John A. Chilson

John A. Chilson

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

John A. Chilson joined our firm in May 2006 after gaining valuable litigation experience as a Navy JAG and as a civil litigator with two of North Carolina's well-known defense firms.

John focuses his current practice on catastrophic personal injury and medical malpractice claims and veterans law. He also brings to our firm substantial experience in the areas of criminal defense, commercial litigation, and appeals.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy and the University of Michigan Law School, John was promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander in the twelve years he served on active duty as a naval officer. He served as a JAG in the Naval Reserve for eight years and retired in June 2011. John's unique background includes tours of duty as a weapons officer and engineering officer on the USS DEYO (DD 989), as a counselor and leadership instructor at a college preparatory school, as a senior criminal defense attorney at Naval Air Station Pensacola, and as an in-house counsel on the staff of a four-star admiral. 

John has received the highest AV rating by Martindale-Hubbell, is a North Carolina Super Lawyer in the area of plaintiff's personal injury law, and is listed in the current edition of Marquis Who's Who in America. He is also active in a variety of professional organizations, including the North Carolina Associates of Justice, where he serves a member of the Board of Governors,  the North Carolina Bar Association, where he has served as a member of the Professionalism Committee, and the National Organization of Veterans' Advocates.

John is accredited by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to practice Veterans Law and is admitted to practice before all state and federal courts in North Carolina, the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

John spends much of his free time as a volunteer little league baseball and softball coach. In addition to serving as a member of the board of directors of the Southwest Forsyth Little League in Clemmons, John has coached a number of softball and baseball teams, including an all-star baseball team that won a state championship.

Areas of Practice

  • Veterans Benefits Law
  • Appellate Practice
  • Business Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Constitutional Litigation
  • Criminal Litigation
  • Medical Malpractice Litigation
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Products Liability
  • 34% Veterans Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan, 1999
  • North Carolina, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of North Carolina, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of North Carolina, 2003
  • U.S. District Court Western District of North Carolina, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit, 2003


  • The University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • J.D. cum laude - 1999
    • Law Journal: University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, 1997 - 1999
  • United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, USA
    • B.S. - 1991
    • Major: Economics

Published Works

  • Keeping Clean Waters Clean: Making the Clean Water Act's Antidegradation Policy Work, University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform, Vol. 32, 1999