John H. Beisner is a partner in the Washington office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and leader of Skadden’s Mass Torts, Insurance and Consumer Litigation Group. John regularly handles appellate litigations and has appeared in matters before the U.S. Supreme Court. Over the past 35 years, he has defended major U.S. and international corporations in more than 600 purported class actions filed in federal courts and in 40 state courts at both the trial and appellate levels. Those class actions have involved a wide variety of subjects, including antitrust/unfair competition, consumer fraud, RICO, ERISA, employment discrimination, environmental issues, product-related matters and securities. He also has handled numerous matters before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, as well as proceedings before various federal and state administrative agencies, particularly the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
John was elected to the ALI in 1994 and has served on ALI's Council since May 2009. He is an Adviser on the Restatement Third, Consumer Contracts project and was previously an Adviser on the Principles of the Law of Aggregate Litigation project.
John has advised on numerous high-visibility corporate crisis situations, including congressional hearings, federal agency investigations, state attorneys general inquiries and General Accounting Office reviews. Among others, he represented Merck in its Vioxx litigation. He also negotiated a settlement with state attorneys general regarding the Countrywide Finance/Bank of America mortgage lending practices investigation, resulting in a creative loan modification program intended to help more than 400,000 families maintain ownership of their homes. He was named Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer for his role in this case.
John is a frequent writer and lecturer on class action and complex litigation issues. In 2013, he received the Burton Award for Legal Achievement, which recognizes excellence in legal scholarship. Mr. Beisner also has been an active participant in litigation reform initiatives before Congress, state legislatures and judicial committees. He has testified numerous times on class action and claims aggregation issues before the U.S. Senate and House Judiciary Committees (particularly with respect to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005) and before state legislative committees. For his integral role in crafting the Class Action Fairness Act, Mr. Beisner was recognized with the 2011 Research and Policy Award by The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.
John repeatedly has been selected for inclusion, and is in the top tier, in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of products liability, and he also is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, The Legal 500 U.S., Who’s Who Legal, Best of the Best USA and Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America. He was profiled in an article by The American Lawyer that named Skadden as a finalist in the products liability section of its Litigation Department of the Year contest (January 2012). John repeatedly has been named Best Lawyers’ Washington, D.C. Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions - Defendants Lawyer of the Year, as well as a Star by LMG Life Sciences in the non-IP litigation and enforcement and products liability categories. He also was recognized as one of the 2013 BTI Client Service All-Stars by The BTI Consulting Group for providing outstanding client service. In addition, Mr. John was selected as one of Law360’s MVPs of 2019 and 2011 in the products liability category, which recognizes those who have raised the bar in corporate law throughout the year. In 2010, Law360 profiled John in two articles that named Skadden as a Product Liability Group of the Year and Class Action Group of the Year.