John Huston is a trial lawyer with 42 years of experience representing public and private entities and individuals in court in all areas of tort litigation, including wrongful death, complex products liability, architects and engineers professional liability law suits and premises liability and motor vehicle accident cases that result in substantial personal injury and/or property damage. He also represents clients in commercial litigation that involves complex technical issues.
He received his J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and received Bachelor's degrees from Yale. He is located in Tressler's Chicago office.
Where are you from?
I’m from a different century, a magical time when people read more and typed less.
What was your first job?
Newspaper delivery boy. (Call me if you don’t know what a “newspaper” is.)
Do you have any hidden talents and/or unique hobbies?
Most of my talents are hidden. One of them used to be persuading juries. Now, my best talent is communicating with 12-year-olds. Persuading juries is easier.
What is on your bucket list?
It used to be to participate in a musical “Flash Mob” event. Now, it’s hiding the bucket.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
It seemed like the best profession for someone with a lot of hidden talent.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
It used to be filled with interesting people, demanding clients, lots of deadlines and the constant need to be smart, thorough and creative. The change now is that it increasingly involves responding to the demands of my beautiful wife who insists that I be smart, thorough and creative.
Why did you choose your areas of practice?
It kind of chose me. When you’re better on your feet than you are on paper, you end up in court. When you succeed in court, you tend to stay there because a lot of lawyers can’t do it well.
What do you like most about Tressler?
If you mean attorney Jay Tressler, I like his rich voice and gentle manner. If you mean Tressler the law firm, I like getting together with smart people, lawyers and staff who can teach me things and let me keep doing what I do.
What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?
My answer to the "Typical Workday" question. Speaking seriously, I’ve had three persons who I know greatly appreciated the legal help I gave them by winning at trial. I only hope that I’ve helped more than three, but if not, those three made it worthwhile.Please tell us some interesting litigation stories.
My favorite and most entertaining litigation stories arise out of a four-year period when the firm I was in was assigned numerous defense cases by the American Veterinary Medicine Association. The great thing about that client was that because of the number of nuisance suits they received, they TRIED EVERYTHING. I had one case involving the alleged malpractice by a veterinarian who use his considerable skill and resources to keep the pet dog of a litigious family alive for over a year after it was diagnosed with cancer. Unfortunately, it cost the family about $1,200 for that year. We had to hire an expert and spent over $10,000 to take that case successfully through trial. The AVMA regularly paid for a defense that was many times more than the exposure of the case. Those cases could be as complex and technical as any medical malpractice case involving human beings. Mainly, they involved wild personalities and moments that were absolutely unique in the practice of law. For example, one unique case required me to cross-examine Jill Wine-Banks, who was at that time the Executive Director of the ABA, but who in earlier years had been the former Watergate prosecutor that we are seeing on CNN a lot these days. Another unique case required me to use the learned treatise exception to the hearsay rule to enter into evidence the story of a giraffe that died at the Lincoln Park Zoo while having its toenails cut. For the details on these and many other great moments in animal litigation, ask me out to lunch.