John C. Carpenter

Licensed in: CA, WA

"Our firm was founded on the principle that justice for injured people is more important than insurance company profits. Justice with a discount is no justice at all."


John C. Carpenter is an experienced and compassionate jury trial lawyer with over 30 years of experience. In that time, he has won more than $100 million for individuals with life-altering injuries.  His practice focuses on helping clients with the gravest injuries – especially wrongful death, sexual abuse, and traumatic brain injuries – recover the money they need to re-establish their lives. In addition to trial work, John also maintains an active appellate practice. The California Supreme Court has twice granted John’s petitions for review. 

On February 13, 1995, John Carpenter and Paul Zuckerman officially started Carpenter & Zuckerman. John and Paul met on the first day of law school at Southwestern in Los Angeles. They graduated together in 1991, studied and took the bar together, and then shipped their Harley-Davidsons to Europe, where they toured the continent on their bikes while waiting for their bar results. To this day, John still likes to take motorcycle cases.

With high-profile cases involving major corporations, government entities, Hollywood celebrities, and well-known institutions, John’s work often garners media attention. Some of his recent publicized cases include:

John was raised by his single mother from the age of 6 months in Los Angeles County.  His mom worked two jobs to support him: one as a legal secretary and the other as a waitress. His mom met and eventually married a lawyer named Greg Larson when John was in the 4th grade. It was the first time he had a father in his life.  Greg turned out to be the most influential person in John’s life. Reflecting on their relationship, John says, “Greg is my dad, and I am the man I am today very much because of him.”

With two youngsters of his own, John is very passionate about the welfare of children. His daughter Charlotte was born in March 2011, and his son Jack was born in November 2016. When asked about his family life, John says, “Getting married and having kids is the best decision I ever made. I love being a husband and father; it is the best part of my life.” John loves the ocean, sailing, and surfing in his spare time.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Ruba Elagazy
Head of Marketing
Carpenter & Zuckerman
(703) 581-4242




John completed his undergraduate coursework at the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1988 and obtained his Juris Doctor from Southwestern Law School in 1991. Continuing his legal education, John graduated from the intensive program at Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College. Having started his career handling and trying cases other law firms rejected, John knows how to try tough cases and get good results.



Nominated for “Attorney of the Year” by the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, 2017
Selected for membership into the National Trial Lawyers Top 100
Recognized by VerdictSearch for the “Verdict of the Week” in 2012

Notable Wins


Non-economic damages verdict, Wrongful Death/Negligence, Rachel Fernandez v. State of California, Los Angeles, 2016


For a disputed-liability car accident in which the plaintiff made an illegal U-turn and was hit by the defendant, who was speeding. Negligence, Antonio Pureco v. David De La Torre Carillo. Los Angeles, 2016.


For a former professional fighter who suffered a traumatic brain injury in an automobile collision. Santa Monica, 2011.


For a college football player beaten by a security guard. 2010.