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John A. Yanchunis

Tampa, florida

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Biography Overview

John A. Yanchunis leads the Class Action Department of the firm. Mr. Yanchunis’ practice— which began after completing a two-year clerkship with United States District Judge Carl O. Bue, Jr., Southern District of Texas—has concentrated on complex litigation and spans over 36 years, including class actions for almost two-thirds of that time.

Mr. Yanchunis has served as lead, co-lead, or class counsel in numerous class actions in a wide variety of areas affecting consumers, including but not limited to anti-trust, civil rights, defective products, environmental claims, life insurance, annuities, and unfair and deceptive practices. He has been appointed by courts to leadership positions in multidistrict class action litigation, and presently serves as the lead in In re: Yahoo! Inc. Customer Data Breach Security Litigation, 5:16-md-02752 (N.D. Cal.), as a member of the plaintiffs’ steering committee In re Equifax, Inc. Customer Data Sec. Breach Litig., 1:17-md-02800 (N.D. Ga.); on the three-member Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee in MDL No. 2664, In re: U.S. Office Personnel Management Data Security Breach Litigation, and serves on the Executive Committee overseeing the consumer class, the financial institution class, and the shareholder derivative litigation pending against Target Corporation—one of the largest data-breach cases to date—in In re Target Corporation Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, MDL No. 2522 (D. Minn.).

As a result of his experience in insurance and complex litigation, beginning in 2005, Mr. Yanchunis served as lead counsel for the Florida Department of Financial Services and the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation (the insurance regulators of Florida) in their investigation of the insurance industry on issues concerning possible antitrust activity and other possible unlawful activities regarding the payment of undisclosed compensation to insurance brokers. Mr. Yanchunis served as lead regulator counsel and worked with a core group of state Attorneys General from the National Association of Attorneys General, which were selected to conduct the investigations. The insurance regulators for Florida was the only insurance regulators in the group. The litigation that was filed and the other investigations recovered millions of dollars in restitution for Florida consumers and resulted in significant changes in the way commercial insurance is sold in Florida and across the country.

During his career, Mr. Yanchunis has tried numerous cases in state and federal courts, including one of the largest and longest insurance coverage cases in U.S. history, which was filed in 1991 by The Celotex Corporation and its subsidiary, Carey Canada, Inc. During the seventeen years the case was pending, Mr. Yanchunis served as lead counsel for several insurance companies, regarding coverage for asbestos and environmental claims. The case was tried in three phases over several years beginning in 1992. Mr. Yanchunis was also lead counsel for these parties in the subsequent appeals which followed a judgment in favor of his clients.

Mr. Yanchunis served as an elected member of the Young Lawyers Board of Governors (two terms) and Board of Governors of The Florida Bar (the governing body of The Florida Bar) (two terms), served as a member of The Board of Directors of The Florida Bar Foundation, and was appointed by The Supreme Court of Florida to serve as a member The Florida Board of Bar Examiners. After the completion of his five-year term on the Board of Bar Examiners, Mr. Yanchunis has been reappointed annually by the Florida Supreme Court since 2002 to serve as an Emeritus Member on character and fitness panels and as an arbiter in final hearings.

Mr. Yanchunis has also served on many committees of The Florida Bar, including leadership positions. Most recently, he completed a term as the Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee of the Florida Bar. Mr. Yanchunis has also represented The Florida Bar in a number of matters. He was also appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to enforce an injunction of the Court, and his efforts resulted in the incarceration of the respondent in that case on the finding that the respondent had engaged in indirect criminal contempt. As a result of his experience in the area of class litigation and ethics, he has served as an expert for The Florida Bar on ethical issues arising in class action litigation.

He received the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar awarded him its Chair’s Honor Award for Mr. Yanchunis’ handling with one of his law partners of a class action against the state of Florida for violations of federal law in failing to deliver a benefit under Medicaid to approximately 41,000 elderly residents of nursing homes in Florida. He is also the recipient of The Florida Bar Foundation President’s Award for Excellence for his outstanding leadership in promoting the Foundation’s mission to help provide legal assistance for the poor.

Mr. Yanchunis frequently lectures around the United States on topics related to class actions.

In the community, Mr. Yanchunis served as a member of the Elder Law Board, College of Law and the Center for Excellence in Elder Law, Stetson University College of Law. He has been a member of the Boy Scouts of America since his youth having earned the rank of Eagle, and has served in virtually every leadership position as an adult leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, including as Council President to the West Central Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and as a member of National Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Mr. Yanchunis is a member of The Florida Bar (admitted in 1981). Additionally, he is admitted to the United States Supreme Court; the United States Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits; the United States District Court for the Southern, Northern, and Western Districts of Texas; the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin; the United States District Court for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida; the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; the United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky; the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois; the United States District Court of Connecticut; and the United States District Court of Colorado.

Martindale-Hubbell has honored Mr. Yanchunis with the prestigious “AV” rating. He has been recognized continuously as a Florida Super Lawyer and The Best Lawyers in America in his area of practice. He is a Fellow in The Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America, and a Fellow of The Florida Bar Foundation.

While at the University of Florida Mr. Yanchunis was a member of Florida Blue Key and Omicron Delta Kappa. He received his Juris Doctor degree from the South Texas College of Law in 1980, where he graduated magna cum laude. During law school, Mr. Yanchunis was a member of the Order of the Lytae, Associate Editor-in-Chief and Technical Editor of the South Texas Law Journal.


Practice Areas

  • Class Action
  • False Claims Act
  • Whistleblower Claims

Recent Successes

$17,900,000.00 Settlement Van Raalte, Murtaugh, & Cascio v. Healogics Whistleblower/Qui Tam2018
$1,950,000.00 Settlement Siwicki, Kathleen v. Portnow, Arthur S., M.D. Whistleblower/Qui Tam2017
$2,000,000.00 Settlement Kelly Oxendine v. HCA Whistleblower/Qui Tam2017
$2,090,000.00 Settlement Heather Huddleston v. Florida Hospital Whistleblower/Qui Tam2016
  • Van Raalte, Murtaugh, & Cascio v. Healogics

    $17,900,000.00

    Settlement - 2018

  • Siwicki, Kathleen v. Portnow, Arthur S., M.D.

    $1,950,000.00

    Settlement - 2017

  • Kelly Oxendine v. HCA

    $2,000,000.00

    Settlement - 2017

In The Media

Professional Activities

  • The Florida Board of Bar Examiners, Member, 1997 to 2002 - Presently an Emeritus Member
  • The Florida Bar Foundation, Board of Directors, 2003 to 2006 - Fellow
  • Standing Committee on the Unlicensed Practice of Law, Chairperson, 1995 to 1997, Vice Chairperson, 1994 to 1995, Member, 1990 to 1994
  • Standing Committee on Professionalism, Member, 1991 to 1993
  • Supreme Court’s Judicial Management Council, Member, 2008 to Present
  • Consumer Protection Law Committee, Member, 2009 to Present
  • Continuing Legal Education Committee, Member, 1991 to 1992
  • Public Relations Committee, Member, 1989 to 1990
  • Board of Governors of Young Lawyers, Division of the Florida Bar, Sixth Circuit Representative, Member, 1988 to 1992
  • Unlicensed Practice of Law Committees:
    • 6A Circuit Committee
    • 6B Circuit Committee, Chairperson, 1986 to 1995
    • Member, 1985
    • Chairperson, 1995

Community Activities

  • Elder Law Advisory Board, College of Law and The Center for Excellence in Elder Law – Stetson University College of Law, Member, 2003 to 2008
  • Community Law Program, Member
  • St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Petersburg Downtown Conference, Vice President, 2001
  • Boy Scouts of America, National Council Member, Council Representative, 2005 to 2007
  • West Central Family Council of The Boy Scouts of America, Council President, 2005 to 2007, Member of Executive Committee, 2003 to Present
  • Skyway District Chairman 2003 to 2004

Court Admissions

  • The Florida Bar – 1981
  • The State Bar of Texas – 1980
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals: Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Southern, Northern and Western District of Texas
  • United States District Court, Eastern and Western District of Wisconsin
  • United States District Court, Middle and District of Florida
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois
  • United States District Court of Connecticut
  • United States District Court of Colorado

Education

  • University of Florida, B.A. 1976
    • Florida Blue Key, Omicron Delta Kappa
  • South Texas College of Law, J.D.
    • Magna cum laude, 1980; Order of the Lytae and Associate
    • Editor-in-Chief of the South Texas Law Journal