NATIONAL CRIMINAL DEFENSE COLLEGE FACULTY
Partner, Sheffield & Lentine, P.C.
John received his B.A. with honors from the University of West Florida and his J.D. from Cumberland Law School in 1987. He practices exclusively criminal defense work on the trial and appellate levels throughout the State of Alabama and in a variety of Federal trial and appellate courts. He is a Past President of the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, and the Legal Aid Society of Birmingham. He is a Life Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and he has been Board Certified as a Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has served as the Board’s State Coordinator in Alabama. He was the CJA Panel Representative and Resource Counsel for the United States District Court of the Northern District of Alabama for ten years and also served as the 11th Circuit’s Representative to and for 3 years. He served as the Chief CJA Panel Representative in the United States to the Defender Services Advisory Group for the Administrative Office of Courts in Washington.
He has been appointed by the Alabama Supreme Court to serve on the Alabama Criminal Rules Committee and the Alabama Pattern Criminal Jury Instructions Committee and was appointed by the President of the Alabama State Bar in 2013 to serve as the Chair of the newly restored Criminal Justice Section of the State Bar and as Vice Chair of the Appointed Counsel & Indigent Representation Committee. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Birmingham Bar Association and Birmingham Bar Foundation.
He is a faculty member of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia, and the Georgia Criminal Defense Association’s Bill Daniel Trial Advocacy Program. He is an adjunct faculty member at Cumberland School of Law where he teaches trial advocacy and the Birmingham School of Law where he teaches criminal law, criminal procedure and the death penalty. He has also been an adjunct professor at Miles Law School and has lectured at Faulkner and the University of Alabama schools of law.
He has been a Fellow in the American Board of Criminal Lawyers and is a Fellow in the American Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America specializing in Non-White Collar and White Collar Criminal Defense, Alabama’s SuperLawyers in the area of criminal defense, and The Birmingham Magazine’s and The Birmingham Business Journal’s Best Lawyers in Birmingham and acknowledged by The National Trial Lawyers as one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Alabama and by the American Society of Legal Advocates as one of the Top 100 criminal defense lawyers in Alabama.
He is the 2010 recipient of the Judge Walter P. Gewin Award from CLE Alabama for his contributions to the development and presentation of CLE programs. The Best Lawyers in America has selected him as Birmingham’s “Lawyer of the Year” for 2012 in Non-White Collar criminal defense and in 2018 as Birimingham’s“Lawyer of the Year” in White Collar criminal defense.
In 2012 he received the “Lawrence B. Sheffield, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Greater Birmingham Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. In 2013 he was selected as a Master Bencher in the inaugural group of Masters of the Bench in the Judge James Edwin Horton Inn of Court at Cumberland School of Law. Also John has recently been listed in the Top 50 Alabama Super Lawyers for 2013-18 and listed in the Top 10 criminal defense attorneys in Alabama by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys. In March of 2014 he was named to membership in the National Association of Distinguished Counsel in the area of criminal defense. In May of 2014, he received the “Roderick Beddow Sr. Award” from the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association. The Beddow Award is the ACDLA’s highest honor and recognizes a lifetime achievement and service in the field of criminal defense.
John has spoken at numerous CLE programs over the last 30 years in Alabama and across the country devoted to the teaching and training of criminal defense lawyers.
Recent Teaching History