John Phillips

DSCF8320-2John W. Phillips is a trial attorney with an unparalleled track record of courtroom success.  Beginning his legal career in 1979 as a prosecutor for the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, John conducted nearly 200 jury trials, obtaining results which included the largest civil judgment ever recorded against a slumlord by the City.  John was later appointed Special Prosecutor to the Organized Crime and Anti-Terrorist Unit of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office where he conducted the trial of fifteen members of the Ku Klux Klan, American Nazi Party and other domestic terrorist groups on charges ranging from criminal conspiracy, illegal weapons possession, the setting of illegal fires, and unlawful assembly.  He obtained convictions in this nationally broadcasted trial (Court TV), and is very proud to have set a legal precedent which helped end overt Klan recruitment activity by establishing for the first time in American judicial history that the Ku Klux Klan ceremonial cross ‘lighting’ ceremony (or cross burning as it’s more commonly called) is not protected by the First Amendment.

John went into private practice in 1989, dedicating his efforts to protecting the rights of the individual.  In the civil arena, John has successfully represented hundreds of plaintiffs in personal injury claims for motor vehicle negligence, product liability, premises liability and civil rights violations.  In the criminal arena, John has successfully defended individuals charged with crimes ranging from petty theft and DUI to first degree murder.

John is the author of Sign of the Cross: The Prosecutor’s True Story of a Landmark Trial Against the Klan, published by Westminster John Knox Press.  It remains available for purchase through bookstores and online services.