John is a founding member of the firm. He focuses on insurance defense with special emphasis on police and correctional liability. He represents many sheriffs, counties and municipalities across northern Florida.
John began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. After three years as a division prosecutor, John was assigned specialized duties which included organized crime prosecution, and public corruption prosecution. He later formed and headed the Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit, which pioneered a number of landmark cases. While an Assistant State Attorney he tried more than 125 jury trials including capital murder, capital sexual battery, and trafficking in narcotics. In 1986, he spearheaded the Broward County Grand Jury’s inquiry into child deaths in the Foster Care system and initiated the first successful prosecution of a parent in the suicide death of a child for which he was honored as Broward County’s Child Advocate of the Year.
In 1987, John joined Fort Lauderdale’s Shailer, Purdy & Jolly, P.A., where he provided liability defense services to local law enforcement agencies and further specialized in contraband forfeiture actions against assets of narcotics traffickers including aircraft and surface vessels. During this period he defended former Sheriff Nick Navarro in the notorious litigation in which 2 Live Crew’s “Nasty As They Wanna Be” was declared obscene by U.S. District Judge Jose Gonzalez.
In 1992 he joined Parker, Skelding, Labasky and Corry, in Tallahassee. He became a shareholder in 1994, and remained there until 1999 when, along with his partner, Carl Peterson, he opened the six-attorney firm of Jolly & Peterson, P.A. Locally, he successfully defended the Sheriff’s Office in closely watched litigation which sought to have practices at Leon County’s Boot Camp declared unconstitutional.
In total, John has tried more than 190 trials to jury verdict. He is rated A-V in the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory.
While still a law student, John was a staff member of the Florida Senate Committee on Corrections, Probation and Parole.