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John V. Kalantzis Talks Aviation Law, Grief, and the Mission to Give Victims a Voice

 

John V. Kalantzis

John V. Kalantzis

John V. Kalantzis learned early on the value of helping others through tough situations. The son of Greek immigrants, he grew up watching the frustrations and confusion his parents faced on a day-to-day basis as they tried to navigate their newfound culture and society. Their struggles became one of the chief motivators behind John eventually pursuing a career in law and representing victims of wrongdoing who might not otherwise have a voice with which to fight injustice.

As an attorney, he has worked in multiple areas of personal injury law, from car crashes to slip-and-fall injuries to cases of medical malpractice. Grief, he says, is all over the world and comes in all forms, and it’s the common element present in any case where someone is the victim of another person’s negligence or wrongdoing.

John joined Clifford Law Offices in 2019. These days the majority of his work is on aviation-related cases, including the firm’s ongoing representation of victims that lost loved ones in the Boeing 737 Max 8 crash in Ethiopia in 2019.

Any time a human being sustains an injury because of another’s negligence, there is an opportunity for firms like Clifford Law Offices to bring that person justice and closure, and hold the negligent party accountable. That said, the stakes tend to be greater with airline litigation because those cases are inherently more complex than many other areas of personal injury law.

For example, the average car accident case involving two passenger vehicles is fairly straightforward, from the effects of the injuries to the law itself. Aviation cases, on the other hand, require attorneys to understand international treaties, state laws, and federal laws, to name just a few topics. John says the work on a case like the Boeing 737 Max 8 one is “all-encompassing and all-consuming” because of these inherent complexities.

More than that, plane crashes often bring loss of life on a scale that is absolutely devastating. John points out that one of the most tragic elements of the Ethiopian Airlines case is not just this loss of life but how much human potential the world lost because of the crash. Passengers on Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 included individuals working for the United Nations, those working on environmental causes, and young people just starting out in life. “That’s the real tragedy,” says John of the aircraft crash. “There were a lot of people who would have done a lot of good in the world.”

Changing the system, so to speak, is one of the main factors that drives John when it comes to his work in these aviation cases. By holding others accountable for their negligence, the hope is that families, and indeed the entire world, will lose fewer individuals to such avoidable tragedies. This is as true of car accident cases and medical situations as it is of large-scale airline disasters.

“People suffer wrongs almost every day and they don’t know who to turn to,” he says of society. As someone who has built his career on the values of compassion and empathy, John takes the task of helping such people very seriously. Like all attorneys at Clifford Law Offices, he treats each new client as if they were a family member, and roots these relationships in trust and openness, not the monetary figure attached to the case.

John’s work extends beyond the walls of Clifford Law Offices, too. Fluent in Greek, he is active in his surrounding community through volunteer work for Greek American organizations, including educational groups and his church.

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