The Jawn Morgan Interview You’ve Been Waiting For

Santa Claus?! Before Thanksgiving?! Is nothing sacred, Jawn Morgan? We asked. He answered.

lawyer john morgan dressed as santa claus on one of his many jawn morgan billboards near Philadelphia, which we interview him about here

We just had to interview lawyer John Morgan (aka Jawn Morgan), seen here dressed as Santa Claus on one of his many Jawn Morgan billboards near Philadelphia, this one in Upper Darby. (photo by Victor Fiorillo)

On Friday, as I was driving through Upper Darby, I saw it. Another Jawn Morgan billboard. But this wasn’t just another “Jawn Morgan” billboard. No, this was Jawn Morgan (who, in real life, is Florida-based personal injury attorney John Morgan, but in Philly, we call him Jawn Morgan, thanks to his oh-so-successful billboard campaign) dressed as Santa Claus.

This raised a couple of red flags. First, it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and we’re all a little fed up with the too-early Christmas decorations. But second, is nothing sacred, Jawn Morgan? Santa Claus????

Naturally, I had to get in touch with the man and ask him to defend himself for appropriating the “Jawn” in “Jawn Morgan” as well as the whole Santa Claus thing.

Thanks so much for calling me back. Do I call you John Morgan or Jawn Morgan?
[Laughs] My people said to be very careful of you.

Meeee? Why on earth would they say that?
You wrote that Worst of Philly thing!

Ah, yes. I bestowed a Worst of Philly award upon your Jawn Morgan billboards.
It’s okay. Believe me: I have a very thick skin. People are upset, but hey, they’re talking about us.

Which is, of course, the point. One thing your critics have pointed out is that you aren’t even licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania. Are you just one of those legal referral services?
No, no. I have lawyers there on the ground in Philadelphia. We are not a referral service. I have 900 lawyers nationwide. We started out mostly down South but have spread out across the country.

Okay, so let’s talk about these Jawn Morgan billboards. I get it. Your name is John Morgan. And you thought it would be cute to appropriate our very Philly word “jawn” to replace your first name on these billboards. Some people got upset.
First of all, when my creative people came to me with this Jawn Morgan billboard idea, I had no fucking idea what jawn was. But I said okay. My name is John. And we’ll call me Jawn. I didn’t think it would upset anybody. I find it more humorous than offensive. It was just so perfect. My name is John. You guys say jawn. The stars lined up.

Was Jawn Morgan your first publicity campaign to stir the pot?
No, we did one a few years ago called Size Matters. That really got people talking. Years ago, I would also do billboards that I would deface myself. It went like this: Somebody would crawl up on the billboard and paint a bunch of pro-Phillies stuff on my face or paint me as a Philadelphia Eagle. And then people would be talking about that. They’d laugh that the billboard was defaced, but what they didn’t know was that they had been defaced by me professionally. You just try to stand out in a crowded field.

Which is solely personal-injury law for you, correct?
That’s right. Big cases. I was part of the class-action BP oil spill case. The opioid case in Cleveland. We just settled a case for $1.8 billion surrounding a gas leak in California. Everything we do is contingency-based. We’ve never billed by the hour. I have always felt that billable time is one of the great forms of grand larceny, and it’s committed by lawyers.

Okay, so it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, and I see yet another Jawn Morgan billboard pop up near me, and you’re dressed as Santa Claus. C’mon, man.
Well, you know, we were thinking about putting billboards up in my neighborhood in Florida, and they already had Christmas lights up. And I said fuck it. Christmas comes way too early now. On the other hand, I have only 30 days to run that board. And the idea behind it is: Who hates Santa Claus? People might hate me, they might hate Jawn Morgan. But nobody hates Santa Claus. If you do, you’re a douchebag.

What is your neighborhood in Florida? Don’t tell me Mar-a-Lago.
Well, I have a house in Lake Mary, outside of Orlando. Then I have a home in Ponce Inlet. But from January through May, I live in Maui. Then, it’s off to New Hampshire for a bit before back to Florida. I’m a man without a home.

So it sounds like all the advertising is paying off.
I pioneered attorney billboard advertising. Everybody was like, What is he doing? I started advertising in 1985. Now, a lot of people do it. But there are so many firms out there who have a ton of shit lawyers in their firms who take pennies on the dollar in settlements. I pride myself on the fact that we receive huge verdicts for our clients. We try more cases every year than any other firm in the country, by a country mile. We’re not settlers. You should see some of the settlement offers we get and then the verdict amounts after we refuse the offers. A lot of these “lawyers” wouldn’t know how to find the courtroom less try a case. That’s why I am successful. My margins are much better because our verdicts are so big.

And just to make sure I heard you right earlier, you have 900 lawyers working for you?
Yes. I handpick them all myself. They do it my way, every day. When I go to McDonald’s in Philly, New York or Maui, I better get the same hamburger no matter which one I go to. Same with my firm. Every one of our lawyers has to do it the same way. Squeeze the insurance companies every which way, and if the insurance companies don’t do what they’re supposed to do, we score big verdicts. We go to trials. Other lawyers haven’t been in a courtroom forever. Think about this. It’s like a gunfight. If you know the other guy is never gonna pull out his gun, you’re gonna kill the motherfucker.

Dare I ask what your annual advertising budget is?
One hundred eighty million dollars. We’re sponsors for Barstool, a lot of UFC fighting, a lot of NIL deals. Our campaigns are on iPhones. We are on Androids. We are on YouTube.

One hundred eighty million is a lot of money.
We meet three times a month to talk about new campaigns. Sometimes these kids come up with ideas that go too far. You know how it is, Victor, these creative types. They have pink hair and all these things in their noses. They’re great. But sometimes I have to tell them: We’re not doing ads for cryptocurrency here. We’re doing an ad where we want somebody to trust us. We can’t be crass and filthy. But I really did like Size Matters.

And with all those 900 lawyers to manage, you personally are involved with each advertising decision.
Yes. All me. If I am going to spend that kind of money, I need to have my hands on the steering wheel. And with the Jawn Morgan billboards, then we start catching shit from other Philly law firms saying, “He’s not from Philly!” Yeah, but you buy shit from Amazon, and they’re based in Seattle. What’s the big fucking deal? You have an iPhone? They’re headquartered in California. Now you have these other Philly law firms putting up negative billboards about me! They’re pissing their fucking money away and just branding me more in the process. I don’t give a fuck. You can hire one of my people. Or you can hire some shit-ball who grew up in Philadelphia who screws up your case. It’s your choice.