MEET: John L. Kubis, Jr.
John Kubis is a partner at Teague Campbell, LLP and works in the firm's Asheville office. He specializes in complex litigation, catastrophic injuries, and large loss litigation. He earned his law degree from the Appalachian School of Law in 2007 and is licensed to practice law in Kentucky and North Carolina. Additionally, he has previously served as the chair of the Construction practice group for the NCADA. If you're not familiar with John, take a moment to learn more about him here.
What drew you to the practice of law and to a litigation and trial practice? One semester in engineering made it quite clear that was not my calling. In all seriousness, I knew from a relatively young age that I wanted to do something that made a difference. That leaves a lot of options and was not very original, but for me it seemed clear that it would involve some kind of advocacy. Eventually, after a pit-stop in biotech, a brief stint at a think tank in D.C., and some time at the Kentucky Supreme Court, I found my calling in litigation which allowed me to advocate on behalf of people, governments, and businesses that find themselves in bad situations. It also allowed me to cater to my competitive streak.
How has membership in NCADA benefited your professional life?I’ve said many times that North Carolina has one of the best and most collegial bars anywhere, and I think some of the very best of those people find their way into the NCADA. It’s been a great place to make connections with your peers, many of whom you will cross paths with throughout your career. Having those personal relationships goes a long way to defuse stressful situations while in the trenches of a difficult case.
What would you do if you were not a lawyer? Probably something highly impractical like a travel writer.
What is the biggest career challenge you’ve had to overcome? Learning that you really don’t know much of anything as a young lawyer can be a jolting experience. Realizing that it takes quite a long time before you know a little bit about what you’re doing, and that someone is always going to know more than you do is both a humbling process and an important lesson in life. Identifying good lawyers and doing what they do is a really solid strategy.
If you could meet one person, dead or alive, to grab a coffee with, who would it be and why? Ben Franklin. He was so instrumental in shaping American democracy through his writings and political philosophy and was key in popularizing many of the values we identify as uniquely American. It would be fascinating to get his take on how things look now.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever done? Drove down to the middle of the Everglades at the turn of the millennium to watch the band Phish play an all-night set.
What excites you the most right now? Travel. Exploring new and familiar places, for me, is one of life’s great pleasures. I’m always looking forward to the next adventure and currently getting ready to go to Northern Europe.
What is one piece of professional or life advice you would tell your younger self? Relax. It will all work out.
Thank you, John, for sharing!