John P. O'Connor

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Defense
  • White Collar Crime and Complex Criminal Litigation/Corporate Criminal Investigations


  • University of Missouri-Kansas City, J.D.
  • Central Missouri State University, Criminal Justice Administration, M.S.
  • Avila College, Administration of Justice, B.A.


  • Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Missouri
  • U.S. District Court, District of Kansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit Supreme Court of the United States of America

John P. O’Connor

John P. O’Connor joined the firm of Wagstaff and Cartmell in April of 2006. He received his undergraduate degree in the Administration of Justice from Avila College and his master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Central Missouri State
University. He graduated from the University of Missouri- Kansas City School of Law in 1982.

John 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. He received the “Louis Lombardo Prosecutor of the Year Award” in 1984. In 1987 he entered private practice.

John has an AV Preeminent rating with Martindale Hubbell, which represents the “highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.” He is a member of The Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the American Trial Lawyers Association, the Missouri Bar Association and the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association. He 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.

John has been recognized as one of Kansas City’s outstanding trial lawyers on multiple occasions. For example 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 practices primarily in the area of general criminal law, white collar crime, and complex criminal litigation. During his career he has tried over 150 criminal jury trials.

John has also been honored by the following: