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John A. Howard

Partner

John A. Howard, a partner in West Palm Beach, has tried over 70 jury trials to verdict in both Florida and New York state courts. Representing general contractors, subcontractors, and material suppliers, he has litigated a substantial number of construction defect cases in South Florida for more than a decade.

John is admitted to the courts of New York, Florida and Connecticut. He earned a juris doctor, magna cum laude, from St. John's University School of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and Executive Director of the Civil Trial Institute. John obtained a master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an undergraduate degree from Bridgewater State University.

Practice Areas:

Admitted to Practice:

  • Connecticut, 1994
  • New York, 1995
  • Florida, 1996

Education:

  • St. John's University School of Law, Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, 1994
    • Dean's List
    • St. John's Law Review
    • Executive Director of Civil Trial Institute
  • University of Massachusetts, Master of Science in Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Administration, 1985
    • Teaching Assistant
  • Bridgewater State University, Bachelor of Science, 1981

Publications:

  • Adapting Due Process to Match Your Tort: In Re: DES: A Novel Approach to Jurisdiction, 67 St. John's Rev. 655 (1993)

Speaking Engagements:

  • "Hot Topics in Construction Law 2017," Conroy Simberg Webinar, November 2017 
  • "Make Your Construction Defense Great Again," Conroy Simberg Annual Claims Management Seminar, May 2017
  • "Subrogation," April 2017
  • "The Contractor Strikes Back: The Return of a Winning Construction Defense Plan," Conroy Simberg Annual Claims Management Seminar, May 2016
  • "The Deconstruction of Construction: Defect Claims and Defenses," May 2015
  • "Claims Handling Considerations When Coverage Issues Are Present - Don't Let the Fine Print Result in a Faux Pas!," Conroy Simberg Annual Claims Management Seminar, May 2015
  • "Fact or Fiction," Construction Defects Litigation
  • "What the Heck Is It and Why You Need to Know About It," Medicare Set Aside
  • "Playing Both Sides of the Broken Fence," A Blueprint for the Defense of General Contractors and the Offense Against the Subcontractors in Construction Litigation

Representative Experience:

  • Freemond v. Branson, et al.
    • The suit was based upon a claim of construction defects, breach of contract, fraudulent and negligent misrepresentation and negligence.  The jury ruled for the defendant on the fraud, breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation claims.  In regard to the negligent misrepresentation claim, the jury found the defendant 20 percent at fault and the plaintiffs 20 percent at fault.  The net verdict was less than 10 percent of the pre-trial demand and less than 5 percent of the demand of plaintiff in closing.

  • Horkott v. Palm Beach Mall, et al.
    • The suit was based upon a trip and fall in the common areas of a local mall allegedly due to a "screw" left in the floor by a former vendor.  The jury found negligence on the part of three of the six defendants represented in an amount of less than one-half of the last demand prior to trial and less than 20 percent of plaintiffs' jury demand.

  • Puglia v. Saekow
    • The incident at issue arose out of a motor vehicle accident with a claim of serious physical injury including permanency and the need for cervical surgery. The jury found that the plaintiff had not suffered a permanent physical injury and awarded a monetary amount which was half of the amount of medical bills claimed by the plaintiff, thus indicating that the second half of plaintiff's treatment which occurred just prior to trial was unrelated to the accident at issue. A Proposal for Settlement had been filed for the defendants' policy limits of $10,000 dollars which after set-off was beaten by the defendants.

Community Involvement:

  • Jupiter / Tequesta Athletic Association Basketball, Coach and Board of Directors Member since 2006