Federal Criminal Defense Across the Nation

Jon May’s practice — Team Defense — focuses on the representation of individuals under investigation or prosecution for federal criminal offenses. Jon May is a federal criminal defense attorney, available to undertake representation in prosecutions involving Health Care Fraud, Money Laundering, PPP and EIDL Fraud, Securities and Commodities Fraud, violations of the FCPA, Crypto Currency and NFT Fraud as well as other violations of federal criminal statutes and regulations.

Mr. May has handled some of the most important criminal cases of the last three decades. From his defense of General Manuel Antonio Noriega at trial, on appeal, at his successful resentencing, and in the habeas proceedings to stop General Noriega’s extradition to France; to his challenge to Florida’s election law during the contested election of George W. Bush in 2000; his representation of the ACLU in the battle over Rush Limbaugh’s medical records; and to his articles calling for revolutionary change in the way that criminal defense counsel prepare for trial and sentencing. As a federal criminal defense attorney Jon May has, and remains, at the cutting edge of criminal practice in the United States.

Jon May’s book, “Who says you can’t: Strategy and Tactics for Criminal Defense Lawyers in the 21st Century” will be published this fall. This is a first of its kind publication that demonstrates both the theory and practice of finding creative ways to go about solving seemingly intractable problems in the defense of an individual accused of a crime.

Jon May was mentioned by name and his stratagem for forcing prosecutors to relinquish control over assets needed for the defense, which he pioneered in Noriega, was discussed by the Supreme Court in its decision in Kaley v. United States, 571 U.S. 320, note 12 (2014). The argument he made in Noriega, that untainted assets could not be restrained pretrial by the government, was vindicated two years later in the decision of the Supreme Court in Luis v. United States, 578 U.S. 5(2016).

Jon May’s work has been featured in the Journal of the American Bar Association, and in the books, Great American Trials and The Case Against the General. His articles regularly appear in The Champion (the journal of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers) and Criminal Justice Magazine (the journal of the ABA Criminal Justice Section). Mr. May has spoken nationally and internationally at seminars and conferences on issues as varied as representing heads of state at trial and at plea bargaining.

Mr. May was previously Chair of the White Collar Crime Section of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and he is a past Co-Chair of the Defense Function Services Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association (CJS). He has twice received the President’s Award from the NACDL.

After graduating from law school in 1978, Jon May began his career as a public defender, representing indigents in criminal appeals for the Public Defender’s office in West Palm Beach, Florida. Within a year of graduating, he argued his first case before the Supreme Court of Florida, and within a year later, was moved to the Capital Appeals section. In 1981, Mr. May was hired to run the appellate division of the United States Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida while the chief of the division was on maternity leave. Over the next four years he argued numerous cases before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He also assisted the Public Corruption Section in supervising wiretaps of public officials suspected of corruption.

In 1986, Jon May left the U.S. Attorney’s Office to open his own practice with his wife Carol Cohen, May & Cohen P.A. As a federal criminal defense attorney, he represented criminal defendants in trials and appeals around the country. Later, he joined Jones Walker LLP, as part of its Miami White Collar team. There, he worked on federal cases involving allegations of fraud by a low income housing developer, the never proven theft of $4 billion from the government of Venezuela by a Venezuelan businessmen, and espionage by a Chinese national.

At the beginning of 2022, Jon May started his own firm Jon May-Team Defense. This firm is designed to bring together the finest team of lawyers, forensic investigators, and experts to confront the government in major federal prosecutions.

Education

  • University of Florida – J.D. – 1978
  • Emory University – B.A. – 1976

Bar Associations

  • The Florida Bar – Membership No. 0276571
    Member Since: 1979 – current
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    Member Since: 2009 – current
  • American Bar Association
    Criminal Justice Section