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John L. Littrell


John is an accomplished trial lawyer who specializes in the defense of complex criminal cases.

He represents individuals and businesses under investigation for all types of fraud offenses (including wire fraud, bank fraud, tax fraud, mail fraud, and securities fraud) as well as corruption and bribery offenses, regulatory offenses, and other white collar crimes. John represents clients from all over the world and he has led investigations in cases involving extensive conduct abroad. John has significant experience in high-stakes cases, having represented clients charged with terrorism and capital murder.

John has more than a decade of experience negotiating with the U.S. Department of Justice and other prosecuting agencies. He has persuaded prosecutors to narrow or dismiss charges before they were brought, and he has convinced judges to dismiss indictments based on obscure and novel constitutional challenges. If and when a case is prosecuted, John dissects the charging document with creative, original motions. He has successfully challenged illegal searches and interrogations, resulting in the suppression of some or all of the evidence in several cases. At trial, John applies sophisticated techniques to identify jurors who will treat his clients fairly and presents them with a compelling narrative to support a verdict of not guilty.

Representative Matters include:

  • Representing a young man accused of capital murder for killing a TSA Officer at the Los Angeles International Airport; John led a team that persuaded the U.S. Department of Justice to abandon its effort to seek the death penalty.
  • Leading an extensive international investigation on behalf of a Philippine national accused of conspiracy and smuggling weapons and explosives to the United States; John’s investigation exposed government misconduct leading to a formal investigation of the FBI by the Office of the Inspector General.
  • Obtaining reversal of a nearly thirty-year-old capital murder conviction in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and a published decision vindicating the constitutional right to present a complete defense at trial.
  • Representing an international businessman who was accused of offering illegal gratuities to government officials; seeking new trial following the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2355 (2016).
  • Securing a mistrial in a fraud case involving the use of telecommunications technology to process credit card transactions. John uncovered and presented evidence that another person was responsible for the fraud.
  • Winning acquittals in several criminal cases, including an aggravated assault case and a case charging the client with trafficking in over 200 kilos of cocaine.
  • Getting an order suppressing all of the evidence in a case where the client was facing a mandatory life sentence for possessing large amount of narcotics.

John graduated in the top five percent of his class at UCLA School of Law. He was recognized as the best oral advocate in the moot court program. He served as a law clerk for the Honorable A. Wallace Tashima in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. John was a Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles for over twelve years. During that time he handled hundreds of challenging and unique cases and served as the Chief of the Trial Unit. As Chief, John supervised 30 lawyers, led training in trial advocacy, and developed innovative challenges to federal prosecutions in the district. He was also an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School, where he taught Evidence for Trial Lawyers.