John was born and raised in Ephrata, Washington, a high-plains desert farm town. John's family raised sheep and grew asparagus, and together with his three younger sisters, John performed with the Wenatchee Youth Circus - a traveling circus troupe based in nearby Wenatchee. In his nine years with the circus, John performed as a trapeze artist, wire walker, juggler and unicyclist. John remains an avid circus fan and supporter of the Youth Circus.

As a teenager, John's ambition was to run a cattle ranch. During his junior year in high school, a guidance counselor pulled John aside and urged him to apply for a scholarship to the Washington State Governor's School for Student Leadership. He spent three weeks in Seattle with other bright students from all over the state. It was a life-changing experience.

At Governor's School, John realized another future might be possible. He decided to take the SATs and apply to several top universities.  John was accepted at Brown University where he was President of the Brown ACLU and Zeta Delta Xi, a coed fraternity. After graduating from Brown, John attended Harvard Law School. After law school, John accepted a clerkship with U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo. John had the opportunity to work with Judge Caputo on many jury trials, and he came to respect trial practice as the purest and most difficult form of lawyering.

John practiced at the international law firm Proskauer Rose LLP in Manhattan for seven years. In 2010, John opened his own firm in Midtown.  He quickly realized that he could better serve his clients if he had a strong network of other top boutique attorneys. In 2011, John organized a group of about 100 Harvard-trained lawyers around the world who were also running their own firms, called the Solo Boutique Network. Working collaboratively, John and other members are able to compete with and outperform big firms.  

In addition to his legal practice, John is a technology entrepreneur.  In 2014, with his law school classmate T.J. Duane, John co-founded a venture called Qounsel, a social network that connects elite lawyers worldwide.  John has served as legal counsel and Chief Strategy Officer for Yippy, Inc., a publicly traded technology company and leader in the field of machine learning.  In 2017, John co-founded Oration Lab, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze the "music" of public oratory.  

John lives in Brooklyn with his wife Amy and their dog Hogarth.