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John M. Fitzpatrick

Senior Counsel

P. 303.244.1874 | F. 303.244.1879
"He is an outstanding lawyer in the courtroom, which puts fear into plaintiffs' attorneys when they see that he's entering a case."
—Client comment to Chambers USA


John “Fitz” Fitzpatrick has tried over 220 cases to verdict in more than 40 states, winning defense verdicts in the vast majority of them. He is a true generalist trial lawyer, having won for sophisticated clients in major trials across a broad range of industries. Fitz is one of only three lawyers in the nation specifically ranked by Chambers USA for asbestos toxic torts.

High-Stakes Cases Nationwide
Fitz's experience ranges from class action lawsuits involving both consumer products and employment issues to bad faith insurance claims to birth trauma and traumatic brain injury cases. His ability to quickly assess a case, tell a story, and charm a jury contributes to his exemplary record of success and has resulted in his being retained as lead trial counsel in high-exposure cases involving nationally recognized companies. Fitz's clients include General Electric, AT&T, Yum! Brands, Allstate, Family Dollar, and Evenflo. He is also national trial counsel to major insurance companies, such as ACE, Aegis, AIG, CNA, Electric Insurance Mutual, and Premier, for catastrophic, product liability, toxic tort, medical malpractice, and personal injury claims.

Clients often call on Fitz to parachute into a trial two to three weeks before jury selection and get up to speed—if not set the pace—very quickly. Recent evidence of this includes a two-week asbestos wrongful death trial in Philadelphia in the fall of 2013, in which he was engaged three weeks before trial and, after all the arguments were heard, obtained a complete defense verdict from the jury following just 15 minutes of deliberations.

In addition to representing top companies in their high-stakes trials, Fitz is national trial counsel for asbestos personal injury and wrongful death cases for General Electric, Foster Wheeler, Leslie Controls, Velan, and Dana Corporation.

Just since joining WTO in 2007, Fitz has tried over 30 cases to verdict in 10 states and many of the so-called "judicial hellholes" for corporate America, including Philadelphia, Baltimore, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Madison County, Illinois. He frequently presents to corporate counsel around the country on how to select experienced trial lawyers for high-exposure cases.

National Specialized Litigation Teams
In addition to asbestos personal injury and wrongful death, Fitz has extensive experience trying medical malpractice actions throughout the United States. Since 2006, Fitz has tried over 35 high-exposure medical malpractice cases to verdict in 16 states and prevailed in 95% of them. He has won defense verdicts in highly charged cases involving birth trauma, brain injury, spinal injury resulting in paralysis, and death.

Fitz's first medical malpractice trial, in Virginia in 1989, led to creation of the largest medical malpractice team in that state over the next 20 years. Fitz generally had three to five of the top defense verdicts in Virginia in any given year. His expertise in cases involving babies who suffered brain damage at birth led CNA Insurance to appoint him national trial counsel for birth trauma cases in 2002, and then to assist CNA in selecting a national birth trauma team, which has since evolved into a national catastrophic injury team. In 2005, Fitz was named CNA's 2004 Health Pro Litigator of the Year. Fitz has also served as national trial counsel for high-exposure medical malpractice cases for insurers Premier and AIG, and large hospital groups such as MedStar Health and Universal Health Services.

Distinguished Veteran
A former concert pianist and Army Airborne Ranger, Fitz began his legal career in 1981 with the U.S. Army JAG Corps as a prosecutor trying criminal cases in Colorado. He became the Eighth Army Division's Chief Prosecutor in South Korea in 1983 before being selected as the senior medical malpractice attorney for the U.S. Army Tort Branch at the Pentagon in 1986. There he tried 12 civil cases to verdict in federal courts across the country before entering private practice in Richmond, Virginia, in 1988. Fitz's civilian trial career started when he was selected as the youngest national trial counsel for Owens-Corning's asbestos trial team in 1989.


Asbestos / Toxic Torts

Medical Malpractice

Personal Injury

Product Liability

Commercial Litigation

Publications & Speaking Engagements


Other Experience

LeClair Ryan, P.C., 1996-2006
Wright, Robinson, Osthimer & Tatum, 1988-1995

Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors

American Board of Trial Advocates
Chambers USA
    Product Liability - National, 2008-2023
    Toxic Torts - National, 2015-2023
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2008-
BTI Consulting
    Client Service All-Star - 2020, 2016
The Best Lawyers in America
    Mass Tort Litigation/Class Action Defense Lawyer of the Year, 2013, 2019, 2024
    Product Liability Litigation - Defendants Lawyer of the Year, 2020
    Mass Tort/Class Action Litigation, 2007-2011, 2013-2023
    Medical Malpractice Defense Law, 2007-2011, 2013-2024
    Personal Injury Litigation, 2007-2011, 2013-2024
    Product Liability Litigation, 2007-2024
    Professional Malpractice Law, 2007-2011, 2013-2024

The Legal 500 United States
    Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense,
      2010, 2012-2013, 2015
Colorado Super Lawyers
    Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice, 2008-2020
    Super Lawyers, Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2021-2024
    Top 100, 2014-2020
Benchmark Litigation
    Local Litigation Star, 2020-2024
    Commercial Litigation - Colorado, 2011-2018
    Medical Malpractice - Colorado, 2011-2016
    Product Liability - Colorado, 2011-2018
Virginia Super Lawyers
    Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice, 2006-2007
    Personal Injury Defense: Products, 2006-2007
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
General Electric's Asbestos Section of the Environmental Law Division
    Outside Counsel of the Year, 2008
Law Week Colorado
    Lawyer of the Year, 2008
The Network of Trial Law Firms
Defense Research Institute

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