President – Attorney
When he was a young boy, John Tarantino dreamed of one day becoming a Major League baseball player. John would never get the chance to pitch in a Major League ballpark, but one of Rhode Island’s most trusted attorneys has thrown a lot of curve balls and knocked it out of the park in the courtroom.
As President and a Shareholder at Adler, Pollock & Sheehan P.C., John has received numerous awards and recognition for his outstanding work that spans more than 40 years. He has consistently been recognized by Best Lawyers of America and several other organizations as one of the top attorneys in the country.
A lifelong Rhode Island resident, who graduated from Dartmouth College and Boston College Law, John has successfully tried many high-profile cases, both civil and criminal. John’s passion and dedication to his work and his profession are well known. He has won significant trial victories for Atlantic Richfield Company, the Governor of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Senate, the House of Representatives and many other entities and individuals in cases ranging from toxic tort to constitutional law, to bribery and wire fraud, to ethics violations, to voting law and redistricting.
John is equally proud of the work that he has done for clients who are lesser known. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his pro bono work.
The number of awards he has received would fill a trophy case. He never made it to Cooperstown but has earned a hall of fame status. In 2019, John was honored with the RI Lawyers Weekly’s Hall of Fame Award, a special lifetime achievement award for the senior leaders of the profession.
John’s passion for defending his clients in the courtroom is equally matched by his ardent desire to help the BIPOC community- something that was instilled in him more than 40 years ago.
John played on the Dartmouth club volleyball team as a college freshman. At that time, the Dartmouth team nickname was the Indians. When John arrived at class one day wearing a Dartmouth Indians t-shirt, a classmate who was an Indigenous woman, told John the name and symbol (the head of a Native American warrior) on his shirt were both offensive and demeaning. John immediately turned his t-shirt inside out and finished his conversation with his Native classmate. Pleased with John’s efforts, she thanked him for listening to and addressing her concerns. John credits his classmate giving him a gift that day – one of understanding and perspective, which 40 years later, continues to fuel his passion to help the BIPOC community.
Why is POC and its mission of bettering the BIPOC communities in Rhode Island so important to you?
“I’ve lived in Rhode Island my entire life. I have always felt welcomed, supported, encouraged, and loved here and I love our state and its people. Unfortunately, those same feelings of belonging have not always been true in the BIPOC communities. POC is determined to do its part to change things for the good of our whole state by making things better for our BIPOC brothers and sisters, listening to their concerns, having conversations about how to make things better, more inclusive and welcoming so that we can all work together to improve and ultimately transform lives.”