John Bourgeois John Bourgeois

John A. Bourgeois



“John is an ‘outstanding trial lawyer' recognized for his 'strong courtroom presence' and delivery of 'concise arguments to the judge and opposing counsel. His broad caseload is reflective of his impressively broad-based practice.'”- CHAMBERS USA

John Bourgeois is a versatile trial lawyer with extensive jury-trial experience in a variety of civil and criminal cases. In addition to handling high-stakes commercial litigation, John represents clients in business disputes, administrative and licensing proceedings, intellectual property disputes, civil rights litigation, and admiralty and maritime matters. John has particular experience representing individual defendants charged with serious federal and state crimes. He also represents lawyers in malpractice and professional-responsibility proceedings.

John is specially qualified, through training and experience, to mediate matters pending in Maryland’s circuit and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings before federal and state agencies and arbitration tribunals. As a leader of the firm's Criminal Defense practice, John is commended for his exceptional client service and outstanding advocacy. He has a "strong trial practice" and "remains a go-to litigator for wide-ranging commercial disputes and criminal defense proceedings," according to Chambers USA. In addition to the Chambers guide, John is recognized as a leading lawyer by Benchmark Litigation and Maryland Super Lawyers.

John is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

Before becoming an attorney, John worked as a human-rights officer and assistant director of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial in Washington, D.C.


Recognized in Chambers USA, Litigation: General Commercial, Maryland, since 2007

Recognized in Benchmark Litigation, "Local Litigation Star," for Criminal, General Commercial, Personal Injury, Professional Liability, since 2015

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, since 2019

AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell

Selected for inclusion in Maryland Super Lawyers, since 2009


Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Advocacy Project (DV LEAP), Board of Directors

Historic Ships in Baltimore, Board of Directors

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Board of Directors


American Bar Association

American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow

Maryland State Bar Association

District of Columbia Bar Association

Bar Association of Baltimore City

Baltimore County Bar Association

American Association for Justice

National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


Co-presenter, "Arbitrating B2B Disputes: Maximizing Your Results," ACC-Baltimore Chapter, 2018

Co-presenter, "The Yates Memo: What Corporate Counsel Needs to Know," ACC-Baltimore Chapter, 2016


Co-author, "What to Do When the Feds Come Knocking," Association of Corporate Counsel - Baltimore, 2016

Representative Matters

Prosecuted three RICO class actions in federal court against "payday lenders," achieving considerable benefits for class members.

Obtained a substantial victory for the franchisor of international sales training programs in a case alleging breach of contract and fraud, and seeking compensatory damages in excess of $85 million, punitive damages, injunctive relief, and attorneys’ fees. Brought by a franchisee, the case concerned the creation and sale of intellectual property rights. Following six days of trial before Judge J. Frederick Motz in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the plaintiff agreed to a settlement in a sum representing less than ½ of Plaintiff’s claimed attorneys’ fees, and less than 1% Plaintiff’s claimed compensatory damages claim. The settlement achieved the client’s principal goal -- a complete termination of the relationship and all contracts between the parties.

Lead trial counsel in three federal jury trials in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in which the firm’s client was a highly decorated Navy Commander who was injured in Pentagon on 9/11/01 and was charged with wire fraud, false claims, and theft in obtaining compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. During the course of this marathon representation, which lasted more than four years, the firm obtained acquittals on five of seven counts and was instrumental in causing the District of Columbia Circuit to recognize the “issue preclusion” arm of Double Jeopardy in criminal cases in which there has been an acquittal.

Obtained a favorable jury verdict in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City on behalf of two law firms in a breach of contract action against another law firm.

Defended real estate developers in a fraud and breach of contract action brought by a home builder in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County and successfully had a $900,000 verdict reduced to $75,000.

After a week-long jury trial in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, obtained a fraud and conversion verdict on behalf of four investors against a business operator who used their investments for personal use.

Successfully defended a national financial institution in a four-week class action jury trial. The federal court case was instituted by plaintiffs who alleged that the financial institution and others were liable to them for alleged irregularities in home mortgage transactions over a 20-year period. Plaintiffs sought hundreds of millions of dollars in compensatory damages. The jury decisively rejected the plaintiffs’ claims and returned a verdict in the financial institution’s and the other defendants’ behalf.

Successfully obtained judgment in favor of a national lender, on the eve of a class action trial, after demonstrating that plaintiffs were unable to prove their claims. The federal court case was instituted by plaintiffs who alleged that the lender and others were liable to them for purported violations of Maryland’s finders fee law over a 20-year period. Plaintiffs sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Represented a law enforcement officer charged with voluntary and involuntary manslaughter arising out of an altercation with a suspect. This high-profile case involved complex medical issues and allegations of excessive use of force. Throughout the trial, the case received extensive media attention. After deliberating for a few hours, the jury rendered a defense verdict on all counts.