John S. Kenefick




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Developing effective case strategies and executing those strategies through meticulous preparation, strategic vision, and powerful advocacy are the hallmarks of how John Kenefick practices law. Whether in front of a jury, in an arbitration, or facing opposing counsel at the negotiating table, John understands how to build the strongest possible case to give his clients the best chance of a positive result.


Over the last 25 years, John has tried dozens of cases to verdict before juries in state and federal courts throughout Texas and Illinois. John has successfully represented builders, contractors, product manufacturers, distributors and other business entities in commercial disputes and personal injury cases.

John also handles litigation matters for large insurance clients and regularly consults with businesses regarding matters involving risk assessment, contracts, and dispute resolution through mediation and arbitration. He has represented clients in lawsuits involving breach of contract, oil and gas royalty disputes, consumer protection matters, employment issues, non-compete agreements, fraud, conversion (theft), trade secrets, trademarks, and breach of fiduciary duty.

A Purdue University graduate who earned his law degree, cum laude,, from Northern Illinois University College of Law, John has written and spoken extensively on a wide range of subjects and has received numerous honors for his professional achievements.
When not serving his clients, John enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, who are supportive of and humored by his continued pursuit of his childhood dream of being the next Tony Esposito by playing goaltender in adult league hockey.

John is licensed to practice in all Texas state courts as well as Illinois, U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Representative Experience
  • Obtained a directed verdict for a tow truck company and operator, alleged to have injured a creditor during a repossession of a vehicle.
  • Obtained a directed finding in favor of an apartment complex owner against claims of negligence by a handyman who had cut off his finger using a table saw without permission and on a personal project.
  • Achieved a favorable finding at trial for a general contractor alleged to have ordered a subcontractor’s employee to perform a task in a manner that led to a fall and serious closed head injury.
  • Won an appeal for a fitness center and personal trainer in a lawsuit that, on the eve of trial, the trial court granted summary judgment to both defendants, based on contractual indemnity and release clauses. The Dallas Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment, holding defendants satisfied the express negligence doctrine, which barred the plaintiff’s claims
  • Defended the largest water tank maintenance company in the U.S. at a trial concerning the construction and maintenance of a water system against an East Texas water utility. The case was favorably resolved four days into trial.
  • Successfully defended two clients in a product liability and construction defect in trial involving a roof collapse in which the plaintiffs asked the jury for almost $30 million in damages. After a three-and-a-half-week trial, the jury returned a finding of no liability on the design defect claim, and awarded zero damages for the fair market value of the plaintiffs’ businesses. The jury did return a small damage finding in favor of the plaintiffs, but since they found our clients only 9% and 19% responsible, the result was an award far less than the plaintiffs’ pre-trial demands and the settlement offer made after the commencement of trial.
  • Represented and favorably resolved claims against a large concrete contractor arising from the construction of an upscale high-rise condominium development.
  • Successfully defended several high-end window manufacturers in multiple lawsuits arising from the installation of windows in residential construction involving EIFS siding.Obtained a settlement on very favorable terms (the lowest amount paid by any third-party defendant) on behalf of a window manufacturer and its distributor in a lawsuit involving the improper design and construction of a high-end custom home.
  • Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of concrete subcontractor in a lawsuit alleging the improper design and construction of a three-story custom home.
  • Obtained a favorable settlement for a refrigeration contractor in a lawsuit alleging the improper selection, design and installation of commercial refrigeration equipment at a meat processing plant.
  • Negotiated a favorable “nuisance settlement” for the manufacturer of a conveyor drive gear in a case involving an amputation injury.
  • Won a defense verdict for a motor carrier in a trial involving a brain-damaged plaintiff in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
  • Attained a favorable settlement on behalf of a Texas-based paint manufacturer in a wrongful death case involving a workplace accident.
  • Achieved dismissal for a roofing contractor in lawsuit involving a claim of a faulty roof installation.
  • Argued and won a summary judgment for a bank for a slip and fall in a premises liability case.
  • Received a defense verdict for a national fast food chain in a trial involving damages related to a roof collapse at a Texas franchise.
  • Earned a defense verdict for a national fast food chain in a trial involving a wrongful arrest claim.
  • Affected a favorable settlement of 1/4 of the pretrial demand after the plaintiff rested his case in a trial involving a multiple vehicle truck accident. Jefferson County, Texas
  • Won a defense verdict for a national retail store in the trial of a premises liability case in which the plaintiff was impaled on a clothing rack.
  • Obtained a defense verdict for the owner and manufacturer in the trial of a case involving serious personal injuries arising from the use of a trampoline.
  • Prevailed with a defense verdict for the manufacturer in the trial of a case involving serious personal injuries arising from a snowmobile accident.
Honors and Recognitions
  • AV Rated, a Martindale Peer Reviewed Rating
  • Selected to the Texas Super Lawyers list, published by Texas Monthly Magazine, Construction Litigation, 2005–2006, 2008–2014, 2015–2017
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American Jurisprudence Award in Sales (Art. 2. UCC), 1991
  • American Jurisprudence Award in Torts, 1990
Professional Affiliations
  • Dallas Bar Association
  • Member Bench Bar Conference Subcommittee, 2003
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Illinois Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Membership Chairman, Construction Law Committee, 2011
  • DRI Construction Law Committee Steering Committee Member
  • DRI Construction Law Committee 2009 Program Co-Chair
Publications and Presentations
  • Speaker at Business Litigation and Insurance Law Conference with two presentations: Ethical Considerations in Negotiation and Mediation and Texas Legislative Update, Construction Law
  • Presented Meeting The Good Faith Obligation During Claims Handling at Business Litigation and Insurance Law Conference
    September, 2010
  • Co-author of the Texas Chapter of Construction Litigation Desk Reference, A Fifty State Compendium, published by DRI
    February, 2010
  • Developments in Indemnity and Additional Insured Agreements, presented at Business and Insurance Litigation Update
    October, 2009
  • Published article in DRI For the Defense: Understanding Stigma Damage Claims
  • Published article in DRI For the Defense: The Best Defense You Have Never Used
  • Who Owes Who What and When Do They Owe It? at DRI Annual Meeting/Construction Law Committee
    October, 2007 Washington D.C.
  • Presented Construction Defect Claims Handling – New Developments and Legislative Trends, Macdonald Devin Construction Conference
  • Speaker, Bi-Annual Meeting, Texas Association of Defense Counsel
Educational and Professional Background
  • Northern Illinois University, Juris Doctor 1992, cum laude
  • Purdue University, Bachelor of Science, 1989
Court Admissions

John S. Kenefick is licensed to practice law in the following areas:

  • Texas
  • Illinois

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court