John P. O’Connor


John P. O’Connor


John O’Connor practices primarily in the area of general criminal law, white collar crime, and complex criminal litigation. During his career he has tried more than 165 criminal jury trials.

He began his law career as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Jackson County, Missouri. He was promoted to trial director where he supervised 40 attorneys and handled a major felony criminal trial docket. In 1987, he entered private practice.

Outside of the courtroom, John is a frequent speaker at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Training Academy.

His legal expertise and long law career have not gone unnoticed. In 1984, John received the “Louis Lombardo Prosecutor of the Year Award.” In 1986, he was awarded the Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award, an award presented by the Missouri Bar Foundation to an outstanding trial lawyer in Kansas City for “outstanding expression of the qualities of professional competence, industry, integrity, and courtesy indicative of a trial lawyer.” John also holds an AV Preeminent rating with Martindale Hubbell, which represents the “highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.”

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense

White Collar Crime and Complex Criminal Litigation

Corporate Criminal Investigations

Prior Work Experience

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney and Trial Director, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office


J.D., University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law, 1982

M.S. in Criminal Justice Administration, Central Missouri State University

B.A., Avila College

Honors & Awards

Best Lawyers in America in the practice areas of Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar Crime and Criminal Defense: White Collar Crime 2005-2015

Best Lawyers in America's 2013 Kansas City, MO Criminal Defense: Non-White Collar Crime "Lawyer of the Year"

American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 Lawyers in Missouri 2007-2014

Kansas City Magazine "Super Lawyers" Top 100 Lawyers 2005-2014

Kansas City Business Journal "Best of the Bar" Kansas City's Top Attorneys as rated by their peers 2002-2014

Ingram's Magazine Kansas City "Best Lawyers in Kansas City" 2009 - 2014

Lon O. Hocker Memorial Trial Lawyer Award, 1986

Louis Lombardo Prosecutor of the Year Award, 1984

AV Preeminent Rating by Martindale-Hubbell

Kansas City Star Magazine feature article "Man in the Streets"
John's insistence on doing his own legwork has spelled acquittal in many of his high profile cases

Court TV "FBI Sting Murder Trial" Nancy Grace gives John an A+

Missouri Lawyers Weekly article, "False Impressions": John O'Connor Challenges Fingerprint Identification



U.S. District Court, District of Kansas

U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri

U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

U.S. Supreme Court

Professional Organizations

American Trial Lawyers Association

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Missouri Bar Association