white collar and criminal defense practice in DC, Virginia, and all federal courts
Ed handles all kinds of criminal cases in state courts in Virginia and in the District of Columbia and in federal courts nationwide, particularly the DC, Virginia, and Maryland federal district courts. Ed has practiced as a criminal defense attorney for almost 25 years since graduating Yale Law School in 1993. Ed graduated with his B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1990.
During law school, Ed worked for two large DC law firms, Jenner & Block and Akin, Gump. Upon graduating from Yale Law School, Ed clerked in Montgomery, Alabama for the Honorable Frank M. Johnson, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Martin Luther King, Jr. called Judge Johnson "the man who gave true meaning to the word justice." Ed considers his federal appellate clerkship with one of the most illustrious judges in U.S. history an unparalleled learning experience.
When his clerkship ended, Ed continued to focus on criminal appeals and state and federal post-conviction habeas appeals at public service law offices in Tempe, Arizona and New York City. In Arizona, Ed's appellate work led to the vacating of the death sentence of a client and the removal of that client from Death Row. At the Office of the Appellate Defender in New York, Ed briefed and personally argued criminal appeals and post-conviction claims before the Appellate Division, First Department, the New York Court of Appeals, the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
In 1997, Ed moved to Washington, DC and the Northern Virginia region to work as a criminal defense trial attorney. Ed was responsible for thousands of clients at the DC Public Defender Service for 12 years, as a trial attorney, supervising trial attorney, special counsel for forensic DNA and forensic sciences, and chief of the trial division. As the lead trial attorney in the office, Ed provided overall management of the 60-attorney unit to ensure that every client received superior representation and also enjoyed his own active trial caseload of complex criminal cases. Ed has personally tried approximately 50 cases in DC Superior Court and has closely supervised hundreds more.
In 2009, Ed was asked to take over the Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office, located in Arlington and Fairfax, Virginia, to lead an office representing persons facing the possibility of the death penalty in jurisdictions across Northern Virginia at the trial-level and direct appeal stages. Before the trial courts, Ed and his team successfully kept 15 clients from receiving death sentences. On appeal, Ed's office vacated the death sentence of a client who had been represented by different counsel at his trial; Ed also assisted an executive clemency appeal and addressed clients' legal needs post-conviction. Ed's work was capped by the 2018 life verdict at trial for a client who had killed his wife and a police officer in the same incident in a county whose prosecutor had never before failed to obtain a jury's death sentence in a half-century in office.
Ed brings his successful style of thoughtful, creative, compassionate, and client-centered representation to white collar and criminal defense clients in federal court, DC Superior Court, and trial courts across Virginia, particularly in the cities and counties in Northern Virginia.
Ed is licensed to practice law in DC, Virginia, New York, and New Jersey, as well as the federal courts in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Honors and Awards
Clinical and Classroom Teaching
Edward Ungvarsky in Alexandria Ed Ungvarsky in Washington Ed Ungvarsky in Alexandria