Taking the Case

| February 10, 2011
Attorney John Cox

Attorney John Cox

Aristotle once said, “The law is reason free from passion.”

Attorney John Cox would have to disagree.

“It’s definitely safe to say that I get personally involved in my cases,” said Cox, 35, who is a partner with Lynch, Cox, Gilman & Goodman PSC. “You can’t practice law without investing in your clients. I think that’s what makes me a good attorney – I’m passionate.”

In a decade of working in civil litigation, one case in particular stands out: the 2003 case of Dr. Holly Brown, whose husband and daughter were killed in a flash flood while hiking in Hawaii. The story garnered national attention in USA Today and The New York Times.

“This one was particularly hard, she was (my wife) Jennifer’s OBGYN and delivered my oldest daughter while she was pregnant with her daughter, who happened to be the little girl that died. It hit close to home” Cox said.

With a “no stone left unturned’”motto, Cox said he is not “afraid to obsess over a case. I started that specific case in 2004 and didn’t close until 2009. I probably spent over 1,000 hours on that one.”

Cox FamilyCox credits his success to being easily relatable.

“A lot of attorneys can apply concepts to the law but cannot relate that to everyday life or explain to someone else why they should win because of the law. I’m able to relate to people and convey my argument without losing objectivity.”

A Louisville native, Cox earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Louisville. Cox’s love of the Cards runs deep. “I was a ball boy for the 1986 National Championship team.”

His time at U of L’s Louis D. Brandeis School of Law was challenging.

“It’s a different way of thinking. It’s taking what you read about a case and the tools and legal concepts you develop from each case and applying it to new concepts,” he said. “You have a framework in mind, but every case has new issues or laws. You have to be able to step back and know the general legal concept but also apply everything you’ve learned to come up with an argument that is interesting to your specific case.”

His father, attorney Donald L. Cox,,  would bring young John with him as an assistant on cases.

“I grew up seeing my dad practice law. I went with him while he tried a case at the U.S. Supreme Court,” Cox said. “He was very influential in my decision to become an attorney.”

Cox is now a partner in his father’s firm, but the office is nothing close to a family reunion.

“People always think we work together and that I see him all the time, but really he just passes all the work down to me,” said Cox with a laugh.

Cox is proud to have followed in his father’s footsteps and is a “proud papa” himself.

“I remember the first time I met (my wife) Jennifer,” Cox said. “I had just transferred to Walden. It was the first day of school and she just walked up to me and kicked me out of the desk. I guess I had sat in her seat.”

She made quite the impression.

They have been married for 15 years this May and have three daughters: Katelyn, Kelsey and Kylie.

“I’m surrounded by girls. Even our two dogs are girls. I love every minute of it,” he said.

When he’s not working,  – which isn’t often – Cox spends time with his family.

Cox Family“I do make time for “˜American Idol’ with the girls,” he said “That is our thing, no matter what.”

After dropping his daughter off at school, John heads to the office around 7:30 a.m.

“Depending on the cases, I won’t leave the office until 9:30 p.m. – some days even later. It’s not uncommon for me to put in 60 or 70 hours a week.”

But behind every good man is a good woman.

“My wife makes my job so much easier. I wish I could say that I cook and clean and do all sorts of chores around the house but I cannot,” he said. “Somehow Jen is able to keep the house in order and remain flexible enough in her schedule to adjust each day to meet our three daughters’ needs – all while keeping what amounts to basically a full-time job with her family’s company (Allen Properties).

“She really is amazing and I can honestly say I love her more each day.”

Favorite movie

“The Shawshank Redemption.”

Favorite Book

Since I read so much for work I have little time to read for pleasure, but the last book I finished was “Freakonomics,” which I enjoyed. I love reading almost any Dr. Seuss story to my youngest daughter.”

Favorite “˜American Idol’ Judge

“It would have been Simon but now I think it has to be Steven Tyler. He is secure in himself and says and does whatever comes to his mind. The result is truly funny.”

Out “˜n’ About

We love Jeff Ruby’s or Stoney River.


I wouldn’t say I have ever really had a hero, but I have had a couple coaches who have had tremendous impacts on me. Excluding my parents, Carlos Gorena and Derek Smith (who passed way too young), who coached me in soccer and basketball respectively, were probably my biggest influences. They both took special interest in me and helped me realize how much harder I could be pushed not just in sports but in daily life. The life lessons they taught through sports are forever ingrained and something that have helped and continue to help me achieve personally and professionally.

As an aside, I think the concept of having a hero is a bad idea for kids. I think it makes kids think there is something out there they can never attain naturally. I always preach to my daughter that everyone puts on their pants one leg at a time -,  sounds cheesy but isn’t that the preferable message you really want to convey.

Interesting Fact

I cannot swim. I know it’s terrible, but it does give me an excuse not to do triathlons as part of my workouts.

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About the Author (Author Profile)

Lauren DePaso
Voice-Tribune Staff Writer Lauren DePaso enjoys being a tourist in her own city, exploring the nightlife and cheering on the Cards. A Louisville native, she currently resides in St. Matthews.

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