Jon May
Jon May

Jon May is a criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor. His firm, Creative Criminal Defense Consultants, headquartered in Boca Raton, Fla., represents individuals and companies in federal proceedings nationally. His cases have included the defense of Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, a challenge to Florida’s election law during the 2000 presidential election, and the ACLU’s challenge of Florida’s seizure of Rush Limbaugh’s medical records. He is the author of "Who Says You Can't: Strategy and Tactics For Becoming a More Creative Criminal Defense Lawyer."

Columns by Jon May
Justice Barrett May Serve as a Bridge Between Ideological Sides in the Trump Presidential Immunity Case

Criminal defense attorney Jon May discusses the oral argument the U.S. Supreme Court heard on April 25, 2024, regarding Donald Trump’s argument that the “January 6” case against him should be barred by presidential immunity. Mr. May argues that while some Justices are concerned about the implications of limiting presidential immunity, Justice Barrett’s approach of distinguishing between official acts done in the national interest and the misuse of presidential power for personal gain is a workable solution that would allow the prosecution of Trump’s actions on January 6 without negatively impacting future presidents making difficult decisions.

What It Means to Be a Zealous Advocate: A Behavioral Approach

Criminal defense attorney Jon May discusses the importance of zealous advocacy in the legal profession, examining what it means to be a zealous advocate, the motivations behind lawyers’ practices, and why zealous advocacy is essential to the justice system. Mr. May argues that while zealous advocacy does not justify unethical conduct, it is a critical component of lawyers’ professional identity and obligations to their clients, and that efforts to eliminate references to zealous advocacy in ethical codes or to prioritize the “public good” over clients’ interests in legal education are misguided.

How Those Seeking Donald Trump’s Disqualification From Running For President Will Plunge the Election Into Chaos and Hand Trump the Presidency

Criminal defense attorney Jon May critiques an argument by Harvard Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe and Judge Michael Luttig that Donald Trump is automatically disqualified from running for President again under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, even without a conviction for insurrection. Mr. May contends that such a reading of Section 3 could lead to political chaos and civil unrest, and argues that the U.S. Supreme Court, which has the ultimate say, may not endorse a self-executing interpretation that could have such far-reaching and divisive consequences.

The Case for Televising Donald Trump’s Trials

Criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Jon May discusses the rules regarding televising high-profile trials and calls for the trials of former President Donald Trump to be televised in the interest of transparency. Mr. May argues that courts have adequate procedural controls to ensure jurors and the judicial process are sufficiently protected and that televising the trials will allow anyone, anywhere in the country or the world, to see the truth for themselves.

Neither Biden nor Trump Will Be Charged with any Unlawful Conduct Resulting from Their Possession of Classified Documents, but for Very Different Reasons

Criminal defense attorney and former federal prosecutor Jon May describes the similarities and differences between the possession of classified documents by former President Trump and President Biden. Mr. May argues that neither is likely to lead to charges based on federal criminal statutes, but for vastly different reasons.

Why the United States Faces an Uphill Battle Convicting Donald Trump for Unlawfully Removing Government Documents From the White House and Concealing Them at Mar-a-Lago

Attorney Jon May discusses what offenses former President Donald Trump is likely to be charged with, and why the government may fail to convict him for any of those offenses. Specifically, Mr. May addresses the issues with each of the three statutes listed on the search warrant authorizing the search of Mar-a-Lago.

The United States v. Donald J. Trump: The Prosecution of a National Security Case

Attorney Jon May predicts that within the next six months, former President Donald Trump will be indicted for violating the Espionage Act arising from his possession of classified documents after he left the White House. Mr. May describes some of the challenges that potentially classified evidence poses for both Trump’s defense and for the prosecution.

Justice Alito’s Opinion on Abortion: Not Just the End of Reproductive Rights, But the Downfall of Fundamental Civil Liberties Guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to All Americans

In this second of a series of columns on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., attorney Jon May argues that the decision threatens certain fundamental rights conferred by the Fourth Amendment. Mr. May predicts that those rights will not withstand the onslaught of law enforcement conduct in entering and searching our homes without a warrant, invading our private thoughts and associations found on our smart phones and computers, or stopping and searching us on the streets without probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

Justice Alito’s Opinion on Abortion: Not Just a Threat to Reproductive Rights, but to All Constitutional Liberties Not Expressly Set Out in the Constitution

Attorney Jon May argues that the reasoning of Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked majority draft of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org. poses a threat not only to reproductive rights, but to all constitutional liberties not expressly enumerated in the Constitution. Mr. May points out that the radical departure of Justice Alito’s opinion could pave the way for the Court to overturn numerous rights recognized over the past seventy years deriving from the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendments.