Senior 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

Corporate Depositions: The Sword and The Shield

33rd Annual Medical Device Seminar, Coeur d’Alene, ID, June 11, 2021

Combatting The Rise of Extreme Opinions in the Jury Room

co-speaker with A. Jabbour, Ph.D., and W. Ruskin, Esq., IADC Webinar, April 8, 2020

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

Challenging Expert Testimony: What Works, What Doesn't

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

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

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 (1995-2023)

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

Kentucky Super Lawyers® (2007-22)

Kentucky Super Lawyers®, Top 50 Lawyers in Kentucky (2007, 2010-17, 2019-20)

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, 2013-22)

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 Law2023
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Press Releases

Stites & Harbison, PLLC Lawyers Named to 2023 Best Lawyers® Publications

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that 98 of its lawyers are included in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Additionally, 11 Stites & Harbison attorneys are named as “Lawyer of the Year” and 19 attorneys are recognized in “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch,” which recognizes attorneys early in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 18, 2022
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 37 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 2022

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2022 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 37 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 29 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and eight attorneys to the Rising Stars list.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 11, 2022
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation 2022 Honors 15 Stites & Harbison Attorneys

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2022 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 12 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and three as “Future Stars” in Kentucky.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC October 08, 2021
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison, PLLC Lawyers Named to 2022 Best Lawyers® Publications

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that 93 lawyers are included in the 2022 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Additionally, 11 attorneys are named as “Lawyer of the Year” and 14 attorneys are recognized in “Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch,” which recognizes attorneys early in their careers for outstanding professional excellence in private practice in the United States.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 01, 2021
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 41 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 2021

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2021 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 42 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 21, 2020
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison, PLLC Lawyers Named to 2021 Best Lawyers® Publications

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that 82 lawyers are included in the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America©.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 20, 2020
Press Releases

Kentucky Super Lawyers Honors 45 Stites & Harbison Attorneys for 2020

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2020 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 42 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 32 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and 13 attorneys to the Rising Stars list.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 12, 2019
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