John “Jack” Cloninger
I began practicing law in 1981. I grew up in the Asheville area, so after I graduated from law school at UNC-Chapel Hill, the choice was easy to return home. I first started working for a defense firm, which meant most of the cases I handled came from insurance companies to represent them or their policyholders in lawsuits against them for property loss, personal injury or commercial claims. In fact, in the late nineties, I served on the board of directors for the North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys. Around 1999, after being primarily on the defense side for 17 years, I switched to being primarily on the plaintiff side, representing persons who had been injured or damaged and representing them on their claims. Since then I have handled cases involving medical malpractice, automobile accidents and fire and insurance cases, among others, for plaintiffs. A few years ago, I became certified as mediator by the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission to conduct settlement conferences in civil actions pending in the Superior Court of North Carolina. A mediator assists both plaintiffs and defendants in negotiating a settlement of their disputes. During my career I have tried numerous cases, both for the plaintiff and the defendant. Also, from time to time, I have taken on role of a neutral, serving either as a mediator or arbitrator.
I graduated with honors from law school. I became a partner in an established law firm at age 28, and I have been a partner or a managing member of a law firm since 1985. I am currently a member of the North Carolina Bar Association, Advocates for Justice and Inns of Court. I continuously have had a peer review rating of “AV” from Martindale-Hubbell (its highest possible peer review rating in legal ability and ethical standards) since sometime 1995. I have been included in the 2017 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© in the fields of Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs and Medical Malpractice Law-Plaintiffs. Additionally, I have been recognized by the Best Lawyers® as the 2015 and 2017 Medical Malpractice Law-Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year,” and the 2016 Personal Injury Litigation-Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year” for Asheville, North Carolina.
I have been happily married to LaNita Cloninger since 1977. We have an adult son, daughter-in-law and a grandson. We attend First Presbyterian Church in Asheville, where over recent years I had served on the Sanctuary Renovation Committee, as a Ruling Elder on Session and Chair of the Personnel Committee. I also have served as past president of the board of directors of Asheville Community Theatre and my homeowners association at Reems Creek Golf Community, and served as a commercial representative/secretary for the Property Owners Association for 21 Battery Park. During the last couple of years I have been on the UNC Law Alumni Association Golf Classic Committee, which sponsors scholarships for law students. I enjoy my family, church, golf and watching football; and I still enjoy the practice of law.