John McCarthy, State's Attorney for Montgomery County

John McCarthy's Years of Service to Montgomery County

The State's Attorney's Office is a constitutionally created independent agency. Our mission is to serve the public interest through fair and honest administration of justice by exercising responsibilities to: prosecute criminal violations in Montgomery county; educate the public to criminal justice issues; provide training to lawyers for future service; address inequality and promote fairness in the criminal justice system; insure access to the criminal justice system; promote professional relations with judges and attorneys; and further the efficient use of criminal justice resources.

Washington Post Article

John McCarthy's Biography

John McCarthy with Asian American leaders John McCarthy was born on March 3, 1952, in Jersey City, New Jersey. John is the oldest of six children. John's father, John 'Jack' McCarthy, now deceased, was a World War II Navy Veteran who served his country in both the European and Asian theaters. Following World War II, John's father attended Georgetown University on the GI Bill. John's mother, Jane, also deceased, was the oldest of nine children. John's commitment to public service was inspired by the example of his parents. John attended both grammar and high school in the New Jersey suburbs outside of Philadelphia. John graduated from Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill, New Jersey in 1970, where he served as student government president his senior year. John attended Catholic University of America on a baseball scholarship between 1970 and 1974. Following his graduation from Catholic University, John taught at Good Counsel High School in Wheaton, Maryland and, while teaching, John attended law school in the evenings at the University of Baltimore. John graduated in 1979. John was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1979 and began his legal career in private practice. John joined the State's Attorney's Office for Prince George's County in 1980 and eighteen months later became a Public Defender in Montgomery County. John joined the State's Attorney's Office for Montgomery County in 1982. Before ascending to the position of State's Attorney in 2006, John served as Deputy State's Attorney in Montgomery County for ten years. Prior to that, John had headed every major trial division in the office. John is the father of four children, and grandfather to five.

Honors and Qualifications


  • Member of the Maryland Bar, 1979-present.
  • Member of the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office, 1982-present.
  • Deputy State's Attorney for Montgomery County, 1996-2006.
  • Elected State's Attorney for Montgomery County, 2006; 2010; 2014; 2018.
  • President of the Montgomery County Bar Association, 2004-2005.
  • President of the Montgomery County Bar Foundation, 2005-2006.
  • President of the Maryland State's Attorney's Association, 2009-2011.
  • Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, 2007-2010.
  • Chair, Criminal Law and Practice Section Council, Maryland State Bar Association, 2007.
  • Named Maryland Superlayer, Numerous years.
  • Legal Advisor to numerous task forces including the Sniper Task Force in 2002.
  • Directed Overseas Training Programs for the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division's Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT).
  • Lectured for the American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar, and for the Judicial Training Institute of Maryland.
  • Participated in OPEN WORLD and RALROC programs in Russia and Ukraine.
  • Professor Montgomery College 1979-Present.
  • Instructor John Hopkins OSHER Program 1998-Present.
  • Established the Gang Prosecution Unit for Montgomery County, 2007.
  • Awarded the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Award for Professionalism, 2007.
  • Inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers, 2009.
  • Established Truancy Court in Montgomery County and obtained federal funding for its initial startup, 2009.
  • Participated in the opening of the Family Justice Center which provides services to the victims of domestic violence.
  • Developed Internet Safety programs for Montgomery County Public Schools.
  • Established the Choose Respect program to promote safe teen dating in Montgomery County, 2010-present.
  • Awarded the J. Joseph Curran Public Service Award as the Distinguished Government Lawyer by the Maryland Bar Foundation, 2010.
  • Chaired the Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission for Montgomery County, Maryland, 2011.
  • Awarded Victim’s Rights Foundation of Montgomery County Champion for Victims Award, 2011.
  • Active trial attorney; Brittany Norwood, in the Lululemon Athletica murder trial; 2012
  • Presented the Shield Award by the Anti-Defamation League of the United States, 2012 and 2014.
  • Lecturer social media and the Urban Child – 6th Annual Urban Child Symposium University of Baltimore Law School, 2014.
  • Nominated to Chair Criminal Law Practice Section of the American College of Trial Lawyers, 2014.
  • Excellence in Government Award, Montgomery County Sentinel, 2015.
  • Active trial attorney; Scott Tomaszewski, the Mother’s Day murder trial; 2016
  • Spear headed establishment of Montgomery County Mental Health Courts, 2016.
  • Public Service Award, Korean American Association of Montgomery County 2017.
  • Don Bosco Cristo Rey Founding Job Sponsor, 2017.
  • Public Service Award Maryland Hispanic Bar Association, 2018.
  • Active participant in strategic planning and education of seniors. Presents more than two dozen educational lectures on crime prevention for seniors annually.

Community Activism

  • Associate Professor, Montgomery College in Paralegal Studies, 1979-present.
  • Lecturer, Johns Hopkins University (Montgomery County Campus), 2006-present.
  • Inducted Youth Coaching Hall of Fame, Washington D.C., 2007.
  • Member, Board of Directors at Good Counsel High School, 1997-2003.
  • Volunteer Special Olympics.
  • Participant in National Youth Leadership Forum, 1990-2007; Keynote Speaker National Conference, 2003.
  • Coordinated Anti-Drug Program for seventh grade students at Silver Spring Elementary School, 1996-2009.
  • Lecturer at virtually every county high school on issues of government and criminal justice.