John Hoffman concentrates his practice in the areas of consumer litigation, class actions and appellate practice. He has handled a number of high-profile lawsuits, and he is a frequent author and speaker on civil practice topics.
John obtained his law degree from the Washington University School of Law (J.D. 1990), and his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University (B.A. 1987). He is a member of the Illinois and Missouri Bars, and he has been admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. John previously served as an I.S.B.A. Assembly Representative for the Twentieth Judicial Circuit. In addition, he is a member of the American Association for Justice; Illinois State Bar Association; Illinois Trial Lawyers Association; Madison County Bar Association; The Missouri Bar; Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis; and Trial Lawyers for Public Justice. In 2001, John testified before the Illinois House Appropriations and Government Oversight Committee concerning discriminatory and predatory insurance practices.
John has received numerous honors and recognitions for his precedent-setting results in the courtroom, including three of the top five largest settlements in Missouri in 2007, the 2nd largest settlement in Missouri in 2009, and the second largest settlement in Missouri in 2010. Representative cases include:
State ex rel. Collector of Winchester v. Charter Communications, Inc., 357 S.W.3d 589 (Mo. banc 2012). John was successful in persuading the Missouri Supreme Court to issue an extraordinary writ (mandamus) in this case. On behalf of the City of Winchester, Missouri, John briefed, argued and challenged the constitutionality of a state statute that purported to bar cities and towns from serving as class representatives. The Missouri Supreme Court found that the statute violates art. V, § 5 of the Missouri Constitution. The ruling preserves the rights of municipalities that would otherwise have no realistic day in court.
City of University City, Missouri, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (T-Mobile), St. Louis County Circuit Court (2010). This was the sixth, successive, multimillion-dollar settlement in lawsuits handled principally by John on behalf of over two hundred Missouri cities against various telephone companies to recover unpaid municipal taxes. Partners John W. Hoffman and Douglas R. Sprong were named by Missouri Lawyers Weekly as 2010 award winners in the category of “largest plaintiff wins” for the $55 million settlement with T-Mobile.
State of Missouri, et al. v. SBC Communications, Inc., et al. (SBC), St. Louis City Circuit Court (2009). After five years of litigation, John reached a statewide settlement with various landline carriers to resolve a dispute concerning under-payment of municipal license taxes. The SBC defendants agreed to pay nearly $50 million in back taxes and to include certain additional receipts in their future tax base. John served as lead class counsel. This was the second largest settlement in Missouri in 2009.
City of University City, Missouri, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (AT&T), St. Louis County Circuit Court (2007). John represented a class of two hundred forty Missouri municipalities suing wireless telephone companies to collect unpaid business license taxes. During the course of this litigation, the Missouri legislature passed an industry-sponsored bill (HB 209) that immunized the carriers from back-tax liability and mandated the dismissal of pending collection suits. John and Stephen M. Tillery challenged the law as unconstitutional and prevailed before the Missouri Supreme Court in City of University City v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 203 S.W.3d 197 (Mo. banc 2006). In December 2007, AT&T Wireless agreed to pay $65.4 million to settle the cities’ back-tax claims and to pay municipal license taxes at existing rates going forward. John served as lead class counsel. This was the second largest settlement in Missouri in 2007 according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
City of University City, Missouri, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (Sprint-Nextel), St. Louis County Circuit Court (2007). Reston, Va.-based Sprint-Nextel’s settlement with the Missouri cities was the last cell phone tax resolution of 2007. Sprint, the third largest cellular company in the United States, agreed to pay $52 million for 27 months of back-taxes to the cities and to pay all business license taxes prospectively. John served as lead class counsel. This was the third largest settlement in Missouri in 2007 according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly.
City of University City, Missouri, et al. v. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc. (Verizon), St. Louis County Circuit Court (2007). Six years ago, a group of two hundred forty Missouri municipalities sued Verizon Wireless and five other cell phone companies for failing to pay taxes on their local wireless operations. The companies claimed for years that they were not traditional utility companies and therefore weren’t obligated to pay taxes on their phone services. In August 2007, Verizon Wireless agreed to pay the cities $25 million in back taxes, plus payment of municipal license taxes at existing rates going forward. John served as lead class counsel. This was the fourth largest settlement in Missouri for 2007 according to Missouri Lawyers Weekly. In addition, the settlement was recognized as one of the most significant settlements in the country for 2007 by the National Law Journal.
Judge approves CenturyLink settlement over back taxes, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, December 22, 2014 LINK
Korein Tillery appeal leads Missouri Supreme Court to strike down statute banning municipal class actions, January 19, 2012 LINK
Korein Tillery attorneys honored for class-action settlement that paid millions to Missouri cities, Yahoo! Finance, January 17, 2011 LINK
Phone company settles lawsuit over back taxes, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, July 26, 2010 LINK
Plaintiff Verdicts, Settlements and Bench Judgments in 2009, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, 2009 LINK
Cities Would Benefit From AT&T Settlement, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 2009 LINK
Tyson Settles Lawsuit, Agrees to Donate Chicken, Topix, May 2009 LINK
Attorneys Split $16 Million in AT&T Case, St. Louis Business Journal, November 2009 LINK
Top Business Verdicts And Settlements Of 2007, Missouri Lawyers Weekly, January 2008 LINK
Assistant: Lisa Lucas
Areas of Practice
- Consumer Protection
- Pharmaceutical/Health Care
- Products Liability
- Whistleblower/Qui Tam
- Securities Litigation
- Class Actions
- Illinois, 1990
- Missouri, 1991
- U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois, 1991
- U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1993
- Washington University School of Law, St Louis, Missouri
- J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence – 1990
- Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
- B.A., Bachelor of Arts – 1987
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, Member
- Illinois Bar Association, Member
- Missouri Bar, Member
- Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, Member
- Madison County Bar Association, Member
- Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Member
- American Association for Justice, Member