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Meet the Attorney Q&A: John A. Kaniewski

Attorney: John A. Kaniewski | Published 3.13.18

John Kaniewski is no stranger to hard work. He started working at his family’s tool and die shop during the summers of his teenage years. He then went on to work as an usher at a drive-in movie theater in the summer of 1975 before moving on to study at Loyola Marymount University, and the rest is history.

Since then, John has accumulated more than a couple decades’ worth of experience handling a wide variety of litigation matters. With more than 40 successful trials under his belt and a membership with the American Board of Trial Advocates (one of the preeminent national organizations for experienced trial lawyers), John has proved time and time again that he is more than capable of competing with the top attorneys in the nation.

Here are John’s answers to some of the questions posed to him about his life and career:

What made you decide to go to law school/become a lawyer?
Much to the chagrin of the nuns and lay teachers I had in grammar school, I was always the one who asked the really tough questions. Later, I was educated by Jesuit priests and Immaculate Heart nuns who basically taught us to challenge everything to determine the truth. Going to law school and continuing that intellectual process seemed natural.

What do you find most rewarding/satisfying about the practice of law?
The competition. I am very competitive by nature. Trials are really the ultimate game. There are winners, losers, and a very complex set of rules, and the stakes can be very high. When you hear the jury answer that one question that makes your client the winner, there are not many more-satisfying moments.

What would people be most surprised to learn about you?
My great-great-great uncle is St. Andre Bessette. He was canonized on October 17, 2010. He spent most of his adult life in Montreal, and we were there for the celebration (although the canonization liturgy itself was in Rome).

Also, my wife, my daughter, and I have had the opportunity to sing with our parish choir in Italy on two occasions. In 2007, we toured through Italy, sang a capella in four cathedrals, and performed in a concert with the Vatican orchestra. Most recently, our choir was one of 10 choirs from the United States that sang at St. Peter’s for the closing Mass for the Jubilee Year of Mercy that had been proclaimed by Pope Francis.

What is your favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere in the mountains. Yosemite is wonderful – but only in the offseason when you can get away from the crowds. We also like to take cruises.

If you could instantly become an expert at anything, what would it be?
Piano. My family had a piano when I was growing up, and one of the real regrets in my life is never taking lessons and learning how to play.