prosecuted by cities and counties throughout the State of California against the manufacturers of paint pigments, seeking the abatement of lead paint from all buildings and homes within their boundaries.

Motor Vehicles

Mr. Lawless is a member of the King & Spalding team conducting internal investigations of and defending two different car manufacturers from allegations that they knowingly installed undisclosed auxiliary emission control devices in some of their vehicles.

Consumer Class Actions

Represented a pharmaceutical company in putative class actions related to alleged telephone call recording

Commercial

Represented Cytec Engineered Materials Inc. in a matter involving claims of alleged breach of contract, in which a favorable settlement was secured.

News

Press Release

November 5, 2015
King & Spalding Elects 24 New Partners

View all

Credentials

J.D., University of Southern California

B.A., University of Colorado at Boulder

California

Los Angeles County Bar Association