John W. Leonard is a Partner in Orr | Cook’s Jacksonville office. He has extensive experience in Florida, Washington, DC, and elsewhere helping clients navigate challenging civil litigation matters that arise in everyday life, whether professionally or personally. His primary practice areas include Commercial and Business Litigation, Personal Injury Defense, Construction Litigation, and Real Estate Litigation.
Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, John received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Richmond, Virginia, in 2002 before moving to Washington, DC and working for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It was with the Chamber that John first recognized the value and importance of a legal education as a way to assist others, whether promoting their interests on Capitol Hill, before Federal agencies, or in court.
Ultimately, John returned to academia to pursue his own legal education at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, in the District of Columbia. While in law school, John clerked for an administrative judge at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and was Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Contemporary Health Law and Policy. In 2010, he graduated, with honors, and was admitted to the Maryland Bar later the same year.
John began his legal career with a private Maryland firm where he successfully litigated on behalf of individuals, small businesses, and large corporate clients faced with numerous contract and personal injury disputes. He was admitted to the District of Columbia Bar in 2012 and joined the DC-based litigation team at a nationally recognized law firm the same year. In that role, John assisted in defending clients that often faced potential exposure for personal injuries beyond primary liability limits, typically above one million dollars. The work took him across the country and included cases in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, New Jersey, the District of Columbia, and Maryland.
In 2015, John’s wife, Elizabeth, a Jacksonville native, brought him to the Sunshine State. John joined Orr | Cook (previously Dawson | Orr) that year and was admitted to the Florida Bar in May 2016. Since then, he and Elizabeth have welcomed a son and a daughter to their family, which already included a Labrador and Goldendoodle. In his free time, John is likely found (in the trees) at one of the many golf courses throughout north Florida.