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John Q. Lewis

Cleveland, OH | D 216.696.5325 | F 216.592.5009 | M 216.402.6588

John Q. Lewis is a trial lawyer with more than 20 years of experience delivering successful results for clients in high-stakes, complex disputes throughout the world.

John’s client successes stem from a litigation philosophy that provides for trial preparation from Day One and a willingness to follow through to verdict when necessary. He has secured courtroom wins for public and private company clients against America’s top trial lawyers in diverse jurisdictions across the country, including California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Ohio.

At client request, John leads trial teams in sophisticated commercial disputes, including transaction-related shareholder derivative and class actions, consumer class actions including claims under state consumer protection statutes and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), employment litigation related to non-compete and trade secret matters, professional liability and ethics-related claims, and supply and distribution agreement disputes.

John also heads up trial teams and national coordinating counsel representations in product liability lawsuits, particularly those involving FDA-regulated pharmaceuticals and medical devices. His record includes dozens of pretrial wins in federal and state trial courts and numerous victories in appellate courts throughout the country, including the Supreme Court of the United States.

Many of John’s litigation matters extend beyond one-off cases and implicate cross-border, multi-jurisdictional and business and governmental relations consultation and strategy. For example, he is or has been lead or co-lead counsel in state and federal coordinated multi-district litigation proceedings involving hundreds and sometimes thousands of individual cases, with parallel litigation in other countries.

John also routinely advises corporate clients and boards on complex brand-related governance and regulatory strategy, particularly with respect to FDA-related activities in the healthcare, medical device, and pharmaceutical industries.

John is a champion of the justice system and dedicates a significant amount of time to community and pro bono causes. John serves on the board of the Legal Aid Society and represents numerous indigent clients, including tenants in wrongful eviction disputes and wrongfully imprisoned capital defendants in post-conviction proceedings. Most recently, he walked a capital habeas client off Ohio’s death row and obtained a complete bar of reprosecution through federal court proceedings in a case that has captured regional and national media attention throughout the past several years.

John is Band 3-ranked in Chambers USA 2018, where he is described as "terrific," with a "smart and practical approach." Sources say "he's very good at seeing the overall strategic picture and making sure everything is done for the client."

John is the proud father of three children and resides in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood.

education & admissions


  • Duquesne University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1996); Order of Barristers; Law Review; Moot Court, Chairman
  • Kalamazoo College (B.A., 1993)

state admissions

  • Ohio, 1996

federal admissions

  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • United States District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Ohio
services & industries

service areas

industries represented

  • Aerospace Products
  • Air
  • Apparel
  • Banks
  • Consumer Products
  • FDA Law & Regulations
  • Financial Investment Companies
  • Hotels / Resorts
  • Legal Services (Law Firms)
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical Devices
  • Pharmaceutical & Medicine
  • Plastics & Rubber
  • Transportation Equipment

Representative Cases

Product Liability Litigation

  • International Pharmaceutical Manufacturer – Diabetes Drug. Lead national coordinating counsel in pharmaceutical litigation filed in state and federal courts throughout United States. Obtained partial or complete dismissal in several individual cases without defeat, including cutting-edge decisions in areas of personal jurisdiction and preemption.
  • International Medical Device Manufacturer – Transvaginal Mesh. Lead trial counsel and national coordinating counsel in state and federal coordinated multi-district litigation. First chair trial counsel in two defense verdicts (Oakland, California and Columbus, Georgia). Obtained dismissal of medical monitoring class action and several individual cases, including five favorable summary judgment rulings in 2012 and 2013. Used previous litigation successes to structure favorable, innovative case resolutions.
  • International Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Manufacturer – Orthopedic Devices. Trial counsel and member of two national coordinating teams defending manufacturer of metal hip implant system in state and federal coordinated multi-district litigation with cross-border parallel litigation. Involved in all aspects of litigation, including fact and expert witness work and regulatory and trial strategy.
  • International Medical Device Manufacturer – Aesthetic Medicine. Lead trial counsel and international coordinating counsel for over 15 years in individual and class action proceedings throughout the world. Lead trial counsel in two defense verdicts (Punta Gorda, Florida and Tupelo, Mississippi). Obtained dismissal or summary judgment in over 20 different matters throughout the country, including in individual plaintiff lawsuits, commercial contract disputes and unfair trade practices claims. Lead or co-lead appellate counsel in multiple affirmances in state and federal circuit courts.
  • International Pharmaceutical Manufacturer. Summary judgment granted for pharmaceutical manufacturer in case alleging defective warnings (N.D. Ohio).
  • Ohio-Based Public Company. Regional coordinating counsel representing major paint supplier in several toxic tort-based municipal public nuisance lawsuits throughout Ohio. All cases dismissed.

Complex Commercial Litigation

  • National Outdoor Product Manufacturer. Lead counsel in trade secret theft and non-compete lawsuit involving former employee. After third-party electronic discovery, obtained agreed permanent injunction.
  • International Auto Manufacturer. Lead or co-lead regional counsel in series of individual employment and discrimination lawsuits, obtaining seven pre-trial wins (with no defeats), including Sixth Circuit precedent-setting decisions relating to reverse discrimination claims.
  • Delaware-Based Technology Company. Lead trial counsel in multimillion-dollar business dispute in Delaware federal court. After one-week trial, jury deliberated two hours and found in favor of client on all claims asserted by plaintiffs, including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and promissory estoppel claims, and found in favor of client on counterclaim for misappropriation of trade secrets.
  • International Precision Photonic and Motion Control Manufacturer. Lead counsel in Delaware Chancery Court case filed on behalf of client/purchaser of technology company. After defeating defendant’s motion to dismiss, obtained favorable resolution on behalf of plaintiff/client for entire amount claimed in complaint.
  • Shareholder of Ohio Private Company. Lead trial counsel in corporate dissolution proceedings on behalf of 50% shareholder in deadlock with co-owner. After bench trial, obtained all relief requested in complaint and secured sale of company, preserving significant asset valuation for client.
  • International Engine Manufacturer. Lead counsel in obtaining dismissal of $40-million claim alleging breach of contract, breach of express and implied warranties, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation with respect to sale of allegedly defective engines to OEM.
  • International Pharmaceutical Manufacturer. Co-lead counsel in Delaware Chancery Court case involving contract reformation and breach of joint venture agreement. After personally taking pretrial deposition of opposing executive, obtained favorable resolution for entire amount claimed in complaint on eve of trial.
  • International Engine Manufacturer. Lead regional counsel in individual warranty and commercial litigation matters, obtaining pre-trial dismissal in a half dozen cases and acting as lead counsel in international arbitration (Paris, France) involving marine engines, achieving enforcement of repair/replacement warranty and avoiding multimillion-dollar claim for lost profits and economic losses.
  • Ohio-Based Cosmetic Supplier. Lead counsel in obtaining summary judgment for client in alleged breach of distribution agreement brought by supplier (W.D. Michigan).

Class Action Litigation

  • International Pre-Moistened Wipe Manufacturer – Consumer Class Actions. Lead trial and coordinating counsel in multiple class action lawsuits brought by individuals and municipalities related to flushable wipes. Obtained partial dismissal of one lawsuit prior to discovery and class certification.
  • International Consumer Product Manufacturer – Consumer Class Action. Lead trial counsel in class action brought by individual related to “natural” claims. Obtained nuisance resolution prior to protracted litigation.
  • National Food and Animal Product Manufacturer – Consumer Class Action. Lead trial counsel in class action brought by individual related to animal product.
  • Ohio Public Company – Shareholder Class Action. Lead counsel defending company and board members in transaction-related shareholder class action lawsuit brought by national shareholder plaintiff firm. Defeated claims for injunctive relief and obtained complete dismissal of lawsuit, preserving closing date without delay or extension. Court decision ruled favorably for client in case of first impression relating to so-called “don’t ask, don’t waive” provisions in purchase agreement.
  • International Heating and Air-Conditioning Unit Manufacturer – Consumer Class Action. Lead counsel in Ohio-based putative consumer class action involving air-conditioning unit design. Obtained complete dismissal of lawsuit prior to discovery and class certification.
  • Ohio-Based Public Company – Shareholder Class Action. Co-lead counsel defending company against fiduciary duty class action claims brought against directors in connection with unsolicited proposal by third party. Obtained complete dismissal.
  • International Auto Manufacturer – Employment Class Actions. Lead or co-lead regional counsel in series of class action employment and discrimination lawsuits, obtaining seven pre-trial wins (with no defeats), including Sixth Circuit precedent-setting decisions relating to reverse discrimination claims.
publications & events

Speaking Engagements

  • "Inappropriately Filed Cases and Bundling of Filing Fees," Documenting and Seeking Solutions to Mass-Tort MDL Problems, Duke Law Judicial Studies Center/Bolch Institute, Atlanta, Georgia (April 2018)
  • "'Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!' The Importance of Following the Yellow Brick Road in Corporate Representative Depositions," 2017 In-House Counsel Summit, Tucker Ellis LLP, Cleveland, Ohio (October 2017)
  • "Recent Decisions Relating to Front-Loading Plaintiff Discovery in Mass Tort Litigation," IADC Webinar (September 2017)
  • “Principles of Civil Post-Judgment Motions and Appeals as Illustrated by the Habeas Proceedings of Former Death-Row Inmate Joe D'Ambrosio,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Appellate Practice 2014 (June 2014)
  • “Exclusion of FDA Evidence in Medical Device Trials,” IADC Drug, Device and Biotechnology Committee Webinar (May 2014)
  • “Northern District of Ohio Federal Court Training,” chair and speaker, Cleveland, Ohio (numerous engagements)
  • “A Retrospective Approach: Placing Your Jury in a Time Capsule,” DRI Drug & Device (May 2013)
  • “Enforcing Employment Agreements (Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation, Non-Disclosure Agreements) – Getting the Most Out of What You Bargained For,” Cleveland, Ohio (December 2010)
  • “Fundamentals of Medical Device Regulations and Litigation,” internal client presentation, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2010)
  • “Ohio Malpractice Law Update,” Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (April 2010)
  • “Defending Executive Depositions,” Cleveland, Ohio (December 2009)
  • “Trial by Fire – The Winning Strategy for Medical Device Product Liability Litigation,” Cleveland, Ohio (April 2009)
  • “Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Litigation – Trends,” Cleveland, OH (August 2007)
  • “Discovery Issues in Product Liability Litigation,” internal client presentation, Cleveland, Ohio (July 2007)
  • Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Deposition Workshop, Atlanta, Georgia (June 2007)
  • “Ohio Product Liability Law,” internal client presentation, Cleveland, Ohio (June 2007)
  • “Taking and Defending Effective Depositions,” Lorman Education, Independence, Ohio (April 2007)
  • Instructor, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) Advanced Motions Program, Denver, Colorado (March 2007)
  • Brady Symposium, Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Cleveland, Ohio (January 2007)
  • “Ethics and Advocacy in the Courtroom,” Ohio State Bar Association, Cleveland, Ohio (December 2006)
  • “Tactics for Use of Technology at Trial,” Cleveland Bar Association Litigation Institute, Cleveland, Ohio (November 2006)
  • “Effective Use of Courtroom Technology,” Cleveland, Ohio (June 2006)
  • “Cleveland Bar Association Appellate Courts Committee: One Lawyer’s Perspective on Arguing Before the Sixth Circuit (En Banc) and the United States Supreme Court,” Cleveland, Ohio (May 2006)


Media Quotes


Awards & Professional Recognition

  • Chambers USA
    • Litigation: General Commercial (Ohio) (2015-2018)
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Litigation Star (2015-2018)
  • Who's Who Legal
    • Life Sciences: Product Liability (2016, 2017)
  • Legal 500 – recognized as “thorough and dependable” (2010)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® (2012-2018)
  • Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars® (2005-2011; featured 2005)
  • The Best Lawyers in America® (2013-2018)

in the community

Civic & Professional Involvement

  • Legal Aid Society, Board Member
  • Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
    • Judicial Selection Committee, Past Section Chair
  • The Judge John M. Manos American Inn of Court
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Ohio State Bar Association
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