John Ager | Phoenix Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer

John Ager


I am a life-long Arizona resident.  I earned my  undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, where I double majored in rhetoric and social science with an emphasis in legal theory.  I earned my law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law the where I was a member of  the Law Review and served as an extern to U.S. District Court Judge Hon. Richard Bilby.  Since then, I have trained at trial colleges hosted by the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the State Bar of Arizona.  I also completed the program Mediating the Litigated Case at the world renowned Pepperdine Law School Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.

I have been litigating personal injury and wrongful death cases, specializing in medical malpractice cases, for over 25 years.  I am a board-certified specialist in personal injury and wrongful death litigation.  I have successfully tried many cases to verdict.  I am a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, both leading, peer-reviewed invitation-only associations of experienced trial lawyers and judges.  I am rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, indicating my peers rank me at the highest level of ethical and professional excellence.  Since 2016, I have been recognized annually by Best Lawyers in America for my work in personal injury cases, most recently as Lawyer of the Year for both 2022 and 2024.  Since 2015, I have been recognized annually by Southwest Super Lawyers for my work in medical malpractice cases.  In eight years as chair of the State Bar of Arizona College of Trial Advocacy, I substantially redeveloped the curriculum of the Bar’s premiere trial lawyer development program.  Since 2007, I have served on the State Bar of Arizona Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, the Bar’s leading committee responsible for drafting and reviewing the rules governing the way civil cases are litigated.

Education

  • University of Arizona College of Law, J.D. 1996
      • Arizona Law Review
      • Extern to Hon. Richard Bilby, U.S. District Court
      • American Bar Association, Law Student Division
      • ABA Board of Governors, Law Student Division
      • Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, President
  • University of California at Berkeley, B.A. 1991
      • Double Major in Rhetoric and Social Science
      • NCAA Men’s Swimming Team
      • Kappa Sigma Fraternity
  • National Institute for Trial Advocacy Trial College, 2002
  • State Bar of Arizona College of Trial Advocacy, 2006
  • Pepperdine Law School, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, 2023

Bar Admissions

  • All Arizona Courts
  • United States District Court, District of Arizona
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • United States Supreme Court

Honoraries and Awards

  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow, 2021-present
  • Best Lawyers in America, Personal Injury, 2016 -present
    • 2024 Lawyer of the Year – Phoenix
    • 2022 Lawyer of the Year – Phoenix
  • Super Lawyers, Medical Malpractice, 2015 – present
  • State Bar of Arizona, Certified Specialist in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Litigation, 2014 – present
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, 2014 – present
  • Phoenix Magazine, Top Attorneys in Arizona, Medical Malpractice, 2014 – present
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent, 2011 – present
  • Avvo, 10.0 Superb, 2010 – present
  • Arizona Association for Justice, Volunteer of the Year, 2022
  • North Valley Magazine, Top Personal Injury Lawyer, 2013
  • Arizona Foundation for Legal Services, Top 50 Pro Bono Lawyers, 2013
  • Arizona Business Magazine, Top Attorneys in Arizona, 2012
  • Arizona Attorney Magazine, Top 10 Verdicts in Arizona, 2008
  • American Bar Association, Silver Key, 1996

Appointments

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    • Emil Gumpert Award International Committee, 2023 – present
    • Arizona State Committee (BOD), 2023 – present
  • Arizona Supreme Court
    • Statewide Taskforce on Jury Selection, 2021
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    • ABOTA Foundation, Lifetime Fellow
    • Phoenix Chapter President, 2022
    • Phoenix Chapter Vice President, 2020 – 2021
    • Phoenix Chapter Treasurer, 2019
    • Phoenix Chapter Board of Directors, 2016 – present
  • Maricopa County Superior Court, Judge Pro Tempore, 2013 – present
  • State Bar of Arizona, College of Trial Advocacy
    • Co-Chair, 2010 – 2018
    • Faculty, 2007 – present
  • State Bar of Arizona Civil Practice and Procedure Committee, 2007 – present
    • Rule 16.3 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 35 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 57 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 7.1 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 7.2 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 37 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 30 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Rule 17 Subcommittee, Chair
    • Tax Rules Subcommittee, Chair
  • State Bar of Arizona, Fee Arbitrator

Other Professional Associations

  • American Association for Justice, 2000 – present
  • Arizona Association for Justice, 2000 – present
    • Board of Directors, 2023 – present
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, 1998 – present
  • Maricopa County Bar Association, 1996 – present
  • State Bar of Arizona, 1997 – present
  • Arizona’s Finest Lawyers (association dissolved), 2014 – 2018
  • The National Trial Lawyers, 2007 – 2016
  • American Bar Association, 1996 – 2013

Published Decisions

  • Keggi v. Northbrook Property and Cas. Ins. Co., 13 P.3d 785 (Ariz. App. 2000)
  • Childress Buick v. O’Connell, 11 P.3d 413 (Ariz. App. 2000)

Published Works

  • Advocate, Amendments to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, 2023
  • Advocate, Elimination of Preemptory Challenges, 2022
  • Advocate, Taking on a Medical Malpractice Case, 2019
  • Advocate, Settling a Minor’s Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim, 2018
  • Advocate, Major Changes Coming to the Rules, Again!, 2018
  • Advocate, Major Changes to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, 2017
  • Arizona Attorney, The Limits of the Cooperation Clause, A Primer, March 2016
  • Advocate, Rule 7.1 – Use it Wisely, 2016
  • Advocate, Civil Practice and Procedure Rules Update, 2014
  • Advocate, Trial Lawyers are Certifiable, 2013
  • Advocate, 2012 Amendments to Rules Affecting Civil Practice, 2012
  • Advocate, Recent Amendments to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, 2011
  • Advocate, Changes to the Rules Governing Civil Practice and Procedure, 2010
  • Advocate, Recent Amendments to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, 2009
  • Advocate, Recent Amendments to the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, 2008

Teaching and Presentations

  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Reflections on Thurgood Marshall, 2023
  • American College of Trial Lawyers Bootcamp, Direct Examination, 2022
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Civility Matters, 2021
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Medical Malpractice Perspectives, 2021
  • State Bar of Arizona Convention, Medical Malpractice Roundtable, 2020
  • State Bar of Arizona, Daubert and Expert Witnesses, 2020
  • State Bar of Arizona, Civil Rules Update, 2020
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Ethics and ER 5.4, 2020
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association,  Litigation Strategies, 2018
  • Arizona Association of Defense Counsel, Civility Matters, 2017
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Damron Agreements, 2017
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, An Evening of Ethics , 2016
  • State Bar of Arizona, Professionalism Course, 2015 – present
  • Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, Civil Practice-Rules Update, 2014
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Ethics Night at the Movies, 2014
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Ethical Issues in Cinema, 2013
  • Thurgood Marshall Inn of Court, Supreme Court Jeopardy, 2012
  • Medical Malpractice 101, 2012

Pro Bono/Community Activities

  • Maricopa County Superior Court – Settlement Advisor
  • Channel 12 Lawyers on Call
  • Maricopa County Volunteer Lawyers Program
  • All Saints’ Episcopal Day School Dad’s Club, Chairman