2020 Legal Elite — Alternative Dispute Resolution Profile
John A.C. Keith, Blankingship & Keith PC, Fairfax
Other legal specialties: Civil litigation involving businesses and fiduciary matters
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Education: Bachelor’s degree and law degree, University of Virginia
Spouse: Ann (deceased)
Children: Sally, Maria, Hannah and Jimmy
First job as a lawyer: Law clerk to the Hon. Albert V. Bryan Jr., Eastern District of Virginia
Fan of: A well-told joke
Recently read book: “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood,” by Trevor Noah
Hobbies or pastimes: Fly fishing, cooking
Favorite vacation spot: Squam Lake, New Hampshire
Career mentors: Hugo Blankingship Jr., Judge Bryan and my dad, the Hon. James Keith
How did you become interested in alternative dispute resolution?
I remember first hearing about mediation in the early or mid-1990s. In those days virtually all of my cases either went to trial or settled at the last minute. As mediation began to take hold in the legal community in the late 1990s, I was complimented to be asked by John McCammon to join The McCammon Group and accepted with alacrity. The training and experience I received at TMG has convinced me that mediation is absolutely the best way to resolve disputes.
What are the benefits of ADR for your clients vs. pursuing a lawsuit? Has ADR helped to change their outlook or made disputes less contentious?
The benefits of mediation to clients are significant. Not only does mediation reduce the cost of resolving a dispute, when compared to litigation, but it also is a much more flexible way to approach the problem presented, which can save time as well as reduce emotional stress on the participants. I think utilization of mediation will continue to increase as does appreciation of its benefits.
See more from our 2020 Legal Elite package:
- 2020 Legal Elite: Alternative Dispute Resolution list
- The 21st edition of the Virginia Business Legal Elite