John M. Dowd

John M. Dowd is co-leader of the firm’s white-collar defense and corporate investigations practice. Mr. Dowd has prosecuted and defended significant criminal matters at trial and in parallel proceedings before Congress and regulatory agencies for more than 40 years. His practice focuses on the trial of complex criminal and civil cases.

Practice & Background

Mr. Dowd has represented a U.S. senator before the Department of Justice and the Senate Ethics Committee; a U.S. Army colonel in the Iran-Contra hearings; a U.S. senator before the Senate Ethics Committee; and a U.S. governor in litigation with the Resolution Trust Corporation and in a fact-finding hearing before the House Subcommittee on General Oversight and Investigations, Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs, which inquired into the failure of the savings and loan industry.

Mr. Dowd is noted for his successful representation of a U.S. district judge, a former U.S. attorney, two U.S. senators and a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, he successfully represented the governor of Arizona in a lengthy, high-profile criminal trial. He won the exoneration of the head of exploration and production of a major oil company before the SEC, DOJ and FSA in London. He successfully represented the chairman and CEO of a major soft drink company before the SEC and DOJ. He represented the owner of a hedge fund in the largest insider trading case in history in a lengthy, high-profile criminal trial.

Mr. Dowd has also served as special counsel to three commissioners of Major League Baseball in the investigations of Pete Rose, a team owner and others. Mr. Dowd’s extensive report on Pete Rose can be found at

Before entering private practice, Mr. Dowd was a trial attorney in the Tax Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and chief of an Organized Crime Strike Force in the Criminal Division. He tried the first prosecution of the federal RICO statute in United States v. Parness. At the request of the attorney general, he also supervised an internal investigation of the FBI and the investigation of U.S. Rep. Daniel Flood of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Dowd received his A.B. cum laude from St. Bernard College in 1963 and his J.D. from Emory University in 1965. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and the American Bar Association. He serves as a member of the board of trustees of Flint Hill School. He serves on the board of directors of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund. He is a Barrister in the Edward Bennett Williams Inn of Court.

Mr. Dowd is listed in Who’s Who in America and has been recognized for more than 10 years in The Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Dowd was honored by the United States Marine Corps at the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., Evening Parade on June 18, 2010, for his many contributions to the Marine Corps. He was honored by Emory School of Law as one of three recipients of the 2008 Emory Law Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes outstanding alumni “who achieve distinction in legal practice, teaching, research, or public administration, and who demonstrate distinguished service to Emory University.” In 2009 he was appointed to Emory School of Law’s Advisory Board, which aids and supports the dean, faculty and staff in strategic planning, policy formulation and resource development. He is a member of Business Executives for National Security.
Community Involvement

Mr. Dowd is involved in community, civic and charitable activities that include service as:

a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps
a member of Emory School of Law’s advisory board
an emeritus member of the board of trustees of Flint Hill School
an emeritus member of the board of directors of the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund
pro bono counsel to the U.S. Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
a member of the kitchen Cabinet for the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps
pro bono counsel to St. Peter’s Indian Mission School, Bapchule, AZ
a member of Barrister-Edward Bennet Williams Inn of Court.

Speaking Engagements

Fordham University Law School’s NACDL's 8th Annual Defending the White Collar Case Seminar, Wall Street on Trial: Where Allegations of Greed and Dishonesty Meet the Criminal Code, New York, NY, November 16, 2012
Columbia Law School Symposium, Recent Developments in Insider Trading Law and Enforcement, New York, NY, November 16, 2012
Emory University School of Law Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques, Atlanta, GA, May 10, 2012
ABA White Collar Crime Meeting, Recent Trials, Miami, FL, March 1, 2012
ABA Securities Fraud Section Meeting, Insider Trading: When Does Corporate “Edge” Become Corporate Espionage?, New Orleans, LA, November 3, 2011.

Awards & Accolades

Recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a top lawyer in the category of criminal defense, white collar (2013)
Super Lawyers (2007-2013)
Best Lawyers in America (1989-2015) for criminal defense: white-collar.

Good to know

Areas of Practice 1) Professional Liability, 2) Antibribery/Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), 3) Antitrust Agency Investigations, 4) Class Actions, 5) Complex Commercial Litigation, 6) Congressional Investigations, 7) Energy Litigation and 8) International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution
Law School Emory University School of Law, J.D., 1966
Education St. Bernard's College, B.S., 1963
Bar Member / Association District of Columbia Bar Association
Most recent firm Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, LLP
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