A tenacious trial and appellate lawyer

John uses his deep experience representing financial, real estate, and government sector clients for pro bono clients as well, in matters ranging from obtaining marriage rights for same-sex couples in Whitewood v. Wolf to helping abused and neglected children.

Read about Whitewood
Honored by the Legal Intelligencer

John was selected as a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly.

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Serving the community

John is Chairman of the Southern New Jersey Advisory Board to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health

Read about our pro bono work

John Stapleton, a trial and appellate lawyer, focuses his practice on complex commercial disputes and frequently handles high profile and high stakes matters. John’s diverse array of clients include financial institutions, real estate companies, retailers, government agencies and other businesses and individuals.

He regularly litigates issues concerning intellectual property rights, especially copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets, 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.

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 2011, he argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court during its first-ever televised proceedings.

The Legal Intelligencer named John a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” in 2014. Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine has named him a “Rising Star” every year since 2012. The First Judicial District of Pennsylvania has named John to its Pro Bono Honor Roll every year since 2006.

Active in the New Jersey and Philadelphia communities, John is the Chair of the Southern Jersey Advisory Board to Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health – New Jersey, a leading nonprofit organization. John also is a member of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Legal Advisory Committee, a past member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court, and a graduate in the 2010-2011 Core Class of LEADERSHIP – Philadelphia, Inc.

An engaging speaker, John frequently presents at legal and community associations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey regarding substantive legal issues and litigation tactics.

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.

Representative Pro Bono Matters

  • Whitewood v. Wolf, 992 F. Supp. 2d 410 (M.D. Pa. 2014) – Striking down Pennsylvania’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples
  • Volunteer counsel with the Support Center for Child Advocates to represent abused children every year since 2006
  • Won asylum for a Colombian national on appeal before the Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Represented New Jersey public high school teacher in Donaldson hearing before board of education

Memberships & Community

  • Southern New Jersey Advisory Board to Devereux – New Jersey, Chair, 2011 – Present
  • ACLU of Pennsylvania, Legal Advisory Committee, 2014 – Present
  • Leadership, Inc., Philadelphia Class of 2011

Honors & Awards

Named a “Lawyer on the Fast Track” by The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly, 2014

Named by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers magazine as a Rising Star as the result of a statewide survey of lawyers, 2012 – 2016

First Judicial District of Pennsylvania Pro Bono Roll of Honor, 2006 – present

University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Research Editor

University of Pennsylvania Law School, Arthur Littleton and H. Clayton Louderback Legal Writing Instructor

Teaching & Lecturing

Co-lecturer, “Deposition Boot Camp,” University of Pennsylvania Law School, January 2016

Facilitator and Faculty Presenter, “The Art of the Deposition: Taking, Defending and Preparing for Depositions,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 4-5, 2015

Faculty Presenter, “Same Sex Marriage Ruling and Workplace Policies,” Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs’ 2015 Annual Pennsylvania Municipal Legal Update, Hershey, Pennsylvania, August 26-27, 2015

Faculty Presenter, “Pennsylvania Marriage Equality: A New Dawn,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, September 23, 2014

Publications

Chapter Author, Pennsylvania Civil Pre-Trial Practice and Pennsylvania Civil Trial Practice, Lexis-Nexis, January 2017 (edited by the Honorable Daniel J. Anders and Bobby Ochoa, III)

SCOTUS Ruling Shows Limits of Securities Exchange Act’s Exclusive Jurisdiction Clause: A look at the implications of Merrill Lynch v. Manning,” New Jersey Law Journal, May 20, 2016

“U.S. Supreme Court’s Splintered Decision on State Voter ID Law: More Questions Than Answers,” The Legal Intelligencer & Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Litigation Supplement), July 14, 2008 (with Daniel Segal)

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