John Palmer is a trial attorney, mediator and arbitrator. John’s diverse litigation practice ranges from a state law domestic and toxic tort litigation practice to federal district court cases. John serves as a mediator and arbitrator in probate, family, general civil litigation, personal injury, and employer/employee disputes at the state and federal court level.
John’s experience in federal court trial practice began when he served as a briefing attorney for retired United States District Judge Walter S. Smith, Jr. from 1988-1989. Since that time, John has been involved in a variety of federal cases including those sounding in diversity, federal questions, school law, and class action lawsuits. John is admitted to practice law in the state of Texas, all Texas federal district courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth and Federal Circuits, and the United States Supreme Court.
John’s state court experience includes jury and non-jury trials in cases involving property disputes, custody, divorce, adoptions, personal injury and property damages. John is the former president of the Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers, and the Waco-McLennan County Bar Association.
John received his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin and received his law degree in 1988 from St. Mary’s University School of Law. After his clerkship with Judge Smith, John has practiced law with Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, P.C., Waco, Texas. John taught as an adjunct professor at Baylor University School of Law in client counseling and at McLennan Community College in family law.
John is a credentialed distinguished mediator by the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association. He received basic mediator training from the Attorney-Mediators Institute in 1992, and family mediation training from Sam Houston State University in 1998. He became an ADR Fellow at the University of Texas School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution in 2002. John is approved to serve as a mediator in the Federal District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division. John chaired the Alternative Dispute Resolution Section of the State Bar of Texas from 1997-1998. John was president of the Texas Association of Mediators from 2001-2002. In 1998, John received the Waco Peacemaker’s Alliance, “Jerry Burks Peacemaker of the Year Award”. John was the recipient of the Justice Frank G. Evans Award (ADR Section, State Bar of Texas) in 2001. The Texas Association of Mediators (TAM) recognized John’s efforts in promoting and furthering the use of mediations in Texas by presenting him with the Susanne C. Adams Award in 2017. John served as chair of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (TMCA) and currently serves on the TMCA Board. John has previously chaired the Waco-McLennan County Settlement Week committee from 1992-1996 and the Federal ADR Committee for the Waco Division. John was a charter member of the McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center board of directors, served as its inaugural chair from 1996-1997, and has served on several terms on the board.
John served nine years as president of his eleven years as school board trustee for the China Spring Independent School District.
John lectures and authors papers on federal court practice, ethics, divorce mediation, aspects of mediation in general, and serves as a volunteer trainer in a variety of mediation settings.