Areas of Practice
  • University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., with honors, 1995, Order of the Coif, William Strobel Thomas Prize
  • Syracuse University, M.S.Sc., International Relations, 1995
  • University of Rochester, B.A., 1988
Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
1330 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20036
TEL: +1 202 429 8095
FAX: +1 202 429 3902

John O’Connor is a multifaceted trial lawyer who earnestly defends corporations in complex, high-dollar commercial disputes and defense contractors in national defense and foreign relations litigation. He also skillfully represents insurance companies in litigation and arbitration concerning property and liability insurance coverage issues. Mr. O'Connor served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps for ten years, including three years as a judge advocate, and his clients appreciate his efficient and no-nonsense style of litigation, as well as his deep knowledge of legal issues relating to national defense litigation and insurance coverage.

On the corporate side, he litigates disputes among shareholders and members of limited liability companies over ownership and/or control of business operations, as well as disputes between companies and their departing employees. He handles contract disputes, fraud claims arising from business transactions, and disputes between franchisors and franchisees. Defense contractors rely on him in a variety of matters relating to their performance of government contracts. These representations have involved defense of a government contractor against common-law tort claims, claims brought under the Alien Tort Statute and Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and disputes with other contractors concerning subcontract performance as well as the parties’ respective obligations under contractor teaming agreements to jointly pursue government contract work.   

Mr. O'Connor’s insurance practice involves disputes concerning the application of insurance policies to liabilities arising out of asbestos, silica, lead paint, environmental contamination, pharmaceutical products, and other toxic torts. He also represents insurance companies in bankruptcy proceedings as well as against allegations of bad faith or violation of statutory claims-handling practices.

Representative Matters

  • Defended defense contractor against tort suits arising out of Abu Ghraib prison scandal, which resulted in ruling by D.C. Circuit that the plaintiffs’ claims were preempted.
  • Successfully defended general liability insurer against bad faith claims arising from a $55 million construction defect judgment entered against the policyholder.
  • Successfully represented major American telecommunications company in $2 billion fraud suit brought against owners of Turkish telecommunications company.
  • Regularly represents court-appointed liquidator of major insurance company in addressing coverage disputes arising out of claims asserted in liquidation.


  • Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, District of Columbia Housing Right to Counsel Project, 2017

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