Member

John L. Tate

A senior member of the firm's Torts & Insurance Practice Group, John's national and regional litigation practice focuses on defending complex product liability lawsuits and managing serial litigation. His extensive trial experience includes medical devices, pharmaceuticals, intellectual property, and a variety of personal injury matters. John has tried product liability cases to jury verdicts in eight states.

John also maintains an active appellate practice representing appellees, appellants, and amici curiae in state and federal courts.

One of John's long-standing interests is the application of Daubert criteria to exclude substandard opinion testimony. Decisions on this topic include Morehouse v. Louisville Ladder, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21766 (South Carolina); Reynolds v. Freightliner, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97244 (Kentucky); Hayes v. MTD Products, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66109 (Kentucky); Campos v. MTD Products, Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12951 (Tennessee); Walker v. Louisville Ladder, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9917 (Tennessee); Scarvelli v. Leatt Corporation, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98366 (Ohio); Lyons v. Leatt Corp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148783 (Ohio); and Wilden v. Laury Transp., LLC, 901 F.3d 644 (6th Cir. 2018).

Recent News, Articles & Speaking Engagements

Seeing and Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls

Kentucky Paralegal Association Annual Convention, Lexington, KY, November 8, 2019

Effective Appellate Oral Advocacy

A joint project of ACTL, AAAL, and Access to Justice Commission, Chase School of Law, July 26, 2019

How Will BigLaw Sustain Revenue?

Law Practice Today Roundtable, June 14, 2019

Challenging Expert Testimony: What Works, What Doesn't

Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, Louisville, KY, June 13, 2019

Products Liability Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium

co-author of Kentucky Chapter, 2019

Preparing and Presenting Witnesses in Civil Litigation

Kentucky Bar Association Annual Convention, Lexington, KY, June 14, 2018

Daubert Success and Practice Strategies

30th Annual Medical Device Seminar, Naples, FL, June 9, 2017

Witnesses

Chapter 8, Kentucky Civil Practice at Trial (4th ed., 2017)

Do Daubert Motions Really Work?

Inside Counsel, December 29, 2016

Cross-Examination Using Learned Treatises

Products Liability Law & Strategy, January 2016

Kentucky Supreme Court vacates $2.5 million punitive damages verdict

Extreme Sports Challenge the Courts

Evidentiary Objections at Trial

LBA Trial Academy, August 2014

Fire and Explosion Litigation Strategies

DRI Product Liability Conference, National Harbor, Md., April 2013

Federal Jurisdiction and Venue

Product Liability Law & Strategy, v. 31, no. 1, July 2012

The 'Firefighter's Rule'

Litigation Prevention: Using Litigation Experience to Help Reduce Product Risks

4th Annual Product Safety & Liability Conference, Washington, D.C., October 2011

Warnings & Instructions From A to Z

3d Annual Product Safety & Liability Conference, Washington, D.C., October 2010

Expert Reports

How to Survive a Daubert Challenge

AICPA National Conference on Forensic Accounting, Boston, Mass., September 2010

Establishing Diversity in Medical Device Litigation

Product Liability Law & Strategy, v. 29, no. 2, August 2010

Daubert and Rule 702: Effectively Presenting and Challenging Experts in Federal Court

ALM Webinar, January 2010
Recent Assignments
Bar Admissions
Kentucky
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
U.S. Supreme Court
Firm Leadership

Torts & Insurance Practice Group, Former Co-Chair

Stites University

Diversity Committee, Member

Memberships
Product Liability Advisory Council
Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel
International Association of Defense Counsel
Defense Research Institute
Lawyers for Civil Justice
Education
Before Stites & Harbison

John's first career was teaching high school and college students in history, English literature, and rhetoric. He later spent seven years in an environmental regulatory agency before going into private practice.

More Than Stites & Harbison

A long-time supporter of the arts, John served for 12 years on the board of directors of Actors Theatre of Louisville. He was previously a member of the board of directors of the American Lung Association of Kentucky and served as board president in 1994-96. John also served as trustee of St. Francis School in Goshen and on the board of the Louisville Audubon Society. John served multiple terms as a director of the Louisville Bar Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Louisville Bar Association, culminating in 2016 with service as the foundation's president.

Besides Stites & Harbison

John and his wife, Phyllis, live on a working farm outside of Louisville, raise, rescue, and board horses, and clean lots of stalls.

Accolades

Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers

Martindale-Hubbell® AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated

Best Lawyers in America®, Bet-the-Company Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants and Product Liability Litigation - Defendants (1995-2020)

Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year for Defense of Product Liability Litigation (2012)

Kentucky Super Lawyers® (2007-19)

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Top 50 Lawyers in Kentucky (2007, 2010-17, 2019)

Louisville Magazine "Top Lawyer" (2014, 2016)

Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, Distinguished Alumnus award (2011)

Benchmark Litigation magazine, Litigation Star (2008, 2009, 2013-19)

Testimonials

John Tate is one of the best trial lawyers I have worked with.

- Best Lawyers

John's litigation experience and his ability to spot potential liability issues is exceptional.

- LinkedIn

He is among the crème de lacrème of attorneys I have known in my 30+ years of claims experience.

- LinkedIn
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Tate Best Law2020
Tate Bestlawloy2012
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Benchmark Litigation Star 2019
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See more related to John L. Tate
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America Honors 75 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 has recognized 75 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-three of those attorneys selected have been honored for 10 consecutive years or more.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 22, 2019
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 42 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2019 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 42 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 33 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and nine attorneys to the Rising Stars list.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 07, 2018
Client Alerts

Getting to $75,000 and One Penny: Sixth Circuit Disapproves of Plaintiffs' Evasion

Over the past decade, federal judges in Kentucky made known their growing preference for strictly construing the requirements for removal based on diversity jurisdiction. See, e.g., May v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 751 F. Supp.2d 94...
by Robin E. McGuffin, and John L. Tate November 19, 2018
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation 2019 Honors 15 Stites & Harbison Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2019 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and four as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 07, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-two of those attorneys selected have been honored for 1...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 16, 2018
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation honors 16 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2018 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and five as “Future Stars” in Kentucky.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 26, 2018
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers honors 51 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2018 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 55 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 39 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and 12 attorneys to the Rising Stars list.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 11, 2017
Client Alerts

Leatt Corporation notches another product liability victory with help of Stites & Harbison, PLLC

A federal court in Indiana issued multiple rulings on September 14, 2017, excluding two of the plaintiff’s expert witnesses in a product liability lawsuit and granting summary judgment for the defendant, safety equipment manufacturer Leatt Corporation.

by Robin E. McGuffin, Bruce B. Paul, September 26, 2017
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 79 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 has recognized 79 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 51 areas of practice. The number of honorees increased since last year, 74 to...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 17, 2017
Client Alerts

Sixth Circuit Rules Kentucky’s Economic Loss Doctrine Inapplicable to Consumer Transactions

Last month, in State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Norcold, Inc., the Sixth Circuit predicted that the Kentucky Supreme Court would decline to extend the “economic loss rule” to consumer transactions. The rule prevents...
by Robin E. McGuffin, and John L. Tate March 06, 2017
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers honors 55 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2017 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 55 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 41 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 22, 2016
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation honors 14 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2017 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 12 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and two as a “Future Star” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 16, 2016
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 74 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2017

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2017 has recognized 74 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 51 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America© is a nationally recognized referral...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 29, 2016
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers honors 64 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2016

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2016 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 64 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 49 attorneys to the Super Lawyers...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 08, 2015
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation names 14 Stites & Harbison Litigation Stars and Two Future Stars for 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2016 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 14 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and two as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated the...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 03, 2015
Client Alerts

Kentucky Supreme Court vacates $2.5 million punitive damages verdict

On September 24, 2015, the Kentucky Supreme Court vacated a $2.5 million punitive damage verdict in an automotive product liability case, Nissan Motors v. Maddox. The Court held plaintiff produced insufficient evidence of reckless or...
by Bethany A. Breetz, and John L. Tate October 09, 2015
Press Releases

Best Lawyers honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2016

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America® 2016 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 50 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America® is a nationally recognized...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 20, 2015
Articles

Extreme Sports Challenge the Courts

Extreme sports are increasingly popular in the U.S., and participation is growing. "Extreme" means different things to different people. But participation is not only up in sports such as mountain biking and snowboarding, more people also are bungee jumping, hang gliding, wind surfing and rock climbing.

by Emily Larish Startsman, and John L. Tate August 11, 2015
Press Releases

Super Lawyers honor Stites & Harbison's Kentucky Attorneys

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers names 52 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices for inclusion on the 2015 Kentucky Super Lawyers list and 18 attorneys are named...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 01, 2014
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation names 15 Stites & Harbison Litigation Stars and two Future Stars

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2015 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 15 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and two as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC November 13, 2014
Press Releases

Best Lawyers honors 89 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2015

(image) LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America® 2015 has recognized 89 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 57 areas of practice. The Best Lawyers in America® is a nationally...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 22, 2014
Press Releases

Super Lawyers honors Stites & Harbison's Kentucky attorneys for 2013-14

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers names 53 Stites & Harbison attorneys in the Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices for inclusion on the 2013-14 Kentucky Super Lawyers list and 19 attorneys are named on the inaugural...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 17, 2013
Press Releases

Eighty-nine Stites & Harbison attorneys honored by Best Lawyers in America for 2014

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, is pleased to announce that 89 of our attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 57 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America®...
by Stites & Harbison PLLC August 27, 2013
Press Releases

Super Lawyers honors Stites & Harbison's Kentucky attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers has named 48 Stites & Harbison attorneys in the Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices for inclusion on the Kentucky Super Lawyers list.Super Lawyers (www.superlawyers.com) is a rating service of outstanding...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC July 22, 2012
Client Alerts

The 'Firefighter's Rule'

On October 28, 2011, the Kentucky Court of Appeals reaffirmed legal protection for businesses and individuals sued for negligence by first responders injured in the course of providing assistance. The so-called “Firefighter’s Rule”—which is...
by John L. Tate November 02, 2011
Press Releases

Best Lawyers names Stites & Harbison attorneys as 2012 Lawyers of the Year

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America®, one of the oldest and most respected peer-review publications in the legal profession, has named eight Kentucky attorneys with Stites & Harbison as Lawyers of the Year for...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC October 26, 2011
Press Releases

Seventy-five Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in Best Lawyers in America

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 75 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 55 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America® 2012. Twenty-five of...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 12, 2011
Press Releases

Thirty-five Stites & Harbison attorneys selected for inclusion on Kentucky Super Lawyers for 2001

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Super Lawyers has named Stites & Harbison’s Charles J. (Mike) Cronan IV, a health care and litigation attorney, as “Top Point Getter” on their 2011 Kentucky Super Lawyers list. A total of 3...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 02, 2011
Articles

Expert Reports

This Chapter is excerpted from Litigators on Experts "Expert Reports" I. Introduction If a party has retained or employed an individual who is expected to testify as an expert witness pursuant to Federal Rule...
by John L. Tate October 01, 2010
Press Releases

Seventy-two Stites & Harbison attorneys honored in "Best Lawyers in America"

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison announced today that 72 of its attorneys were recently selected by their peers for their work in 33 areas of practice in The Best Lawyers in America® 2010. Those attorneys...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 10, 2009