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Rockville, MD 20850
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John McCarthy - State's Attorney For Montgomery County

John McCarthy and kids wearing community service t-shirts

John McCarthy at Long Branch Community Center in Silver Spring

A Washington Post Article on John McCarthy's 25 Years Of Service To Montgomery County

The State's Attorney's Office is a constitutionally created independent agency. Our mission is to serve the public interest through fair and honest administration of justice by exercising responsibilities to: prosecute criminal violations in Montgomery county; educate the public to criminal justice issues; provide training to lawyers for future service; address inequality and promote fairness in the criminal justice system; insure access to the criminal justice system; promote professional relations with judges and attorneys; and further the efficient use of criminal justice resources.

John McCarthy's Biography

John McCarthy was born on March 3, 1952 in Jersey City, New Jersey, and is the oldest of six children. John's father, John "Jack" McCarthy, now deceased, was a World War II Navy veteran who served his country in both the European and Asian theatres. Following World War II, John's father attended Georgetown University on the GI bill. John's Mother, Jane, also deceased, was a nurse and the oldest of nine children.

John attended both grammar school and high school in the New Jersey suburbs outside of Philadelphia. John graduated from Camden Catholic High School in 1970 where he served as the president of the student government in his senior year. John attended The Catholic University of America on a baseball scholarship between 1970 and 1974.

Mr. McCarthy is the father of four children.

John McCarthy with Asian American leaders
John McCarthy meeting with Asian American leaders of Maryland

Following his graduation from The Catholic University of America, John began a six-year career as a teacher at Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, Maryland. John attended law school at the University of Baltimore between 1975 and 1979. John became a member of the Maryland State Bar in 1979 and began his legal career in private practice before joining the State's Attorneys' Office for Prince George's County in June 1980. The following year, John became a public defender in Montgomery County, which was then headed by former Chief Judge DeLawrence Beard. John began his career in the State’s Attorney’s Office for Montgomery County in 1982.

Accomplishments & Responsibilities

John was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, 2009; John McCarthy is the first Maryland state prosecutor to ever receive this honor. John was named one of Maryland "Super Lawyers" in 2008 & 2009, one of only four prosecutors so honored. John joined the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office in February 1982 and has served as the Deputy State's Attorney for Montgomery County since 1996. In his capacity as Deputy State's Attorney, John shared the responsibility for managing the daily operations of the State's Attorney's Office.

John has been responsible for developing office and prosecutorial policy, supervising the management team, overseeing professional development, acting as a liaison with the county courts, and coordinating community outreach to schools, faith-based organizations, homeowners' associations, and businesses. John was also responsible for making key personnel decisions. John played a vital role in hiring the office's first female Deputy State's Attorney and first Asian-American prosecutor. Moreover, he was instrumental in doubling the number of Hispanic lawyers and tripling the number of African-American lawyers in the office. As State's Attorney, John has continued his commitment to ensuring that his office reflects the diversity of the community it serves.

John with coworkers
John McCarthy with Clerk of the Court Loretta Knight (far left) and Maryland Delegate Susan Lee (far right) during inaugural meeeting of the Asian American Outreach Committee.

Litigation Experience & Excellence

John has been a practicing member of the Maryland Bar since 1979, during which time he has maintained an active trial schedule. John has prosecuted well over 200 major felony cases throughout his career. Widely regarded as one of the top trial attorneys in Maryland, John has prosecuted many high profile cases, including State v. Samuel Sheinbein, James Perry, Bruman Alvarez, Gregory Tu, Garrett Wilson, Arthur Lloyd, Jose Garcia-Perlera, Renee Bowman and Brittany Norwood.

John has served as a legal advisor on numerous task forces, such as the Sniper Task Force in the fall of 2002 and the task force established to examine a number of open homicides of women in Montgomery County. In addition, he has been nominated on multiple occasions for judicial positions on both the Circuit and District courts for Montgomery County. John has also participated in and directed overseas training programs for the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) and the United States’ Congress’s Open World Program.

Leadership in Law and in the Community

In addition to his duties as State's Attorney, John is past President of the Maryland State’s Attorney’s Association, the Montgomery County Bar Foundation and the Montgomery County Bar Association. John also served as the past Chair of the Criminal Law and Practice Section Counsel for the Maryland State Bar Association and was a delegate to the American Bar Association annual conference for six years. John has been a member of various committees charged with the responsibility for drafting legislation addressing, among other things, aggressive panhandling, drunk driving laws, children's safety issues related to domestic violence crimes and school safety issues.

John is an Associate Professor at Montgomery College, where he has taught since 1979. John also teaches at John's Hopkins University. An experienced litigator, John has served as a lecturer on both the state and federal levels regarding various aspects of trial advocacy.  


  • President of the Maryland State’s Attorney Association, 2009 - 2011;
  • Elected State's Attorney for Montgomery County, 2006;
  • Deputy State's Attorney for Montgomery County, 1996 - 2006;
  • Practicing Member of the Maryland Bar since, 2007;
  • President of the Montgomery County Bar Foundation, 2005 - 2006;
  • Chair, Criminal Law and Practice Section Counsel, Maryland State Bar Association, 2007;
  • President of the Montgomery County Bar Association, 2004 - 2005;
  • Delegate of American Bar Association, 2007 - Present;
  • Named One of Maryland's Super Lawyers, 2008, 2009 & 2010;
  • Legal Advisor to Multiple Task Forces, including the Sniper Task Force (2002), and the Female Homicide Victim Task Force;
  • Directed Overseas Training Programs for the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT);
  • Lecturer for State and Federal Government Professional Education Programs on Various Aspects of Trial Advocacy;
  • Associate Professor, Montgomery College, since 1979, teaching Family Law, Torts, Business Law, Contracts, and Criminal Law;
  • Participant in OPEN WORLD and RALROC rule of law programs in Russia and Ukraine. 

McCarthy and Hamilton
Mr. McCarthy (right) presents an award to distinguished attorney Samuel Hamilton in recognitition of his being the first Montgomery County African American Assistant State's Attorney in 1973. 


  • Inducted into the American College of trial lawyers, 2009;
  • Over 31 Years of Service in the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office.
  • Prosecuted Hundreds of Major Felony Cases, including: State v. Samuel Sheinbein, State v. James Perry, State v. Bruman Alvarez, State v. Gregory Tu, State v. Garrett Wilson, State v. Arthur Lloyd, State v. Jose Garcia-Perlera, State v. Renee Bowman and State v. Brittany Norwood.
  • Instrumental in Hiring Montgomery County's First Female Deputy State's Attorney and First Asian-American Prosecutor in the State's Attorney's Office. Moreover, Instrumental in Doubling the Number of Hispanic Lawyers and Tripling the Number of African-American Lawyers in the Office.
  • Faculty Member of Montgomery College's Paralegal Studies Program, 33 years.
  • Multiple Nominations for Judicial Positions, Montgomery County Circuit and District Courts.


  • Inducted Youth Coaching Hall of Fame, Washington, DC, 2007;
  • Coordinated an Anti-Drug Program for Seventh Graders at a Silver Spring Grammar School, 1996 - 2009;
  • Member, Board of Directors at Good Counsel High School, 1997 - 2003;
  • Lecturer for Montgomery County Public School Safe Street Program in 2000, and at Nearly Every Montgomery County Public High School;
  • Lecturer for the Maryland State Bar Association Trial Advocacy Program;
  • Lecturer for Various Senior Adult Groups, including OASIS and The Evergreen Society;
  • Lecturer for Annual Maryland Judicial Conference;
  • Mentored Disadvantaged Minority Youth;
  • Coached Multiple Youth Basketball Teams; Won the 3rd Consecutive County Title in March 2007 for 8th Grade Boys; and Won CYO City Title 2007;
  • Special Olympics Participant;
  • Keynote Speaker for the National Youth Leadership Forum 2003, Involved in the Organization for the Past 10 Years.