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.”
John’s Significant Cases and Results include
Kansas City Missouri Police Tactical Officer indicted by a Jackson County Grand Jury for Assault 1st Degree and Armed Criminal action facing 2 potential Life sentences has all charges dismissed prior to Trial after our extensive investigation which included significant impeachment of the alleged victim and six independent expert reports on the defendants proper use of force and self- defense under the facts and circumstances of the case.
Navy Seal Charged with Class A felony of Assault 1st Degree, Kidnapping, and Armed Criminal Action facing 2 potential Life sentences and 15 years, Is Acquitted by a Buchanan County Jury.
Daughter Charged with Murder 1st Degree of her mother and facing a Life sentence without the possibility of parole is Acquitted by a Jasper County Jury. Case featured on Oprah Winfrey Show.
Police Officer working off duty involved in a shooting incident and charged with Murder 2nd Degree and facing a potential Life sentence Acquitted by a Jackson County Jury.
Kansas City Councilwoman charged with Assault of a Police Officer and facing a potential 15 year sentence Acquitted by a Jackson County Jury.
Liquor Store Owner charged with Murder 2nd Degree and Armed Criminal Action facing 2 potential Life sentences Acquitted by a Jackson Count Jury.
Army veteran Charged with Assault 1st degree and Armed Criminal Action against Kansas City Police Officers and facing 2 potential Life sentences Acquitted by a Jackson County Jury.
Kansas City teenager Charged with Involuntary Vehicular Manslaughter facing a potential 15 year sentence Acquitted by a Jackson County Jury
Kansas City, Missouri Police Deputy Chief charged with Sexual Harassment. As a result of John’s investigation was reinstated with full benefits and back pay.
Independence Missouri Fire Captain charged with Assault 1st Degree and facing a potential 15 years imprisonment in Jackson County. As a result of John’s investigation the charge was Dismissed.
College bound Scholar Athlete was charged with Murder 2nd Degree and Armed Criminal Action in Jackson County and facing 2 potential Life sentences. As a result of John’s investigation and proving the Police had the wrong person charged, all charges were dismissed the real perpetrator was subsequently charged.
Kansas City man was charged with 5 counts of Murder 1st degree and facing 5 Life sentences without parole in Firebombing Arson of a residence. As result of John’s extensive investigation all charges were dismissed. The Case was in the “Star Magazine” article in the Kansas City star.
Members of a professional football team were in Kansas City for a game and were accused of Forcible Rape in Jackson County and facing potential Life sentences. As a result of John’s investigation and the deposition of the alleged victim Prosecutors they were cleared of all charges.
Ray County Missouri man was Charged in 30 year old cold case with the 2 counts of Murder 1st Degree and facing Life imprisonment without parole. As a result of John’s investigation and depositions all charges were dismissed.
Milan Missouri man was charged in Federal Court in the Western District of Missouri with Arson and Insurance Fraud. As a result of John’s investigation all charges were dismissed.
See many more of John’s outstanding results on the Criminal Defense section of our webpage.
White Collar Crime and Complex Criminal Litigation
Corporate Criminal Investigations
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
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
American Trial Lawyers Association
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association
Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
Missouri Bar Association