Get to Know John Whitman

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By Jo Mathis
Legal News
 
Attorney John Whitman joined Garan, Lucow, Miller in the Ann Arbor office in 1993; and has been the managing shareholder for that office since 2008.

A graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Whitman earned his J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law in 1985. Whitman has practiced insurance defense law for more than 30 years, and tried more than 125 cases to verdict.

He serves as a neutral mediator for private facilitation in cases throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

The Brighton resident is a frequent speaker for ICLE; runs the Garan, Lucow, Miller, Deposition and Trial Boot Camp training series; and has been invited to speak at The Brain Injury Legal Conference as well as numerous insurance company training programs.

What is your proudest moment as a lawyer? I am most proud of a not guilty verdict in an indigent defense felony case.

What inspired you to enter the legal field? The actor Gregory Peck in the movie  “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

When you were considering law school, what was Plan B?
The Navy.

What would surprise people about your job? I really enjoy seeing old friends when I run into them at court. These relationships are an understated and important part of what we do.

What was always written on your grade school report card? “Johnny will not sit still.”

What is your happiest childhood memory?
I have a lot of them but the happiest memory is shopping with my dad on Christmas Eve.

What do you wish someone would invent? With the obvious exception for things like “a cure for cancer…” I really don’t want any more tech inventions.

What has been your favorite year so far? This one.

Favorite stamp on your passport? Italy.

When you look back into the past, what do you miss most?
I miss being able to get into my car, put in a cassette (“Exile on Main Street”) and drive without having someone calling me.

If you could have witnessed any event in history, what would it be? The Last Supper.

What were you doing in your last selfie? I was holding my granddaughter shortly after she was born.

Can you think of a failure that ultimately became a positive?
Yes, I can. Many.

What’s something you changed your mind about recently? Whether I should stop using Amazon.

What is one thing you would like to learn to do? Slow down.

What is the best advice you ever received? Follow your heart. It is also the best advice I have ever given.

What purchase of $50 or less has most positively affected your life? I used 30 cents from stolen pop bottles to buy candy from Marty’s Party Store while skipping school in the sixth grade. Marty knew that I had stolen the bottles. We discussed it.

What are you looking forward to? My wife and I are going to Ireland this summer and we are coming home to another new grandchild. This will be a good summer.



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