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John Palmer, Naman, Howell, Smith & Lee, PLLC Photo

John P. Palmer



With the sunrise I look forward to the day that is coming, not the day that is gone.  I think of the work to be done for our clients with eager anticipation, eyes wide open, and a grateful heart.

John Palmer is a trial attorney and mediator.  His primary areas of practice are family law, federal law, patent litigation, alternative dispute resolution, and general civil litigation. He is a published author and speaker on various topics including federal court litigation, mediation, family law, ethics and civility.

Prior to joining Naman Howell, John served  as a briefing attorney for the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas, Waco Division.  He has since been involved in a variety of federal cases, including patent cases, cases of diversity, education law, and construction law. His extensive court experience includes jury and non-jury trials in cases involving property disputes, custody, divorce, termination and adoptions, personal injury, employment cases, and toxic torts.

He is a strong proponent of mediation, and has served in a leadership capacity in several statewide dispute resolution organizations.   He is a Credentialed Distinguished Mediator and current chair of the Texas Mediator Credentialing Association.   

John has actively been involved in fostering education and served on the China Spring ISD School Board from 2005 – 2016 and served as Board President 9 of those years and remains a Board Member of the China Spring ISD Education Foundation.  John enjoys mentoring and was recognized as the Outstanding Mentor by the State Bar of Texas Young Lawyers Association in 2018-2019.

Request to Schedule a Mediation

Please choose from an option below on scheduling either a half day mediation or a full day mediation. Prior to making a request for booking, please confirm with all parties that this date is available. This is a tentative booking and is not confirmed by this office until you receive a subsequent email or Mediation Confirmation Letter from us.

For information regarding the cost of mediation, please contact 254-755-4348 or

Fraternities / Sororities

  • Delta Upsilon
    Phi Delta Phi


Best Lawyers in America (Family Law), BL Rankings, 2024

Texas Mediator Credentialing Association Outstanding Credentialed Mediator Award, 2020

Outstanding Mentor Award, Texas Young Lawyers Association, 2018

Texas Super Lawyer, Thomson Reuters, 2018

Texas Association of Mediators Susanne C. Adams Award, 2017

Justice Frank G. Evans Award Recipient, ADR Section, State Bar of Texas, 2001

“Jerry Burks Peacemaker of the Year Award”, Waco Peacemaker’s Alliance, 1998

Outstanding Young Lawyer of McLennan County, Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Association, 1993


Civic & Professional

State Bar of Texas

Federal Bar Association

Member, Waco-McLennan Bar Association (President 2015-2016)

Master, Judge Abner V. McCall American Inn of Court (President, 2018-2019)

Credentialed Distinguished Mediator, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association (Chair 2014, 2015, 2020-present)

Charter Member, Past President & Current Board Member,  McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center

Member, Alternative Dispute Resolution Section, State Bar of Texas (President 1997-1998)

Member, Texas Association of Mediators, (President 2001-2002)

Board Member, China Spring ISD Education Foundation Board Member (2007-present)

Board of Trustees, China Spring I.S.D., 2005 – 2016 (President- 9 years)

Past Chair, Federal Court Committee on ADR (Waco Division)

Past Member, Waco-McLennan County Young Lawyers Assoc. (President 1995-1996) 

Past Member, Federal Bar Association Waco Chapter (Treasurer 1993-1995)

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

Frequent speaker and panelist on federal court practice, ethics, civility, divorce mediation, aspects of mediation in general, and serves as a volunteer trainer in a variety of mediation settings.

Past adjunct professor at Baylor University School of Law (client counseling)

Past adjunct professor at McLennan Community College Legal Assistant Program (family law)

Planning Committee, University Of Texas Advanced Patent Law Institute (2020 – present)


Co-Author, Texas Practice Guide, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Thompson Reuters, 2019 – Present

Co-Author, A Speaking Analysis of ADR Legislation for the Divorce Neutral, 31 St. Mary’s L. J. 871 (2000)

Speaker and Co-author: Distinctions Between Texas and Federal Court Practice – Civil Jury Trial, Committee on Administration of the United States District Court, May 3, 1991 – May 4, 1991

Co-author:  Whistlestop Through the 1980′s: A Civil Rights Update, Texas Association of Defense Counsel, 1990 Fall Program, September 21, 1990 – September 22, 1990

Co-Author: An Overview of the Texas Bar Foundation Symposium on Cost Control at the Courthouse held September 30, 1987, Corpus Christi, Texas, 19 St. Mary’s L.J. 507 (1987)

Blog Posts

Certifications & Specialties

Certifications & Specialties

Credentialed Distinguished Mediator, Texas Mediator Credentialing Association


  • State Bar of Texas, 1988
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Texas


University of Texas School of Law Center for Public Policy Dispute Resolution (ADR Fellow, 2002)

St. Mary’s University School of Law, J.D., 1988

  • Mary’s Law Journal, Senior Association Editor
  • Phi Delta Phi Outstanding Third Year Student Award
  • Legal Professionalism Award, State Bar of Texas - Law Student Division
  • Outstanding Young Men of America
  • Who’s Who Among American Law Students
  • Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges

University of Texas at Austin, B.A. in Psychology, 1985

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