Withdrawing a bad plea
It is not often that one is presented with an opportunity to withdraw a plea in criminal court, nor very wise to do in most cases. However, I recently had a client who pled guilty to two felonies, but got bad advice on the immigration consequences. He was from Somalia which does not have a government and probably will not have one in the near future. So, the client would serve his time and then be held by ICE for deportation indefinitely. After years of being held in federal custody, he may be released under supervision only to be picked up and shipped out the moment Somalia forms a government. Thankfully, we were able to convince the court to allow the client to withdraw the plea.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense, Immigration
John Ballard is a third generation attorney following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Jack Butler, and his father before him, Howard "General" Butler. Born and raised in Williamson County, John has spent his life in Middle Tennessee. Upon graduating with a Philosophy degree from Samford University, enrolled in Nashville School of Law where he went to school at night while working at his grandfather's law practice in Nashville. After learning the law from one of Nashville's legendary attorney's John spent two years as Judge Seth Norman's court officer in Davidson County Criminal Court Division IV. Working for Judge Norman gave John a unique opportunity to get to know attorneys as well as criminal defendants before graduating Law School in 2014, wherein he was awarded the Moot Court Award.
John began his law practice at 1308 Rosa L Parks Blvd with over a dozen of Nashville's best criminal defense attorneys. While developing a criminal defense practice, John learned that there was a need for a robust law practice that could serve many different legal needs of the community. In addition to needing contracts, civil litigation, document generation, often times the community needs someone to help them jump hurdles and cut through red tape. It may be dispute regarding insurance, employment, codes, local government, or regulations, and knowing the right people and how to navigate seemingly complex issues is important. Working to find a solution without litigation is important, but sometimes the only way to resolve an issue is to let the judge decide. John has spent most of his career in court arguing and winning cases in front of juries and judges on a myriad of issues. His background means that he is familiar with not only the courts but the judges, attorneys, and court staff as well. He is comfortable in the courtroom litigating complex issues because he comes prepared and outworks the other side.
John has recently moved his main office to Franklin, Tennessee and brings with him the experience, knowledge, and reputation from Nashville, but also as a native to Williamson County.