John’s law practice consists solely of civil litigation. Historically, he has represented plaintiffs in the personal injury and wrongful death fields, but his practice also includes commercial litigation. He was first recognized in Best Lawyers in America in 1993 at the age of 36. One example of the breadth of his practice is his recognition in the last fourteen editions of Best Lawyers five different areas – Bet-the-Company Litigation, Medical Malpractice Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Products Liability Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation. In 2009, Best Lawyers named John “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” for Nashville; he is the first recipient of that award. In 2010 and 2014, Best Lawyers named John as “Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Nashville,” and in 2012, he received the same award in the “Bet-the-Company Litigation” category.
John’s law practice consists solely of civil litigation. Historically, he has represented plaintiffs in the personal injury and wrongful death fields, but his practice also includes commercial litigation. One example of the breadth of his practice is his recognition over a decade of annual editions of Best Lawyers in America in five different areas – Bet-the-Company Litigation, Medical Malpractice Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Products Liability Litigation and Personal Injury Litigation. In 2009, Best Lawyers named John “Best Personal Injury Lawyer” for Nashville; he is the first recipient of that award. In 2010 and 2014, Best Lawyers named John as “Best Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Nashville,” and in 2012, he received the same award in the “Bet-the-Company Litigation” category.
John’s first professional honors were achieved in law school, where he was elected to the staff of the North Carolina Law Review and Order of the Coif. At the age of 36, he received his first recognition in Best Lawyers in America, and has been included in every edition of that publication since 1993. That same year, he was honored with an AV rating by Martindale Hubbell, a rating which continues to this day. The Martindale publication also has awarded John a 5.0 on its numerical rating score, the highest possible number.
John was board-certified in civil trial practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, part of the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification, over thirty years ago. He served as that organization’s President in 2003-04, and was called back into service as its Treasurer for the 2008-09 fiscal year. Fewer than 150 lawyers in Tennessee have earned this certification. In 2013, John received the organization’s Lifetime Achievement Award. John is also board-certified in Medical Malpractice by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys.
John is the past chair of the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Commission on Continuing Legal Education and Specialization and has served as a consultant to the Tennessee Judicial Conference’s Pattern Jury Instruction (Civil) Committee for over twenty-five years. He previously served on the Court’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission and its Commission on the Rules of Practice and Procedure.
Other than representing thousands of wonderful clients in the past 40 years, John’s greatest professional honor was achieved in 2002 when he was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. This international organization includes many of the best-known, most highly respected trial lawyers in the United States and Canada. Fewer than 200 lawyers in Tennessee have been elected to membership in this organization. John has served Chair of the Tennessee State Committee of the ACTL, and from September of 2017 – September of 2021 John served as Regent for Region 9 of the College. He now serves as the organization’s Secretary and as a member of its Executive Committee. John is also a member of the prestigious International Society of Barristers.
John is routinely included in “best lawyer” lists in Nashville and Tennessee and has been named in Mid-South Super Lawyers Top 100 Lawyers in Tennessee for over a decade.
John believes that lawyers have a duty to serve not only their clients, but also to work to enhance the profession and the law. John served as President of the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association (now the Tennessee Association for Justice) in 1993-94 and served as Chair of the Council of State Presidents of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (now the American Association for Justice) in 1994-95. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association, and as Chair of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Tort and Insurance Practice Section. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute, where he has worked on projects concerning the Restatement (Third) of Torts.
John also served on the Tennessee Judicial Evaluation Commission as an appointee of former Lt. Governor John S. Wilder. That service ended in the summer of 2009, when the General Assembly allowed the statute creating the Commission to “sunset.” A new evaluation commission was created by the General Assembly in 2009, and John was appointed to serve on it, this time by then-Speaker of the House, Rep. Kent Williams. John was elected as the first Chair of the new Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission in September of 2009, and was re-elected to that position in September of 2010, completing his service the following year.
John is the co-author of Tennessee Law of Comparative Fault, first published in 1997, and has written Day on Torts: A Handbook for Tennessee Tort Lawyers, which was first published in 2008. The third edition of the latter book, now titled Day on Torts: Leading Cases in Tennessee Tort Law, was published in 2010, and updated with a supplement in 2017. In July of 2014, John released his latest book, Tennessee Law of Civil Trial, the second edition of which was published in September 2019. He is also the editor of an annual publication, Compendium of Tennessee Tort Reform Law. All last three books were updated before publication on this site. John is also the author of Tennessee Wrongful Death Law. John has also written over 60 articles for peer-reviewed publications, including a regular column, Day on Torts, published in Tennessee Bar Journal.
John has been honored with invitations to speak to lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals about tort law and other issues of interest to tort lawyers. He has given over 300 speeches in Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, British Columbia, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Puerto Rico, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin. Along with former Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Penny White and retired Tennessee Court of Appeals Judge Joe Riley, John owns Tennessee Justice Programs, a continuing legal education company.
John is married to Joy Burns Day, a lawyer in Brentwood, Tennessee, and is the father of three children – Sarah (31), Michael (28), and Kate (15). The family lives in Williamson County, Tennessee, and spends as many weekends as possible at their cabin in Tims Ford Lake outside of Lynchburg, Tennessee. John enjoys politics, writing, reading, hiking, and travel. He is also an avid Sea Doo operator, accumulating over 25,000 miles of riding on Tims Ford Lake, frequently riding as the sun comes up.