Jon May

Jon May

Representing corporate executives in government criminal investigations.
  • Criminal Law, White Collar Crime
  • Florida
Review This Lawyer
Claimed Lawyer ProfileOffers Video ConferencingSocial Media

Jon May is the author of "Who Says You Can't: Strategy and Tactics for Becoming a More Creative Criminal Defense Lawyer," published by the NACDL. Says.

Jon 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, to his challenge to Florida’s election law during the contested election of George W. Bush in 2000, and his representation of the ACLU in the battle over Rush Limbaugh’s medical records, to his assistance in the defense of the Miami Cocaine Cowboys, the subject of a Netflix special. His articles have called for revolutionary change in the way that criminal defense counsel prepare for trial and sentencing and in representing defendant's in plea negotiations.

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 plea bargaining.

Mr. May was previously Chair of the White Collar Crime Section of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and he is a past Co-Chair of the Defense Function Services Committee of the Criminal Justice Section of the American Bar Association.

Mr. 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 United States, 571 U.S. 320, note 12 (2014).

Practice Areas
Criminal Law
Criminal Appeals, Drug Crimes, Fraud, Gun Crimes, Internet Crimes, Theft
White Collar Crime
Video Conferencing
  • Zoom
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
The Florida Bar
Placeholder image for jurisdictions.
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Jon May P.A.
- Current
Special Counsel
Jones Walker LLP
As part of Miami's white collar defense team, participated in international investigations and prosecutions involving alleged commission of bribery, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, money laundering, and smuggling of American technology. Litigated lawfulness of seizure of an innocent citizen's assets in government sting operation. Published article on admissibility of email in federal criminal cases and spoke at national conference on ethically receiving legal fees and avoiding forfeiture.
Principal Managing Partner
May & Cohen P.A.
Represented General Manuel Antonio Noriega at trial, on appeal, at his resentencing, and in habeas proceedings to prevent him from being extradited to France. Counsel to the American Civil LIberties Union in State of Florida vs. Rush Limbaugh. US Supreme Court challenge to Florida's award of electors to President George Bush in 2000 election. Represented American Bar Association and the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys as Amicus Counsel in cases before the US Supreme Court. Amicus Briefs and Articles mentioned in Supreme Court decisions. Presenter at International and National Conventions sponsored by the American Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Author of numerous articles on issues pertaining to criminal law. Representation in whistle blower cases under the Federal False Claims Act leading to awards of millions of dollars to plaintiffs (relators).
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorneys Office, Southern District of Florida
Represented United States in criminal appeals to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Drafted and supervised wiretaps for Public Corruption Section. Published law review article on accomplice liability.
Assistant Public Defender
Florida Public Defender, 15th Judicial Circuit
Represented indigent defendants in appeals from their criminal convictions, including Capital Appeals. Presented on Fourth Amendment at Florida Bar CLE, Published article on presumptions in criminal cases in Florida Bar Journal,
University of Florida
J.D. (1978)
Activities: • Jessup International Moot Court • Editor Florida "Law for the Layman" consumer handbook
University of Florida Logo
Emory University
B.A. (1976)
Activities: Managing Editor, The Wheel Director, 1930's Symposium Member Tau Epsilon Phi
Emory University Logo
Presidential Commendation
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
2007, 2009, 2010
Professional Associations
The Florida Bar  # 0276571
Placeholder image for professional associations.
American Bar Association
Criminal Justice Section
Placeholder image for professional associations.
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- Current
Placeholder image for professional associations.
Articles & Publications
Sentencing: the Trial Practice for the 21st Century
The Champion, the magazine of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Admitting Email Into Evidence
The Champion, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Corporate Criminal Liability and the Threat to Civil Liberty
Stetson Law Review
IRS Whistleblower Program needs refining for success
Daily Business Review
Stopping the Train Before it Leaves the Station: Convincing Prosecutors Not to Charge Your Client
The Champion
The New British Invasion: Will the UK Bribery Act of 2010 Eclipse the FCPA?
The Champion
Stopping the Train Before It Leaves the Station: Convincing Prosecutors Not to Charge Your Client
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Are U.S. Corporations becoming the World's Police
Daily Business Review
Advising the Grand Jury Witness: When Talk is Not Cheap, Criminal Justice Magazine
Criminal Justice Magazine
Deconstructing Daubert, Rule 702 and Non-Scientific Evidence
The Champion
Helping Jurors Understand What Instructions Don't--the Law
The Champion
Money Laundering Defense After Santos and Regalado Cuellar
The Champion
Countering Hindsight Bias in White Collar Prosecutions, Criminal Justice Magazine
Criminal Justice magazine (ABA)
Queen for a Day—From Hell, The Champion
The Champion
Statutory Construction: Not for the Timid, The Champion
The Champion
Staying Luce
The Champion
Foreign Criminal Investigations and Access to U.S. Records under 28 U.S.C. Section 1782
International Quarterly
Pretrial Detention: Turning a Shield into a Sword
The Champion
Pinkerton v. United States Revisited: A Defense of Accomplice Liability
Nova Law Review
The Use of Post Arrest Silence for Impeachment
Florida Bar Journal
Attacking Presumptions in the Criminal Trial
Florida Bar Journal
Speaking Engagements
The Seven Principles of Effective Plea Bargaining, Cutting Edge Criminal Defense Seminar, San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio Bar Association
I addressed various techniques that can be used by defense attorneys in plea bargaining with prosecutors.
Ethics and Fees, Second Annual Defending Drug Cases Seminar, Las Vegas
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
I discussed how defense attorneys can force the government to release bank accounts that had been frozen so that the funds in those accounts can be used by the defense and how to insure that legal fees are not seized and forfeited by the government.
Plea Bargaining, 30th Annual Federal Bar Association Sentencing Guidelines Seminar, Tampa, Florida
Federal Bar Associations
I participated in a panel discussion addressing ways that prosecutors can be convinced not to charged your client.
Websites & Blogs
Jon May P.A. Website
Jon May's Website Profile
Contact & Map
Jon May P.A.
Boca Raton, FL, USA
Telephone: (954) 439-6500
Monday: 8 AM - 11:30 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM - 11:30 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM - 11:30 PM
Thursday: 8 AM - 11:30 PM
Friday: 8 AM - 11:30 PM
Saturday: 10 AM - 11:30 PM
Sunday: 10 AM - 11:30 PM (Today)
Notice: You can reach me 24/7/365 by texting 954.439.6500. Leave a short message identifying yourself and your phone number and I will return your call as soon as possible.
Toggle tool

There are no recently viewed profiles.

There are no saved profiles.

There are no profiles to compare.