Free Consultation: (571) 207-9710Tap to Call This Lawyer
Edward Ungvarsky

Edward Ungvarsky

White collar and criminal defense in Washington DC and Virginia
  • Appeals & Appellate, Criminal Law, Cannabis & Marijuana Law...
  • District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Virginia
Rate This Lawyer
Badges
Claimed Lawyer ProfileSocial Media
Summary

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.

During law school, Ed worked for two large DC law firms, Jenner & Block and Akin, Gump. When his federal appellate 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 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, representing persons facing the possibility of the death penalty, Ed and his team successfully kept 18 clients from receiving death sentences. 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.

Practice Areas
  • Appeals & Appellate
  • Criminal Law
  • Cannabis & Marijuana Law
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI & DWI
  • Juvenile Law
  • Securities Law
  • White Collar Crime
Fees
  • Free Consultation
    I maintain a limited, select caseload to give each case and each client as much time and attention as is needed to reach a successful outcome. I will give free telephone consultations and short in-person meetings to allow a potential client and myself to discuss the case and our working relationship.
  • Credit Cards Accepted
    via PayPal
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    I have different fee structures depending upon the case and the jurisdiction. For retained cases and for forensic science consultations, I sometimes do flat fees and sometimes do hourly fees. For court-appointed cases, I have a reduced hourly fee.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
District of Columbia
District of Columbia Bar
New Jersey
New York
Virginia
Federal Circuit
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • French
  • Spanish
Professional Experience
Owner/Criminal Defense Attorney
Ungvarsky Law, PLLC
- Current
• Represent persons charged with criminal offenses in state trial courts across Northern Virginia, in D.C. Superior Court and in federal courts in the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland. • Represent persons charged with and facing the possibility of the death penalty in state courts throughout Virginia and in federal courts across the United States. o Lead counsel of team that obtained unanimous life verdict sentence after 2 ½ month-long jury trial for client accused of capital murder for killing a police officer in performance of the officer’s duties and for killing two persons within the same act or transaction (Comm. v. R.W.H., Prince William County, Virginia, Oct. 2018). o Learned counsel in representation of death-eligible client in MS-alleged RICO capital murder prosecution in federal court in Baltimore. o Learned counsel in representation of death-eligible client in MS-alleged RICO capital murder prosecution in federal court in Eastern District of Virginia. • Provide forensic DNA and other forensic evidence legal consultation and trial expertise in local and federal, and state courts throughout the United States. • Conduct local, state, national, and international trainings on DNA and other forensic evidence, trial and courtroom skills, legal ethics, and capital defense representation.
Supervising Attorney, Criminal Division
DC Law Students in Court
- Current
Teach and supervise law students from George Washington Law School and UDC Law School in clinical setting of the representation of defendants in DC Superior Court
Instructor, Trial Advocacy Institute
- Current
Teaching practitioner for the Criminal Justice Institute's Trial Advocacy Workshop
Federal Peer Reviewer - Forensic Science Grants/Capital Defense Grants
National Institute of Justice/Bureau of Justice Assistance
- Current
Peer Reviewer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, FY 2018 Capital Case Litigation Initiative (June-July 2018) Peer Reviewer, Office of Justice Programs, FY 2017 Postconviction Testing of DNA Evidence (June-July 2017) Peer Reviewer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, FY 2017 Wrongful Conviction Review Program, (May-June 2017) Peer Reviewer, Office of Justice Programs, FY 2015 Postconviction DNA Testing of DNA Evidence to Exonerate the Innocent (May-June 2015) Peer Reviewer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, FY 2012 Capital Case Litigation Initiative (Apr. 2013) Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Justice, FY 2012 Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Program (Apr. 2013) Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Justice, FY 2010 Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Program (May 2011) Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Justice, FY 2010 Solving Cold Cases with DNA (Apr. 2011) Peer Reviewer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, FY 2011 Capital Case Litigation Initiative (Mar.-Apr. 2011) Peer Reviewer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, FY 2010 Capital Case Litigation Initiative (May 2010) Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Justice, FY 2010 Postconviction DNA Testing Assistance Program (May 2010) Peer Reviewer, National Institute of Justice, FY 2010 Solving Cold Cases with DNA (Mar. – Apr. 2010) Peer Reviewer, Bureau of Justice Assistance, FY 2009 Encouraging Innovation: Field –Initiated Programs (June-July 2009) Peer Reviewer, National Institute
Northern Virginia Capital Defender
Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office
-
• Led and directed office of lawyers, investigators, mitigation specialists, and support staff in representing indigent persons charged with capital murder in Northern Virginia at the trial-level and direct appeal stages. • Worked collaboratively with, and provide consultation to, private bar attorneys representing persons charged with and/or convicted of capital murder at all trial stages of case • Provided public education on issues related to capital punishment and criminal justice
Adjunct Profesor
Marymount University
-
Designed and co-taught graduate-level course entitled Death Penalty and Mitigation in the Department of Legal and Forensic Psychology
Chief of the Trial Division
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
-
• Provided overall management of the 60-attorney Trial Division to ensure that every client, all court-appointed, was provide superior representation. • Set and directed policy initiatives for the adult court and juvenile units of the Division. • Coordinated training for the different practice groups in the Division. • Directly supervised attorneys who handled homicide and sex abuse cases and provided overall supervision to every attorney, including supervisors, in the Division. • Maintained regular contact with and consulted with counterparts at the Office of the United States Attorney and the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. • Frequently communicated with leadership of the Superior Court for the District of Columbia about matters of shared interest. • Represented PDS on various court committees, including coordination of 2007 Fugitive Safe Surrender Program, Superior Court Drug Court Committee, Superior Court Case Differential Management Committee, and Committee to Revise the Pattern Jury Instructions. • Conducted a comprehensive assessment of PDS’s Family Court, Juvenile Division. Made recommendations for “best practices” reform, and then effectuated those reforms. • Directly represented indigent clients accused of serious felony charges; maintained an active caseload of complex criminal cases, frequently involving scientific evidence, at all times; tried approximately fifty cases in Superior Court.
Special Counsel to the Director for Forensic Science and Expert Witnesses
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
-
• Served as member of senior management team of 230-employee federally funded independent legal agency and managed budget, personnel, and policy priorities of Offender Rehabilitation Division and Mental Health Division. • Led organization in development of expertise in forensic evidence; directed group of attorneys specializing in forensic science, with particular emphasis on DNA evidence; had ultimate authority and responsibility regarding hiring of all expert witnesses; held budgetary authority and provided frequent individual case consultation; organized annual forensic science conference open to regional criminal justice community. • Supervised and trained PDS attorneys, DC private bar attorneys, public defenders and court-appointed attorneys in other jurisdictions, law students, public and private forensic scientists, and other criminal justice professionals on all aspects of criminal defense, including trial practice and strategy, professionalism, ethics, forensic evidence, criminal procedure, and substantive criminal law.
Supervising Attorney, Trial Division
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
-
Staff Attorney, Trial Division
Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia
-
(Appellate) Staff Attorney
Office of the Appellate Defender
-
• Wrote briefs and argued direct appeals on behalf of indigent persons before state appellate division. • Submitted petitions for review of adverse appellate rulings to the New York Court of Appeals. • Raised claims of federal constitutional violations in habeas corpus petitions and appeals in the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. • Supervised private firm attorneys handling pro bono direct appeals. • Represented staff on Board of Directors.
(Appellate) Staff Attorney
Office of the Appellate Defender
-
• Wrote briefs and argued direct appeals on behalf of indigent persons before state appellate division. • Submitted petitions for review of adverse appellate rulings to the New York Court of Appeals. • Raised claims of federal constitutional violations in habeas corpus petitions and appeals in the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. • Supervised private firm attorneys handling pro bono direct appeals. • Represented staff on Board of Directors.
(Appellate) Staff Attorney
Office of the Appellate Defender
-
• Wrote briefs and argued direct appeals on behalf of indigent persons before state appellate division. • Submitted petitions for review of adverse appellate rulings to the New York Court of Appeals. • Raised claims of federal constitutional violations in habeas corpus petitions and appeals in the Southern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. • Supervised private firm attorneys handling pro bono direct appeals. • Represented staff on Board of Directors.
(Appellate and Post-Conviction) Staff Attorney
Arizona Capital Representation Project
-
• Assisted representation of inmates on direct appeal by drafting appellate briefs and consulting with appellate counsel and clients. • Filed petitions for writs of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. • Litigated and consulted on state post-conviction and federal habeas corpus proceedings, crafting complex arguments related to criminal and constitutional law, habeas corpus law, and procedural default. • Challenged state clemency statute in mandamus action.
Adjunct Profesor
Arizona State University College of Law
-
Held position of Adjunct Professor at ASU Law School. Participated in substantive course on the death penalty. Supervised students in clinical setting.
Federal Judicial Law Clerk
Hon. Frank M. Johnson, Jr. 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
-
• Assisted federal appellate judge in preparing for oral argument, writing judicial opinions, and drafting speeches.
Summer Law Clerk
Jenner & Block
-
• Conducted legal research on effectiveness of trial counsel in Maryland capital case, in which the sentence was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court, see Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510 (2003) (raising standards of representation for counsel at capital sentencing phase of case). • Wrote legal memoranda on First Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Summer Law Clerk
Jenner & Block
-
• Conducted legal research on effectiveness of trial counsel in Maryland capital case, in which the sentence was later vacated by the U.S. Supreme Court, see Wiggins v. Smith, 539 U.S. 510 (2003) (raising standards of representation for counsel at capital sentencing phase of case). • Wrote legal memoranda on First Amendment cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Law Clerk
Alabama Capital Representation Resource Center (EJI)
-
• Wrote legal memoranda and investigated guilt/innocence and mitigation evidence and jury deliberations evidence for capital cases at direct appeal and post-conviction stages. • Volunteered remotely, Fall Semester, 1992.
Summer Law Clerk
Akin Gump Hauer & Feld
-
• Conducted legal research into variety of civil and corporate law matters.
Summer Law Clerk
National Housing Law Project
-
• Helped initiate welfare rights class action lawsuit. Drafted manual on homelessness law.
Education
Yale Law School
J.D. (1994) | Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Professional Ethics and Responsibility
-
Honors: Mary McCarthy Fellowship in Public Interest Law (1992)
Activities: YALE LAW JOURNAL, Essays Editor Poverty Legal Services Clinic (1991-93) Mary McCarthy Fellow in Public Interest Law (competitive fellowship) Transferred from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC (1990-91)
Wesleyan University
B.A. (1990) | Government
-
Activities: Studied and Interned Abroad, Royal United Services Institute, London, England (Fall 1989) Resident Advisor (supervised and mentored co-educational first-year hall) (1988-89) Member, Wesleyan Student Assembly (elected student representative, 2 terms) (1988-89) Member, Budget Committee, Wesleyan Student Assembly (1988-89) Member, First-Year Men’s Crew Team (Spring 1987)
Awards
Bill Geimer Award
Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, Washingon & Lee School of Law
state-wide award given to only one person, awarded for excellent in capital defense representation
Kutak-Dodds Prize
National Legal Aid & Defender Association
National annual award given to one criminal defense practitioner - “awarded to attorneys that have significantly contributed to the human dignity and quality of life of individuals unable to afford legal representation”
President's Commendation
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
President's Commendation
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Mary McCarthy Fellowship in Public Interest Law
Yale Law School
competitive fellowship awarded only after interview and committee evaluation
Professional Associations
Virginia State Bar # 83014
Member
Current
Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member
- Current
DC Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member
- Current
(DC) Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association
Member
- Current
National Association for Public Defense
Member
- Current
District of Columbia Bar
Member
- Current
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Board Member, Chair of Task Force on Forensic Science, Death Penalty Committee Co-Chair, Forensic Science Committee Vice Chair, Member
- Current
Activities: Peer Reviewer, THE CHAMPION (2010-present) (review articles related to forensic science, death penalty, and criminal defense) Board Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (Aug. 2010 – Oct. 2011) Co-Chair, Death Penalty Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (Oct. 2011 – July 2014); Member (July 2014 to present) Member, Forensic Sciences Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (Oct. 2013 – present) Member, Forensic Disciplines Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (2010 – 2012) Chair, NACDL Task Force on the Future of Forensic Science (issued February 27, 2010 report, “Principles and Recommendations to Strengthen Forensic Science and Its Presentation in the Courtroom” and issued November 9, 2009 Preliminary Statement and Recommendations on Strengthening Forensic Science”) Vice-Chair, Forensic Science Committee, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (2004-05, 2005-06, 2006-07, 2007-08; 2008-09; 2009-10) President’s Commendation, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Apr. 2010) President’s Commendation, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (July 2006) Administrator, NACDL-NLADA On-Line Forensic Library (2004-09) Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys (1997-present)
Certifications
First-Chair Capital Trial Qualified
Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Co-Counsel Capital Trial Qualified
Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Appellate Capital Qualified
Virginia Indigent Defense Commission
Learned Counsel, Federal Capital Trial
US district court
Websites & Blogs
Website
Ungvarsky Law, PLLC
Social Media
Contact & Map
Ungvarsky Law, PLLC
114 North Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
USA
Telephone: (571) 207-9710
Cell: (202) 409-2084
Fax: (703) 684-9700