Following his graduation from Loyola Law School in 1979, John became a prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. As a city attorney, John conducted over 100 jury trials, including many for driving under the influence and petty theft--charges that most often arise in private criminal defense today.
John was later appointed Special Prosecturor to the Organized Crime and Anti-Terorrist Unit of the Los Angeles District Attorney and served in this capacity for seven years. While there, John conducted the trial of fifteen members of the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party and other domestic terrorsit groups on charges ranging from criminal conspiracy, illegal weapons possession, the setting of illegal fires, and unlawful assembly. He is very proud to have set a legal precent that helped end overt Klan recruitment activity by establishing for the first time in American judicial history that the Ku Klux Klan ceremonial cross 'lighting' ceremony (or cross burning as it is more commonly called) is not protected by the First Amendment. The convictions withstood all appellate challenges, confirming John's contention that the rights of negihborhood residents to be free from fear superceded the Klan's right to openly inflame the cross.
John began his private civil practive in 1985, primarily representing victims of traffic accidents and other personal injuries. Since then, he has conducted dozens of trials in matters ranging from medical malpractice, products liability, and motorvehicle collisions. All the while, he has worked closely with the finest doctors and healthcare facilities in the greater Los Angeles area to ensure that his clients receive the best medical attention and care during the resolution of their claim.
John W. Phillips is the author of Sign of the Cross: The Prosecutor's True Story of a Landmark Trial Against the Klan, published by Westminster John Knox Press. It remains available for purchase through bookstores, online services and his law office.