John (Jack) F. Watkins pens direct, clear arguments and advice for clients in tough spots. He combines the sophistication and top-to-toes prosecution of high-end commercial litigation with the smarts and aggression of New York insurance defense.
Jack’s unique background as a communications consultant and command of the law aid him to shepherd his clients through the treacherous high paces of big-ticket litigation. He takes particular pride in writing powerful briefs and motions that can be read with pleasure, not merely as a soporific.
Jack honed his skills while litigating a wide variety of commercial disputes, including bankruptcy adversary proceedings, the fallout of Ponzi schemes, AAA commercial arbitration, ISDA disputes, and veil-piercing and fraudulent conveyance actions for both plaintiffs and defendants. He and his clients have typically been outgunned, outnumbered, and outspent in every battle – and, much more often than not, still prevailed. He is thus suited for the highest pressure, high-touch cases and circumstances and has frequently served in matters with tens, hundreds, or thousands of millions on the line in the fields of insurance defense (catastrophic personal injury, property damage, and construction defect), and commercial litigation alike.
As a former communications consultant at a polling and consulting firm, Jack assisted entertainment, energy, health care, and political clients in sharpening their messages for public appeal through focus groups and national surveys, a skill he has successfully integrated into his legal career for his clients’ benefit. Between litigating and consulting Jack has represented billionaires and banks, bishops and broker-dealers, movie studios and motor carriers, casinos and construction companies, Ford Motor Company, the city of New York, and a famously not-for-profit sports league.
Prior to joining CMOC LLP, Jack practiced international commercial and bankruptcy litigation at an AmLaw 100 firm and boutique litigation firms.
Jack frequently writes on appellate issues in the New York Law Journal.
Jack hails from the Midwest, having been born and raised in the Detroit metropolitan area, where his lifelong love of language and learning first flourished at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy. He and his wife, Erin, are members of the Governor’s Council of the highly-regarded Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
- New York
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
Memberships & Affiliations
- Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Governor’s Council
- Northwestern University School of Law, JD
University of Notre Dame, BA, magna cum laude