criminal defense and complex civil litigation in DC, Virginia, and federal courts
Ed handles all kinds of criminal cases and complex civil litigation in state courts in Virginia and Washington, D.C. and in federal courts nationwide, particularly the Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland federal district courts. Ed has handled successfully every type of criminal case in every type of circumstance from simple misdemeanors to capital murder. He has practiced as a criminal defense attorney, primarily in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, full-time since graduating Yale Law School. Ed puts together a team of investigators, social workers, psychologists, and other experts to obtain the best results for his clients.
Ed is frequently asked to represent clients in the U.S. federal district courts in the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria and Richmond, in Washington, D.C., and Maryland in Greenbelt and Baltimore. His federal practice goes beyond the local area - including federal district courts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and wherever else his services are sought.
Ed was responsible for thousands of clients at the D.C. Public Defender Service - the pre-eminent criminal defense office in the country - 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 developed a particular expertise with forensic DNA and other scientific evidence, with cases alleging sexual misconduct and child pornography, narcotics offenses, homicides and violent offenses, and with mental health evidence and defenses to charges for persons suffering from mental illness. Ed has personally tried approximately 50 cases in D.C. Superior Court in Washington, D.C. and has closely supervised many more.
Ed practices in all the courts and courthouses across Northern Virginia. He is frequently found in the Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, Prince William, and Loudoun courthouses. He also practices in Prince George, Stafford, and Spotsylvania Counties to the South and Fauquier and courts in the Shenandoah Valley to the west. And for especially difficult cases, he is asked to travel to the Tidewater and the western part of the state. Ed is a trial attorney. Ed got all charges dismissed for a client charged with attempted murder in Arlington County, avoided the death penalty in Prince William County for a client who shot and killed police officers, leading to the abolition of the Virginia death penalty, and has obtained dismissals of cases and no-charge decisions across Northern Virginia and in Washington, D.C.
Ed's practice includes representation on criminal appeals and limited state and federal post-conviction, as well as motions to seal and expunge prior criminal history events. Ed spent three years as a full-time appellate and post-conviction specialist to establish a base of legal knowledge and skills before becoming a trial attorney. He continues to handle appeals in D.C., Virginia, and the federal courts, whether for someone who seeks relief from adverse legal judgments at the trial level and as the author of amicus (friend of the court) briefs in support of the appeals of others. He also presents clemency applications to the Governor of Virginia and the U.S. Pardon Office and President of the United States.
Ed is an attorney who other lawyers turn to for legal and ethical advice. He provides ethics opinions to judges and lawyers, helps attorneys and other professionals obtain and maintain their professional licenses, and is brought in to consult on challenging cases by other lawyers.
Ed graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut and from Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut. During law school, Ed worked for two large DC law firms, Jenner & Block and Akin, Gump. Upon graduating from 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's federal appellate clerkship with one of the most illustrious judges in U.S. history was an unparalleled learning experience. Originally from New Jersey, Ed and his family have lived in the greater Washington, D.C. area for many years, and he and his wife - who founded a public charter school for children with and without special needs - are grounded in the social and political community - including hosting political fundraisers for progressive candidates who have gone on to win their elections and become political leaders.
Ed brings his successful style of thoughtful, creative, aggressive, and client-centered representation to clients in federal court, D.C. Superior Court, and Circuit, General District, and Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts across Virginia, particularly in the cities and counties in Northern Virginia.
Ed is licensed to practice law in Washington, D.C., Virginia, New York, and New Jersey, as well as all of the federal courts in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. He represents persons in need both in the trial courts and on appeal. He also serves as local and/or specialized counsel in complex or creative civil cases, where his expertise in the local courts or in successful trial litigation is valuable.
Honors and Awards
Clinical and Classroom Teaching
Edward Ungvarsky in Alexandria Ed Ungvarsky in Washington Ed Ungvarsky in Alexandria
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