- Partner, Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP
- Practice focuses on consumer, insurance, and antitrust class actions as well as appellate representation
- In 2023, Mr. DeStefano argued and the Hagens Berman Arizona team prevailed before the Arizona Supreme Court in Franklin v. CSAA Insurance, obtaining a unanimous decision in Plaintiffs’ favor confirming that people injured by underinsured motorists in Arizona have the right to add together (or “stack”) insurance coverages for multiple vehicles under a single insurance policy. Mr. DeStefano and the Hagens Berman team are now working to recover additional insurance benefits for Arizona residents — many of them seriously injured — who were underpaid by thousands of dollars due to their insurers’ erroneous view of the law before Franklin.
- When Continental Casualty Co. decided to seek and impose massive premium hikes on its long-term-care insurance customers, Hagens Berman filed suit to stop them and correct the abuse. The federal court initially granted Continental’s motion to dismiss, but Mr. DeStefano obtained a published reversal of that ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2020. After the case was remanded, he defeated three additional motions to dismiss in similar cases against Continental Casualty and discovery is ongoing.
- Mr. DeStefano has also been active in litigation challenging insurers’ deliberate underpayments of total loss auto claims—unfair practices that short consumers after serious car accidents when they are often injured and at their most vulnerable. In early 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Mr. DeStefano’s motion to certify a class of New Jersey consumers challenging GEICO’s use of improper adjustments to lower payments and its failure to pay substantial taxes and fees owed.
- Mr. DeStefano also helped represent NFL legend Jim Brown in the appeal of his right-of-publicity suit against Electronic Arts for the unauthorized use of his likeness in Madden NFL video games. Shortly after briefing, Electronic Arts agreed to a $600,000 judgment in favor of Brown.
- Mr. DeStefano was part of the Hagens Berman team that obtained court approval of $400 million settlement to compensate Hyundai and Kia owners for misstatement of EPA fuel economy ratings and successfully defended the settlement before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, sitting en banc. Settlement payments averaged $353 for Hyundai owners and $667 for Kia owners.
- Snell & Wilmer LLP, 2009-2013
- American Inns of Court Pegasus Scholar 2012, study of commercial, media, and privacy law with barristers and judges in the U.K.
- Trustee and past Treasurer, American Inns of Court
- Membership Chair, Lorna Lockwood American Inn of Court
- American Association for Justice
- Rising Star, Class Action/Mass Tort, Super Lawyers, 2015-2017
- Top Pro Bono Attorneys in Arizona Award, Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education, 2013
- Gunn v. Continental Casualty Co.
- Sieving v. Continental Casualty Co.
- Cheslow v. Continental Casualty Co.
- Brown v. Continental Casualty Co.
- Kronenberg v. Allstate Insurance Co.
- Lewis v. GEICO
- In re Hyundai & Kia Fuel Economy Litigation
- Jim Brown v. Electronic Arts Inc.
- Hon. Neil V. Wake, U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, 2008-2009
- Hon. William C. Canby, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2007-2008
- Co-author, Arizona and Colorado chapters of the ABA’s “A Practitioner’s Guide to Class Actions," 2d edition
When John’s great-grandfather came from Italy to Boston, he lost his life savings to a man he met named Charles Ponzi. A century later, John takes special pride in protecting the public against broad-based frauds and swindles and the corruption of honest enterprise.