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).
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
Daubert Success and Practice Strategies
Cross-Examination Using Learned Treatises
Evidentiary Objections at Trial
Fire and Explosion Litigation Strategies
DRI Product Liability Conference, National Harbor, Md., April 2013
Federal Jurisdiction and Venue
Litigation Prevention: Using Litigation Experience to Help Reduce Product Risks
Warnings & Instructions From A to Z
How to Survive a Daubert Challenge
Establishing Diversity in Medical Device Litigation
Daubert and Rule 702: Effectively Presenting and Challenging Experts in Federal Court
Torts & Insurance Practice Group, Former Co-Chair
Diversity Committee, Member
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.
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.
John and his wife, Phyllis, live on a working farm outside of Louisville, raise, rescue, and board horses, and clean lots of stalls.
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 (1995-2024)
Best Lawyers in America®, Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year for Defense of Product Liability Litigation (2012)
Kentucky Super Lawyers® (2007-23)
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, 2013-23)
John Tate is one of the best trial lawyers I have worked with.
John's litigation experience and his ability to spot potential liability issues is exceptional.
He is among the crème de lacrème of attorneys I have known in my 30+ years of claims experience.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2024 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 11 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and three as “Future Stars” in Kentucky.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that 101 of its lawyers are included in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2023 edition of Kentucky Super Lawyers recently honored 49 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys in the Covington, Frankfort, Lexington and Louisville, Ky., offices. The publication named 37 attorneys to the Super Lawyers list and 12 attorneys to the Rising Stars list.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2023 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 12 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and three as “Future Stars” in Kentucky. The guide honors the firms and attorneys who have demonstrated the ability to consistently handle complex, high-stakes cases in multiple jurisdictions.
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.
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.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The 2022 edition of Benchmark Litigation names 12 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as “Litigation Stars” and three as “Future Stars” in Kentucky.
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.