Jason Downs is a trial attorney and partner at our Baltimore firm. He handles civil litigation, criminal defense, and matters where clients face potential parallel civil and criminal proceedings. With his background and legal expertise, Mr. Downs focuses his practice on complex cases involving fraud, conspiracy, and police brutality.
While Mr. Downs has had many courtroom victories in high-profile cases, his proudest moment is the final trial he handled with PDS. In this trial, he was able to successfully represent a client facing charges from highly respected federal prosecutors. Mr. Downs argued nuanced forensic testimony, complex conspiracy law matters, and more to successfully defend his client.
He was quickly promoted to Training Director, becoming one of the youngest attorneys in PDS' history to serve in this capacity. In this role, Mr. Downs regularly updated 200 PDS and private attorneys on litigation training, trends in expert testimony, advances in trial techniques, and more.
He serves as a frequent lecturer on the latest litigation techniques, trial lawyering, and similar matters. Mr. Downs has spoken before the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Harvard Law School, and the Georgetown Law Center, among other esteemed institutions.
Mr. Downs honed his litigation skills at what is often recognized as the leading public defender's office in the United States. He gained nearly a decade of experience working with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS), serving as lead counsel on 26 jury trials against federal prosecutors. In that time, Mr. Downs maintained an astounding success rate in jury trials that was 282% higher than the average in the Superior Court.
Mr. Downs has also successfully resolved cases without the necessity of trial, including convincing federal prosecutors not to indict or subpoena the Chief Financial Officer of a company that was being investigated for violations of foreign importation statutes. In a different case, Mr. Downs persuaded federal prosecutors to dismiss a 17 count indictment. In yet another case, Mr. Downs successfully litigated an 8 level variance from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in case involving bribery of a public official. Mr. Downs was also a part of the litigation team that investigated and settled the Freddie Gray civil matter for $6.4 million.
Mr. Downs graduated magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore. He pursued his J.D. at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and was inducted into the Order of Barristers, which recognizes excellence in trial advocacy. While at law school, Mr. Downs was also a member of the school's trial team, securing a national championship during his last year. He also received the Excellence in Litigation Award from the Center for Forensic Economic Studies.
Mr. Downs now serves as an adjunct law professor at the University of Maryland School of Law.