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VADA Member Spotlight

John Peterson
Hancock Daniel

This month’s spotlighted VADA member is John Peterson of Hancock Daniel in Richmond.  A graduate of The University of Alabama and the George Mason University School of Law, John currently serves as the Blue Ridge Regional Director on VADA’s Board of Directors.  John also has served VADA as our DRI State Representative, a past member of our Board of Directors, and as Chair and Vice-Chair of VADA’s Medical Malpractice Section.

1.         Where were you born?

Fairfax, Virginia.

2.         Tell us a little about yourself.  Spouse? Children? Pets?

I am fortunate to be married to my wonderful wife, Katy. We have two great kids—Nathan (17) and Annie (14).  We have a dog named Dusty.  A DNA test says she is 50% English Fox Hound, 25% sight hound, and 25% Shiba Inu.  She is a nine-year-old mutt that looks and acts like an eight-month-old yellow lab.

3.         What type of law do you practice?

My practice is devoted to medical malpractice defense and health care law.

4.         How long have you been a member of VADA?

Since 2008.

5.         What have you enjoyed most about your time in VADA?

VADA is such a great organization. The collegiality fostered at VADA events is rewarding.  Many colleagues have become close friends.  The learning opportunities that VADA provides are exceptional.

6.         What do you like most about practicing law?

The opportunity to assist clients in need with their complex legal issues is a rewarding gift.  I feel fortunate that I get to practice law.

7.         If you could have dinner with anyone famous, living or dead, who would it be and why?

I very much would like to have dinner with Alex Honnold, an American rock climber who was the subject of Free Solo.  I have so many questions about his mindset and ability to control anxiety and stress 2,000 feet off the ground on a cliff with nothing but a chalk bag.

8.         What is the one app on your phone you cannot live without?

Literally—the Dexcom G7 continuous glucose monitor app.

9.         What is at the top of your bucket list?

I want to through-hike the AT.  Someday …

10.       What is your favorite television or movie quote?

“The greatest teacher, failure is.”  Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back.

11.       What was your first job?

I worked at a golf course.  I cleaned golf carts and drove the driving range vehicle that picked up golf balls.

12.       When I am not at the office, I like to …

Stay involved with my kids and their interests.  In recent years, I have become an assistant pole vault coach and a volunteer set builder for the drama department at my kids’ high school.

13.       If I wasn’t practicing law, I would be …

A luthier.

14.       What would your courtroom walk-up music be?

“Aerial Boundaries” by Michael Hedges.

15.       Who is your real-life superhero?

My wife, Katy.  A selfless, kind-hearted soul who always places the needs of others in front of her own.

16.       What is your favorite travel spot?

Maybe not technically a travel spot as it is local, but my favorite retreat is Lake Anna, where we are fortunate enough to have a family home.

17.       In what section of a bookstore would someone be most likely to find you?


18.       What is your favorite food and drink?

Ribeye steak and kombucha—but not together.

19.       What was your favorite subject in school?


20.       What advice would you give to someone who just passed the bar?

Find a mentor ASAP.  Take every opportunity early in your career to get out there and hone your skills.  Join a voluntary bar association like VADA and get involved.  Your service will pay dividends, I promise.

Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys

11533 Busy Street, #327

N. Chesterfield, VA 23236


Executive Director: Sherma Mather

Director of Meetings: Amy Gilbody

Journal of Civil Litigation Managing Editor: Molly Terry

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