John S. Stapleton, a trial and appellate lawyer, focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes and frequently handles high profile and high stakes matters. John takes pride in the diversity of his clients’ businesses and the variety and depth of his experiences.
His clients include financial institutions, real estate companies, retailers, government agencies, and other businesses and individuals. John regularly litigates issues concerning intellectual property rights, especially copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, tax, restrictive covenants, licensing and other business contracts, partnership disputes, fraud, real estate, RICO, ERISA, government regulations, class actions, and business torts. He practices in the firm’s Philadelphia and New Jersey offices.
Several publications and organizations have honored John. The Philadelphia Business Journal named John to its “40 Under 40” list, Billy Penn named him one of 16 of Philadelphia’s “next great stars in law” in its “Who’s Next Law” list, and The Legal Intelligencer named him a “Lawyer on the Fast Track.” Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine has named him a “Rising Star” every year since 2012.
In 2011, he argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court during its first-ever televised proceedings. An engaging speaker, John frequently presents at legal and community associations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey regarding substantive legal issues and litigation tactics.
John’s pro bono work is as deep as his commercial litigation experiences. In 2014, he served as one of the lead attorneys for the firm in Whitewood v. Wolf, obtaining the landmark ruling striking down Pennsylvania’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. In 2017, the Support Center for Child Advocates named John a “Distinguished Advocate,” for his work representing abused and neglected children since 2006. Among several other pro bono representations, John also successfully obtained asylum for a Colombian national before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania has named John to its Pro Bono Honor Roll every year since 2006.
Prior to joining Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, John practiced in the litigation department of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York.
John is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York.
Memberships & Community
ACLU of Pennsylvania, Legal Advisory Committee, 2014 – Present
Southern New Jersey Advisory Board to Devereux – New Jersey, Chair, 2011 – 2017
Leadership, Inc., Philadelphia Class of 2011
University of Pennsylvania American Inn of Court, Past Member