Home Lead Faculty John Zelbst


John Zelbst HeadshotJohn Zelbst is a nationally known and recognized trial lawyer. He has, with assistance of local counsel, tried cases all over America. Mr. Zelbst’s legal career has focused solely on representing people who have been injured, wronged, falsely accused, and mistreated. He tries cases in both State and Federal jurisdictions.

His association with the Gerry Spence began in 1999 as a student. He has 20 years of teaching experience.

John Zelbst home office is located in Lawton, Oklahoma, and he is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States; the Court of Federal Claims; the 5th and 10th Circuit Courts; Federal Courts for the Western, Eastern and Northern Districts of Oklahoma; the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas; the Northern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas; District of Colorado and Eastern District of Missouri. He has also been admitted Pro Hac Vice in many State jurisdictions.

Mr. Zelbst has been selected as a Top Attorney in Oklahoma, Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association, Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, America Most Honored Lawyers, Best Law Firms by U.S. News & World reports. He has been honored with Appreciation Awards by Oklahoma Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Courageous Advocacy Award by the Oklahoma Bar Association.

Mr. Zelbst is a member and in good standing with the Oklahoma and National Criminal Defense Associations as well as the Oklahoma Association for Justice and the American Association for Justice.

John has been referred to as a “gun slinger from the old west fighting in an alley that time has all but forgotten. Today’s court rooms are sterile and dead. More like mausoleums and morgues. John brings life, thunder and justice back into the quiet cold rooms”.

John is a real trial lawyer who has received hundreds of verdicts both civil and criminal and holds many county, state, and federal verdict records.

John is also very civil and community minded. He cares deeply about his community. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Comanche County Memorial Hospital, Lawton, Oklahoma; he is also a member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association; a voluntary firefighter for the Meers Volunteer Fire Department; he is currently serving his second 8 year term as a Commissioner with Oklahoma Wildlife Commission; and he is a distinguished alumni of his College, Cameron University, where he also played college football.

Mr. Zelbst has been honored by Gerry Spence repeatedly by publicly stating that if “I ever get into trouble I would hire John Zelbst to be my lawyer”.

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Fighting for the People | Gerry Spence | TEDxJacksonHole

Renowned trial lawyer Gerry Spence reflects on justice in a powerful personal retrospective.


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