John Ballard | Franklin Criminal Defense Lawyer

John Michael John Lawyer

John Michael Ballard

Criminal, Lawsuit & Dispute

http://www.ballard.law

800-975-0350


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John Ballard is a third generation attorney following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Jack Butler, and his father before him, General Howard Butler.  Born and raised in Williamson County, John has spent his life in Middle Tennessee.  Upon graduating with a Philosophy degree from Samford University he enrolled in Nashville School of Law where he went to school at night while working at his grandfather's law practice during the day.  After learning the law from one of Nashville's legendary attorneys John spent two years as Judge Seth Norman's court officer in Davidson County Criminal Court Division IV.  Working for Judge Norman gave John a unique opportunity to get to know attorneys as well as criminal defendants before graduating Law School in 2014, wherein he was awarded the Moot Court Award.

John began his law practice at 1308 Rosa Parks Blvd with over a dozen of Nashville's best criminal defense attorneys.  While developing a criminal defense practice, John learned that there was a need for a robust law practice that could serve many different legal needs of the community.    It may be a dispute regarding insurance, government, or regulations, and knowing the right people and how to navigate seemingly complex issues is important.

While working to find a solution without litigation is important, sometimes the only way to resolve an issue is to let the judge decide.  John has spent most of his career in court arguing and winning cases in front of judges and juries on a myriad of issues.  His background means that he is familiar with not only the courts but the judges, attorneys, and court staff as well.   He is comfortable in the courtroom litigating complex issues because he comes prepared and outworks the other side.

John has recently moved his main office to Franklin, Tennessee and brings with him the experience, knowledge, and reputation from Nashville, but also as a native to Williamson County.
Please describe a case in the last year or two where you made a big difference.

The biggest difference in a case that I made in the last two years or so was walking a guy out of the jury trial. He had been incarcerated for several years on credit card fraud. I ended up getting on the case late and as soon as I saw it I set it for trial. I knew that the State could not prove it's burden. After a three day trial, the jury came back Not Guilty. My client was looking at a potential of 20 years. No one had taken the time to actually sit down and listen to him and believe that he was innocent.

How did you build a successful practice?

I started with some very, very sharp lawyers at 1308 Rosa Parks Blvd. I had some great mentors. Additionally, my grandfather and his father before him were legal giants in Nashville. Though they both passed before I started practicing, I learned so much about the law and what to do and what not to do in a practice, before I had even graduated law school. I started the way many young lawyers do - taking criminal appointments. It was the best way to get experience fast. I was handling up to 8 or 10 cases per day, every day. Trial experience is very important and that is basically all I did for my first 4 years of practice.

What should clients look for in a lawyer?

A good lawyer knows how to listen to his clients. I ask many clients to write me a biography, depending on the case. I want to learn about who you are so that I can serve your needs better. If I am going to be your voice in court, then I need to know who I am speaking for.

How important is local knowledge to the success of your cases?

Local knowledge can help, but not that much. Of course it pays to know who your judges and opposing counsel are. But going to other counties where I do not practice much is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes local lawyers fall into a status quo and never get out of it. Going in without knowing much or them not knowing you can help a lot.

What information can you provide in a free phone consultation?

I will talk to anyone for a few minutes. I generally like to get a gist of the issue and if it is something I am interested in, I prefer to set up a meeting so that I can give my prospective client my undivided attention. As far as free advice goes, well it just depends. If it is something pretty basic, I can point you in the right direction. Part of the reason I do this job is because I like helping people.

What information do you need in a free phone consultation?

It depends on the issue. Asking questions to get to the point is my job, and I'm very good at it.

What differentiates you from other lawyers in your community?

I come from a long line of lawyers in Middle Tennessee and have connections far and wide, inside and outside the legal community. I spent a lot of time in trial and in court. I worked in a court for two years, so I am very comfortable in court. And I think that is something important. Many civil lawyers are simply afraid of court. I have seen lawyers that have been practicing decades longer than me shaking and floundering in court. Me on the other hand, I love being in court. I love the fight. I have always been a great problem solver and having a law degree took that problem solving abilities to the next level. A lot of work I do for clients does not really fit under a certain "practice area", but rather is just a problem they need solving. I know how to grease the wheels in the right spots at the right time to get what you need.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Helping people and fighting for the right causes is very rewarding. I really do enjoy helping people and I have hundreds of pro bono hours every year. Fighting the government and fighting over litigious plaintiffs and lawyers is another rewarding aspect.

What are your other interests in addition to law?

I enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter and visiting around town (before COVID anyway). I enjoy outdoors and spend a good deal of time at our family farm in Centerville.

Are you involved in your community?

Yes.

Position Organization Location Duration
OwnerBallard LawNashville, TN2014-2020
Court OfficerCriminal Court Div. 4 - Hon. Seth NormanNashville, TN2011-2014
Law ClerkButler & AssociatesNashville, TN2008-2011
School Degree Major Graduation
Nashville School of LawJ.D. Law School2014  
Samford UniversityBAPhilosophy2008
State / Court Date
Tennessee2014
  • Williamson Inc.
    Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Nashville School of Law - Moot Court Award 2014
  • CAUGHT RED HANDED WITH METH - RESOLVED IN CLIENT'S FAVOR DUE TO SUPPRESSION ISSUE
    The client had mailed meth from out of state to a UPS store here in Tennessee. Well, that did not turn out so well for him and law enforcement was tipped off. They waited for him and when he came to pick up the package he was arrested after paying for it. There were several 4th amendment issues related to the search. Case law seems to indicate that when a private individual is acting on behalf of law enforcement, 4th Amendment protections apply. Unfortunately, there was not much case law here in Tennessee, but there were in other jurisdictions and at the federal level. I worked tirelessly to draft a killer suppression motion and after sending it to the Assistant District Attorney, it was enough for him to give us a great offer of settlement. We went from 8 years to serve to 6 years on probation. He was looking at 20 years if convicted at trial.

  • DEALING WITH A STUPID MISTAKE
    Recently I had a client who was on the run from a probation violation that she got years ago. Like so many other young people she did not take her probation seriously. Two years later, she had changed her life, gotten serious, and matured enough to want to deal with it. The problem was that it was in front of one of the toughest Judges in the State of Tennessee. She willingly turned herself in, knowing that there was no bond and waited. Luckily, we were able to get a deal with the State that got her out of jail and back on probation, when we initially thought that she was going to have to serve her time.

  • WITHDRAWING A BAD PLEA
    It is not often that one is presented with an opportunity to withdraw a plea in criminal court, nor very wise to do in most cases. However, I recently had a client who pled guilty to two felonies, but got bad advice on the immigration consequences. He was from Somalia which does not have a government and probably will not have one in the near future. So, the client would serve his time and then be held by ICE for deportation indefinitely. After years of being held in federal custody, he may be released under supervision only to be picked up and shipped out the moment Somalia forms a government. Thankfully, we were able to convince the court to allow the client to withdraw the plea.

  • NOT GUILTY
    After a three day trial in Nashville, John walked a man accused of credit card theft and hotel services theft. The client had been through more than one previous lawyer before John Ballard took the case and sat in jail for almost two years before his day in court. The Defense team was able to win the case by reminding the jury of their duty to hold the burden of proof to the State. After several witnesses, the Jury deliberated for less than an hour and came back not guilty on all charges.

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Verified Credentials Date Verified
(2014) Licensed as Attorney in Tennessee. Verified with Tennessee Bar Association.December 11, 2020

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Fee: Fees depend on the type of case. Criminal cases are flat fees, depending on the location, number of charges, and severity of the charges. Other cases are usually hourly. We will find a way to with you and your wallet.

Service Type: Private

Language: English. Spanish and Japanese are available with translator.

Update Date: 2020-09-30

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John Michael Ballard
1224 B Columbia Ave
Ste 200
Franklin, TN 37064
35.9154925,-86.8739355

MAIN LOCATION

1224 B Columbia Ave
Ste 200
Franklin, TN 37064


Other Locations:
  • 1308 Rosa L. Parks Blvd
    Nashville, TN 37208

    1308 is filled with some of Nashville's greatest criminal defense lawyers and is where John got his start.  He still maintains this office due to a high volume of clients living in Nashville, and for easy access to notary and witnesses.

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