John K. Olson practices in the area of bankruptcy, restructuring, insolvency and commercial litigation. John also acts as a mediator or arbitrator in helping parties resolve disputes out of court, either before or during litigation.
Prior to joining the firm, John served a 14 year term as a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Florida in Fort Lauderdale beginning in February 2006. He is perhaps best known nationally for his 2009 opinion in TOUSA, Inc., in which he set aside a $500 million financing transaction by a national homebuilder at the start of the Great Recession. His 182-page opinion is a textbook on fraudulent transfer law. John’s findings and the complex remedies he imposed were fully upheld on appeal and were the subject of substantial favorable legal commentary. He served the Court with distinction before retiring in February 2020.
While serving as a bankruptcy judge, Olson frequently conducted judicial settlement conferences at which he served as a mediator in cases pending before other judges.
Prior to joining the bench, John was a shareholder at law firm Stearns Weaver Miller for 18 years, based in Tampa, Florida, where he was a director of the firm, a member of its executive committee, and head of its bankruptcy practice. During that time, he led significant representations of debtors, creditors’ committees, trustees, examiners, and both secured and unsecured creditors.
John is a distinguished leader in the legal profession. He is a former chair of the Business Law Section of The Florida Bar, and has for many years been active in the Business Law Section of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the Section’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and has been chair of many substantive law committees of the Business Bankruptcy Committee. Additionally, John is a contributing author and editor for the BNA Bloomberg Law Bankruptcy Treatise and is a liaison from the American Bar Association to the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges.
John was admitted to The Florida Bar in 1975. He received his juris doctor from Boston College Law School, where he was on the Law Review, in 1975. He graduated from Harvard College in 1971 with a bachelor of arts degree, magna cum laude, in history.