John H. Bryan, Attorney at Law


John H. Bryan / Civil Rights Attorney, Constitutional Activist, Blogger, Youtuber

John Bryan grew up in Melbourne, Florida, where he attended Melbourne Central Catholic High School. He then attended the University of Central Florida, where he transitioned from being a defensive end on the football team to being the defense captain of the university’s competition mock trial team, which consistently ranked among the top trial teams in the nation. He helped lead his defense team to a first place finish at the Yale Invitational, as well as achieving a top three finish nationally. He graduated UCF with a degree in political science, after completing an externship working in political campaigns in the 2000 election. He was an elected member of the UCF Student Body Senate and was active in politics in Florida during the 2000 and 2002 elections.

Mr. Bryan attended law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the competition moot court team and was accepted into the the year-long criminal defense clinic program, representing juvenile criminal defendants in District Court in Durham, North Carolina. He worked as an assistant prosecutor for misdemeanor crimes in Raleigh, North Carolina, trying over thirty criminal cases to verdict. He was selected for, and completed, a prestigious civil rights law internship at the U.S. Department of Justice in the Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, in Washington D.C., where he helped perform field investigations of police officers and agencies on location throughout the nation, researching and drafting memoranda for the Assistant Attorney General and the Attorney General of the United States.

Mr. Bryan moved to West Virginia after being inspired by the book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” about a rural small-town criminal defense lawyer. After first working as an associate attorney, he opened his own trial practice. Thereafter he engaged in the practice of both criminal defense and civil litigation, trying numerous jury trials, including everything from first degree murder to right-of-way disputes and civil fraud. He now has offices in both Union and Lewisburg, West Virginia.

Early on in his West Virginia career, Mr. Bryan developed a niche in the area of civil rights law – primarily civil lawsuits against police officers and government officials for the violation of individual rights and liberties. He’s handled numerous high-profile cases in the area of criminal defense, excessive force, search and seizure, freedom of speech and political tyranny. He led the legal resistance to the West Virginia Governor’s COVID lockdown orders in 2020, on behalf of several members of the State Legislature. He’s argued numerous cases before the West Virginia Supreme Court, as well as the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in issues of state and federal constitutional law. He has taught numerous continuing legal education seminars on constitutional law and police and government liability for the National Business Institute.

Mr. Bryan helped establish recognition of the knock and announce rule in West Virginia law enforcement training materials, after litigating the first no-knock raid Section 1983 lawsuit in West Virginia. He obtained one of the only-known cases of a federal jury verdict being overturned in favor of a civil rights plaintiff, based on video evidence of police misconduct. He publishes a blog on civil rights law and liberty issues at as well as a YouTube channel, “The Civil Rights Lawyer,” which follows current issues of constitutional law, as well as his own cases, some of which are followed by people all over the world. Mr. Bryan is also an amateur historian, published author and history blogger, writing on topics of 17th through 19th century American history, writing at, and is currently in the process of restoring and preserving the only known surviving Revolutionary War frontier log fort still standing in its original location.

Office Phone: (304) 772-4999

Office Address: 

411 Main Street, PO Box 366, Union, West Virginia 24983

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