About Me

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 theatres. 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 four.

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
  • 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;
  • Member of American College of Trial Lawyers, 2009-present;
  • Delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, 2007-2010;
  • Chair, Criminal Law and Practice Section Council, Maryland State Bar Association, 2007;
  • Active trial attorney, Successfully prosecuted and secured convictions in the Lululemon Murder of Jayna Murray and the Mothers Day Murder of Dick and Jody Vilardo;
  • 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.


  • Established the Gang Prosecution Unit for Montgomery County, 2007;
  • Established Truancy Court in Montgomery County and obtained federal funding for its initial startup, 2009;
  • Developed Internet Safety programs for Montgomery County Public Schools;
  • Established the Choose Respect program to promote safe teen dating in Montgomery County, 2010-present;
  • Participated in the opening of the Family Justice Center which provides services to the victims of domestic violence;
  • Nominated to Chair Criminal Law Practice Section of the American College of Trial Lawyers, 2014;

Awards and Recognitions

  • Montgomery County Bar Association Award for Professionalism, 2007;
  • Maryland Bar Association J. Joseph Curran Public Service Award for Distinguished Government Lawyer, 2010
  • Victim's Rights Foundation of Montgomery County Champion for Victims Award, 2011
  • Anti-Defamation League of the United States Shield Award, 2012; 2014
  • Maryland Daily Record Leadership in Law Award, 2014
  • Montgomery County Sentinel Excellence in Government Award, 2015
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves Above and Beyond Award, 2017
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserves Patriotic Employer by the Year Award, 2017
  • Montgomery County Korean American Association's Public Service Award, 2017
  • Honored by DonBoscoCristoRey, Founding Job Sponsor, High School and Corporate Work Study Program, 2017
  • Montgomery County Family Jsutice Center Marilyn J. Praisner Founders Award, 2017
  • Recognition by the Eight Congressional District of Maryland for Devotion to Public Safety and The Rule of Law, 2017
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness, Montgomery County Chapter, Dr. Wayne Fenton Mental Health Award, 2017
  • Maryland SuperLawyer, numerous years

Community Activism

  • Associate Professor, Montgomery College in Paralegal Studies;
  • 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;
  • Honorary Chair, Leisure World
  • Lecturer, Oasis Senior Lifelong Learning Center
  • Lecturer Social Media and the Urban Child - 6th Annual Urban Child Symposium University of Baltimore Law School, 2014
  • 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.

John with Clinton

John with Player

John with Leggett