In the News Washingtonian

75 Best Lawyers

Here are Washington's best. They were selected on the basis of interviews with lawyers, judges, and clients. We have picked people from different legal specialties, some of which the average person might not interact with--the top Supreme Court litigators, for example. The lawyers listed are all available for hire, and most have a winning track record in Washington-area courts, whether on the plaintiff or defense side and in both civil and criminal matters.

These lawyers are the best at what they do.

The press tends to make heroes of lawyers who win large judgments, while those who beat them off usually labor in obscurity. But in the field there is little doubt that 41-year-old Michael Jones has become Washington's master defense lawyer. The former research assistant to DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says his secret is that after he writes a brief, he lets his wife read it, figuring that the jury is going to think a lot more like his wife than like his partners at Kirkland & Ellis.

Jones also understands the mind of the plaintiff's lawyer better than most: One of his six siblings is a personal-injury lawyer back home in Shreveport, Louisiana. Too many defense lawyers in personal-injury cases try to argue the law and ignore the emotion in the cases; Jones builds sympathy for his client. For that he is avidly sought by big corporations hoping to avoid big judgments against them.