John M. Poswall was born in Southampton, England in 1943, and immigrated to the United States at age 10. Alongside his parents, he worked in the agricultural fields picking grapes and peaches. He attended schools in Lodi, Live Oak, and Sacramento, finally settling in West Sacramento for high school at James Marshall (now River City) High School. He attended California State University, Sacramento, graduating with honors in 1966. There, he was Student Body President. Upon graduation he was named Outstanding Student in Government by the department faculty, received the Outstanding Leadership Award, and was named the Outstanding Graduate.
In 1969, John graduated with honors from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall, School of Law. He was an editor of the California Law Review and published in a number of areas of law. Upon graduation he was named to the national Order of the Coif.
Returning to Sacramento, John joined Friedman & Collard which he left after a year but returned to five years later. Subsequently the firm became Friedman, Collard & Poswall. During 18 years, ending in 1993, John became one of the top personal injury trial attorneys in Northern California and, in 1985, and every year thereafter, was selected among the first Sacramento attorneys to appear in “Best Lawyers in America.”
In the intervening years of 1971 to 1975, John worked with Karlton, Blease, Vanderlaan & Poswall. There he handled the firm’s personal injury practice – winning his first million dollar verdict in just his fourth jury trial, while not yet 30 years of age – and engaged in public interest and civil liberties litigation for which the firm was known. (Partners Lawrence Karlton subsequently became a Federal Judge and Coleman Blease is an Associate Justice of the Third District Court of Appeal).
In 1993, John and Parker White formed Poswall & White, continuing the full range of personal injury litigation – and community involvement.
PUBLIC INTEREST ACTIVITIES:
PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATION
LECTURES, PRESENTATIONS AND APPEARANCES
ARTICLES (by JMP)
Hundreds of articles have appeared over the years about John’s cases, most often in the Sacramento Bee, but also in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Parade Magazine, and as far away as the London Times as well as in legal publications. His cases are also featured in books including: Ralph Nader, No Contest: Corporate Lawyers and the Perversion of Justice in America; Pring and Canan, SLAPPS: Getting Sued for Speaking Out.