Based in San Diego, John Cleaves is a Managing Director in the Trial & Arbitration Support group within the Forensic & Litigation Consulting segment at FTI Consulting. He has more than 25 years of experience supporting trials in state and federal courts across the country and overseas, and has worked on matters covering a wide variety of subjects, including breach of contract, environmental torts, intellectual property and white collar crime.
Mr. Cleaves has been to trial in California, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Iowa, Missouri, Florida, New York, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and England. He has worked with Latham & Watkins, Irell & Manella, Skadden Arps, Jones Day, and Sullivan & Cromwell, among others. Recent matters include the defense of Michael Sussmann on charges of lying to the FBI, several breach of contract cases for pharmaceutical companies, the defense of environmental contamination cases, multiple Financial Industry Regulator Authority (“FINRA”) actions and a number of cases involving corporate pursuit of insurance policy coverages.
Before joining FTI Consulting, Mr. Cleaves created and managed the internal trial consulting team at Latham & Watkins for 12 years. In that role he provided hot seat and graphics assistance to partners throughout the firm, personally hot seating approximately 50 trials and arbitrations while supervising the hot seat support of over 150 additional matters. He consulted on and created demonstrative graphics dozens of times each year in each of the firm’s litigation practice areas. Mr. Cleaves also managed an e-discovery team at Latham & Watkins for four years.
Prior to Mr. Cleaves's experience as a consultant, Mr. Cleaves practiced law for seven years in Houston, Texas, where he worked in various aspects of litigation including discovery and depositions and participated in six jury trials along with a number of hearings.
Mr. Cleaves is the author of “Demonstratives: Making Effective Graphics for Trial,” published by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and available on Amazon. He is also the creator of several software programs that assist in litigation.