I am a sixty year old board-certified civil trial lawyer who is fascinated by the law of personal injury and wrongful death, also called the law of torts. I have studied the field for over thirty years. I represent people who have been injured and the families of those who have died as a result of the negligence of others.
I grew up in Spencer, Wisconsin, a village about 140 miles due north of Madison. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville in 1978 with a B.S. degree in Comprehensive Business and Economics.
I then moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I attended the University of North Carolina. I received my J.D. degree in May 1981, graduating with honors. I was elected to the Order of the Coif and served on the staff of the North Carolina Law Review.
I moved to Nashville in May 1981. I was an associate and later a partner in a Nashville firm from 1981 - 1992, and had the privilege to learn how to be a trial lawyer from the late John T. Conners, Jr. On January 1, 1993, I left a partnership in that firm and started a firm that is now known as the Law Offices of John Day, P.C. The practice of our four-lawyer firm is limited to complex civil litigation on behalf of plaintiffs in personal injury, wrongful death, medical malpractice, products liability, automobile and trucking liability and other tort cases that arise from burns and sexual abuse.
I enjoy bar association activities. I have served as President of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association, Chair of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America Council of State Presidents, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association. I am also a past President of the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a non-profit group that certifies trial lawyers across the Nation. I was board-certified by that organization as a civil trial lawyer over 20 years ago and have been re-certified every five years. In 2006 I was elected to the American Law Institute.
I also enjoy working on committees designed to improve the quality of the legal system. The Tennessee Supreme Court has appointed me to the Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization; I served two terms on that Commission and served as its Chair. I currently serve as a consultant to the Tennessee Judicial Conference's Committee on Pattern Jury (Civil) Instructions; I am one of two non-judges on that Committee. Lt. Governor John Wilder appointed me to the Tennessee Judicial Evaluation Commission, the group that evaluates Tennessee's appellate judges. My service on that Commission ended in June, 2009. I was then appointed to the successor group, the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission by Rep. Williams, the Speaker of Tennessee House of Representatives. On September 15, 2009 I was selected as the Chair of that Commission and was re-elected as Chair for another one-year term in August, 2010. I finished my service on the Commission in the Fall of 2011. I have also served on the Tennessee Supreme Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission. On January 1, 2008, the Tennessee Supreme Court appointed me to its Advisory Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure and I was re-appointed effective January 1, 2014. My service ended on December 31, 2016.
I have been an active legal writer and speaker. In 1997 Donald Capparella and I combined forces to write Tennessee Law of Comparative Fault, the only book in Tennessee in the field. John Wood joined us for the Second Edition; the book is published (and updated annually) by Thomson West Publishing Company. The third edition of the book was published in the Fall of 2008.
I have also authored "Day on Torts: A Handbook for Tennessee Tort Lawyers." The most recent edition of the book, now called "Day on Torts: Leading Cases for Tennessee Tort Lawyers," was released in 2016.
My most recent book is "Tennessee Law of Civil Trial," which was published in the Summer of 2013.
My book "Compendium of Tort Reform Statues and Related Cases, 2008-2014" is now in its fifth edition. The book is a collection of tort reform statues and the cases that interpret those statutes. A new edition, covering changes in the law through July 1, 2016, was released in November of 2065.
I have also written over fifty articles on personal injury and wrongful death law. Several of those articles have been cited by the Tennessee Supreme Court in court opinions.
I have been honored to speak at legal seminars across the country. I have given over 250 speeches to lawyers in 19 different states. In 2004 former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Penny White and former Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Joe Riley and I started "Justice Programs" to offer seminars to Tennessee lawyers.
I was honored to be named in the 1993-94 edition of Best Lawyers in America at the age of 36, and have been included in every edition thereafter. In 2009 I was named the Best Personal Injury Lawyer in Nashville by Best Lawyers in America. That publication honored me with the "Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Nashville" award in 2010 and 2014, and in 2012 with the award for the "Best Bet-the-Company Lawyer" award . Other than the opportunity to represent my wonderful clients, my biggest professional honor was election to the American College of Trial Lawyers in 2002 at the age of 45. Less than 140 Tennessee lawyers are Fellows in this organization and less than 20 of those have a substantial practice on behalf of plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases. I am currently serving as Chair of the Tennessee Chapter.
On the personal side, my wife Joy (also a lawyer) and I would rather be at our cabin on Tims Ford Lake outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee than any other place in the world. Joined by Sarah (age 25) and Michael (21), my children from a previous marriage, and our 9-year old daughter Kate we enjoy boating and other water sports. We also love to hike. Joy and I are Tennessee Titans fans, and Joy is an avid University of Tennessee Vols football fan.