John was born in Athens, Ohio, and attended Athens High School, where he graduated in 1975. He attended College at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, majoring in Business (B.B.A., 1979) with a minor in Agriculture (Horse Science). While in college, he was employed at Womack Stables and McLean Trucking Co. Some of the activities he was involved in include:
Noble Ruler (President) of the Beta Theta Chapter of ALPHA GAMMA RHO (AGR) | Sam Paschall Memorial Scholarship Recipient | Vice-President of the Inter-Fraternity Council | Served as the University's Mascot
Upon graduation from college, John attended the Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. In law school, John earned the respect of his peers. He was elected into several positions in various student associations, such as:
Junior Class Representative to the Student Bar Association | Member of the International Moot Court Team and Trial Advocacy Board | President of the Senior Class
Under John's leadership, the Cumberland Law School garnered praise for its commitment to excellence. The ABA selected the Cumberland Law School as having the "Most Outstanding Student Bar Association in the Country" when John served on the board his senior year.
John returned to Athens in 1982 when he joined the firm of Lavelle and Goldsberry Co., L.P.A. In 1991, he opened his own office as a sole practioner, in the general practice of law, with an emphasis on criminal defense and plaintiff's personal injury actions in Southeastern Ohio. In addition, he has served as Special Counsel to three Ohio Attorney Generals. He represented Hocking College from 1984 to 1995 and began as legal counsel for the Hocking Conservancy District in 1992. His practice includes Ohio and Federal Courts. Associate later joined with him and now Lavelle and Associates employs attorneys experienced in all facets of legal work including: Wrongful Death and serious injury litigation, transactional work, estate planing, estate litigation including will contests, guardianships, estate administration, criminal defense, traffic defense, dui defense, landlord-tenant work and real estate transactions.
The love of wide open spaces and frequent trips to the Big Sky State of Montana led John to take the Montana Bar exam. He has been a member of the State Bar of Montana since 1991.
Some of his professional memberships have included:
American Trial Lawyers Association | Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers | Ohio Academy of Trial Lawyers | State Bar of Montana | Ohio State and Athens County Bar Associations
John and his wife Lora operate Lavelle Farms in New Marshfield, Ohio. John is also an avid cutting horse competitor and serves as an Ohio director of the National Cutting Horse Association in Ft. Worth, Texas where John serves on numerous committees.
Locally, John is a member of many civic groups and enjoys his long-time avocation of working with horses, dogs, and livestock. He lives with his wife, Lora in New Marshfield, Ohio where they operate Lavelle Farms, which is active in the horse and livestock industry.