Member Directory
Member Directory

John Zelbst

Zelbst, Holmes & Butler
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John Zelbst
Zelbst, Holmes & Butler

John P. Zelbst has 40 years experience as a trial lawyer. Throughout the years his practice has grown nationwide. With the assistance of local counsel, Mr. Zelbst has handled and tried cases

all over America. Mr. Zelbst' legal career has focused solely on representing people who have been injured, wronged, falsely accused and mistreated.

Bar Affiliations:

He has been a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association since receiving his law degree from the University of Tulsa in 1980. Mr. Zelbst is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States; the Court of Federal Claims; the 5th& 10th Circuit Courts; Federal Courts for the Western, Eastern and Northern Districts of Oklahoma, the Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas; the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas and the District of Colorado.


Mr. Zelbst is a member of the Comanche County Bar Association; the Oklahoma Association for Justice (formerly the Oklahoma Trial Lawyers Association), and served as its President in 2000. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice, formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Zelbst is one of the 73 prestigious attorneys of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates, (ABOTA). He was awarded the title of Oklahoma Super Lawyer every year since 2006,; and is a member of the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers , 92nd Edition, Martindale Hubbell and is also Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. He is a graduate of and " former Board member and faculty of the Trial Lawyers College. He currently is the President and senior faculty at the Gerry Spence Method located at the Thunderhead Ranch Dubois, Wyoming.

John was selected for inclusion in the Best Attorney Network for personal injuries, John Zelbst 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 these quiet cold rooms."

Listen to John being interviewed on Americans Best Lawyers and you will see what these professionals were talking about.


Selected by the readers of the Lawton Constitution as the Best Lawyer of the Year. Oklahoma Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division for the years 1994 and 1995 for participation in the Student Training and Employment Program (STEP). Oklahoma Bar Association Courageous Advocacy Award.

Civic and Community:

Mr. Zelbst is also civic minded. He cares deeply about his community. In an effort to provide service to the 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, and a Former Committee Co-Chair for the National Alumni of The University of Tulsa, College of Law.

Reported Cases:

Mr. Zelbst has obtained many multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts on behalf of his injured clients. Including the largest known personal injury verdict in the state of Oklahoma-24 million dollars, Henderson v. Petro Energy Transport Co. et al., DC Jackson County CJ-95-64.

"Acquittals" Some of Zelbst' More Notorious Acquittals and Murder Cases are:

  • George Carver - 2nd Degree Murder - Faulty Gun murder
  • Allan Whitchurch - 1st Degree Murder - First Day out of the Penitentiary Killing
  • Kenny Wagstaff - 1st Degree Murder - teenage pond drowning
  • Michael Hendricks - 1st Degree Manslaughter - "He run up on the Knife"
  • Harvey Templeton - 1st Degree Murder - child abduction
  • Steven Kemp - 1st Degree Murder - satanic cult murder
  • Diane Vandevender - 2nd Degree Murder - baby dumpster
  • Roberto Fonseco - 2nd Degree Murder - "oops he didn't have a gun"
  • Kris Howard - 1st Degree Murder - Halloween gun fight
  • Ariel Ortiz - 1st Degree Murder - Road rage chase - "I only chased him 80 miles before I shot himâ€�.
  • Sandra and Richard Eaves – attempted murder of a child by salt poisoning.

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