John E. Griffith, Jr.
Global Co-Chair, Environmental Health and Safety Group; Chair, U.S. Environmental Practice Group
One of John E. Griffith, Jr.’s greatest accomplishments is helping a young firm that would develop into one of his long-term clients.
The start-up technology firm Quantum Engineering needed help fending off three separate lawsuits by the former employer of the partners. After a two-week jury trial against the competitor, Griffith won the case that had claimed misappropriation of trade secrets. Cases relating to patents and a non-compete violation were eventually dropped, and with the support of DLA Piper, Griffith was able to work out a payment schedule that worked for the clients. He later represented them on business issues from patents to labor to environmental compliance and ultimately represented them successfully selling the company.
“What was gratifying about it is that we were able to take this young company that didn’t have a lot of money at the time. We were able to fight off the first big crisis they had as a young company,” Griffith said. “It led to a 20-year client relationship.”
Griffith, whose practice includes environmental law and commercial litigation, values those relationships with both clients and colleagues.
“In the best client relationships you become good friends with your clients, and it’s fun to be with them and work with them on common problems,” Griffith said.
Since 2006, Griffith has been working in different capacities on cases related to the Jacksonville Exxon Mobil gas leak.
In 2005, he won the Outstanding Partner Pro Bono Award from his firm.
He has been doing pro bono work recently through the National Veterans Legal Services Program, helping veterans complete applications and serving as their advocate to receive enhanced compensation for disabilities that are combat-related.