John J. Janssen, J.D., Ph.D.

Phone: 361-288-7340
Location: Corpus Christi

John J. Janssen, J.D., Ph.D., a Senior Attorney with the firm, is a litigation, public law, education law, labor and employment law, and business attorney. John has completed complex transactions and has helped clients successfully address and resolve disputes across a broad range of practice areas for over 20 years. As a litigator, John has represented clients in cases involving public education law, contracts, special education, construction defects, premises liability, products liability, trade secrets, oil and gas receiverships, and medical malpractice. Having served as in-house counsel for a Texas public school district, moreover, he is sensitive to the urgency of many of the requests for counsel and assistance that he receives from school administrators across a wide range of issues areas, ranging from employment to student discipline to the First Amendment, and his responsiveness has earned him a reputation as a reliable and highly effective school law attorney.


  • Litigation: Wrongful death; construction defects; civil rights; employment; fiduciary duty; trade secrets; premises liability; products liability; negligence. Trial and appeals; administrative proceedings; mediation and binding arbitration.
  • Labor and Employment Law: Employment (Eligibility, Handbooks, FLSA, FMLA, Performance Documentation); Employment Terminations; Employment Grievances; Civil Rights and Discrimination; Whistleblower; Chapter 21 Employment Contract Issues and Grievances
  • Public Law and School Law: TEC Chapter 21 Employment Contract Issues and Grievances; Administrative Proceedings; Student Records/FERPA/Open Meetings Act; Public Information Act; Safe Schools Act; Student Discipline; Parent/Student Grievances; Contracts; Procurement; Construction; Interlocal Cooperation Agreements; Special Education/504; Student Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation / Civil Rights Issues; First Amendment; Policy Review and Development; Trainings (e.g., Board Training, Student Discipline, Preventing Workplace Harassment, Discipline and Documentation, ADA Compliance, and other personnel and school law topics)
  • Business Law: Purchasing & Acquisition, including Contract Review; Construction; Intellectual Property


The University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., Government, 1996
The University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1993
Yale University, M.A., Political Science, 1989
Southwestern University, B.A., Political Science and Philosophy, 1987


Texas Council of School Attorneys
National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys
American Bar Association

State Bar of Texas
Corpus Christi Bar Association


  • Monitoring and Investigating Student Use of Technology—and the Challenges of Investigating Sexting, (March 2019)
  • Chapter 37 Compliance Training, Education Service Center—Region 15, February 14, 2019.
  • Family Law & FERPA Training, Education Service Center—Region 12, February 12, 2019.
  • Regional Advisory Committee (RAC) meetings, Education Service Center—Region 2, on various topics including, but not limited to, legal “firefighting” tips for administrators, employment law, Chapter 37 compliance, and school finance (2015-present).
  • Personnel Services Symposium, Education Service Center—Region 2, January 16, 2019 (employee use of social media, terminating the employee relationship, handling grievances).
  • Employee Use of Social Media, Webinar for Texas Charter School Association, November 27, 2018.
  • Protecting Students from Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation: Compliance with Federal Civil Rights Laws, Texas Charter School Association Conference, October 25, 2018.
  • Protecting Students from Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation, Texas Association of School Administrators/Texas Association of School Boards Convention, September 29, 2018 (Co-Presenter).
  • Chapter 37 Compliance Training, Education Service Center—Region 12, September 20, 2018.
  • Chapter 37 Compliance Training, Education Service Center—Region 2, August 6, 2018.
  • Personnel Services Symposium, Education Service Center—Region 2, January 18, 2017 (topics covered included documenting performance, leaves and absences, grievances, and employment discrimination complaints filed with EEOC or TWC).
  • Responding Properly to Reports of Discrimination or Harassment of Students with Disabilities, Including Complaints Filed with OCR, Special Education, Discipline, and Dispute Resolution Conference, Education Service Center—Region 2, March 4, 2015.
  • Supervisor Training: Five Things You Need to Know Right Now, Presentation to Superintendent’s Leadership Team, Corpus Christi Independent School District, February 12, 2014.
  • Legal Panelist, Student Online Activities and School Discipline, Education Service Center—Region 2, January 25, 2008.
  • Knowing & Protecting Your Intellectual Property, Protecting Your Company’s Assets, Business Roundtable—Corpus Christi Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, July 18, 2006.
  • Easements & Eminent Domain in Texas, Law of Easements: Legal Issues and Practical Considerations in Texas, Lorman Education Services, Corpus Christi, Texas, June 23, 2006.
  • Overview of the Texas Workers’ Compensation System, Workers Compensation in Texas, Lorman Education Services, Corpus Christi, Texas, February 3, 2005.


  • “Protecting Public School Students from Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation,” School Law Section Newsletter, Vol 14, No. 2, State Bar of Texas, Fall 2017.
  • “Public School Finance, School Choice, and Equal Education Opportunity in Texas: The Enduring Importance of Background Conditions,” 19 The Review of Litigation 1 (2000).
  • Constitutional Equilibria: The Partisan Contingency of American Constitutional Law from the Jeffersonian “Revolution” to the Impeachment of Bill Clinton (Lanham: University Press of America, 2000).
  • “Dualist Constitutional Theory and the Republican Revolution of 1800”, 12 Constitutional Commentary 381 (Winter 1995).


  • Successful representation of clients in state and/or federal court, including appeals, and in administrative proceedings, mediations, and arbitration
  • Extensive experience defending school districts in proceedings before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Texas Workforce Commission—Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the U.S. Department of Labor—Wage and Hour Division, and the U.S. Department of Justice—Civil Rights Division
  • Successful defense of multiple school districts in DGBA and FNG grievance proceedings
  • Extensive experience in school district employment issues generally, including managing leaves and absences, FMLA, discrimination complaints, performance documentation, FLSA, reassignment, contract issues, and adverse employment decisions
  • Extensive and successful representation of school districts regarding Public Information Act issues before the Texas Attorney General
  • Special Education and 504 issues, including extensive experience defending school districts in requests for due process hearings filed with the TEA against school districts and representing school districts in mediations of due process complaints
  • Extensive experience in reviewing contracts for goods and services, analysis of procurement issues
  • Experience drafting interlocal agreements and memoranda of understanding
  • Experienced in Texas Open Meetings Act and Governance matters
  • Successful representation in registration of trademark with U.S. Patent & Trademark Office
  • Trainings across broad range of school law topics, such as school discipline and safety, human resources concerns, and other topics chosen to help shield school districts from legal liability


  • TL Mechanical v. Corpus Christi ISD (2013). Contractor sued alleging payment for services were owed. Judgment for the school district.
  • Corpus Christi ISD v. C.C. (2012) Successful appeal of adverse hearing officer decision in special education due process proceeding.
  • Corpus Christi ISD v. D. Lopez (2011). Suit against former employee for fraud and civil theft. Case resolved upon case being transferred to bankruptcy court.
  • Castro v. Ford Motor Credit Company (2009). Successful defense against wrongful repossession / breach of contract complaint.
  • Zertuche v. Price Drilling Company (2004). Successful defense on appeal in negligence case; appellate court reversed and rendered judgment in favor of defendant.


Boss-of-the-Year Award, Corpus Christi Association of Legal Professionals, 2006
Hispanic Achievement Award, Gregory-Portland Community Learning Centers, 2005


Past member, State Bar of Texas Administration of the Rules of Evidence Committee.


State Bar of Texas, May 1994
Member, School Law Section
Member, Litigation Section
Member, Labor and Employment Law Section
Member, Government Law Section


U.S. District Courts Southern District of Texas
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
U.S. District Courts Eastern District of Texas


Brief Judge, 2019 Appellate Advocacy Competition, American Bar Association Law Student Division
Debate Judge, Gregory-Portland High School Speech and Debate Tournament (Nov. 2018)
Member & Musician, St. Christopher’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church

Attorney, Powell & Leon, LLP (Mr. 2016-Mr. 2019; Sept. 2014-Apr. 2015)
General Counsel, Office of Legal Services, Corpus Christi Independent School District (Sept. 2009-Apr. 2014; Apr. 2015-Mr. 2016)
Associate Attorney, Porter, Rogers, Dahlman & Gordon, P.C., Corpus Christi, Texas (2009-Aug. 2014)
Associate Attorney, Brin & Brin, P.C., Edinburg, Texas (1999-2000)
Staff Attorney, Texas Court of Appeals- Thirteenth District, Edinburg and Corpus Christi, Texas (1996-1998)
Assistant County Attorney, Nueces County Attorney’s Office (Aug.-Sept. 1996)
Teaching Appointments, The University of Texas—Pan American, 1997-99; Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi, 1996; Del Mar College, 1988-90, 1992, 1996; Southwestern University, 1995- 96 (undergraduate political science courses)