John Aspinwall Garland
John Aspinwall Garland
John Garland has a reputation for excellence as a trial lawyer, a reputation built on over a decade of experience trying cases in both State and Federal Courts. John comes from a long line of trial lawyers, which includes his father, Ed Garland, his grandfather and the firm's founder, Reuben A. Garland, his great-grandfathers and numerous uncles. From this heritage came three cherished tenets: advocate vigorously for the Client, put the Client’s interests above all else, and respect the great responsibility of the lawyer’s role as last and only guardian of the Client’s freedom.
When John Garland graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. degree, magna cum laude, he could have chosen any number of professions to pursue, but his instincts, his innate talents and his family legacy all directed his focus on the law. A native of Atlanta, John selected the law school of the University of Georgia where he graduated cum laude in 2004, and then he joined his father, Ed Garland, at Garland, Samuel & Loeb. He focuses on advocacy at the trial level, including criminal defense, personal injury, and product liability.
John has successfully handled many complex cases. Some notable cases include:
April 2014 – Client facing life in prison found not guilty: A Fulton County jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts for a client facing life in prison on charges of Malice Murder, two counts of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault, Possession of a Firearm during the commission of a felony, and attempted sale of drugs. In a case that centered on the issue of self-defense, John Garland and Kristen Novay were able to obtain key rulings from the court to exclude irrelevant and prejudicial evidence, eventually leading to the dismissal of one of the Felony Murder counts as well as the Drug count before the case ever went to the Jury. During cross examination of the State’s key witnesses Mr. Garland and Ms. Novay were able to demonstrate the contradictions and inherent unreliability of the State’s claims. Furthermore, Ms. Novay and Mr. Garland were able to locate, subpoena and bring to the stand a police officer who provided testimony that further undermined the credibility of the State’s claims. After over 24hrs of deliberations the Jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all counts.
February 2014 - Probation for alleged ringleader in APS cheating case: John, along with Don Samuel, represented the former principal of Parks Middle School in the Atlanta Public Schools case brought by the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office. John’s client was alleged to have been one the ringleaders in a multi-year, multi-defendant RICO conspiracy to systematically cheat and change answers on the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) of Atlanta Public School students. John, along with counsel for the co-defendants, challenged the constitutionality of the investigative process. John and Don were able to resolve their client’s case without any conviction, as well as avoiding jail time and serving only 5 years on probation.
January 2013 - Georgia Supreme Court holds government wiretapping procedure unlawful: As reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Daily Report, and Atlanta's local National Public Radio affiliate WABE, the Georgia Supreme Court held a government wiretapping procedure was unlawful and ruled to suppresses wiretap evidence in a Gwinnett County ecstasy trafficking prosecution. John Garland argued the case to the Supreme Court for all three defendants, including his client. In a unanimous decision the Court held that a Gwinnett County judge may not issue a wiretap order that allows the police to wiretap cell phones absent proof that the cell phone was used in Gwinnett County, or that the calls would be monitored in Gwinnett County. The Gwinnett County District Attorney's office dismissed all charges pending against Mr. Garland's client.
November 2010 - Charges dropped against mix-tape DJ: John represented Atlanta-based Hip-Hop deejay, on RICO charges arising out of allegations that he produced mix-tapes without the proper authorization from the artists and labels. John was able to negotiate a resolution that resulted in the State dropping all charges against his client.
June 2010 - Child molestation charges dropped: John represented a father in Cherokee County who was accused of sexually molesting his daughter. After John developed the many factual inconsistencies and impossibilities in the daughter’s allegations, the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case.
May 2010 - Charges dropped against couple charged with burning mother alive: John, along with his father and attorney Richard Grossman, represented a husband and wife who were accused of intentionally setting a fire in the basement of their home in Peachtree City that resulted in burns to the husband’s mother that lead to the mother’s death. As reported in The Fayette Daily News, FOX5 TV News and the Atlanta Journal & Constitution, all charges against the couple were dropped. In the AJC article by Marcus Garner, John A. Garland stated that "the facts overwhelmingly support the determination that the mother’s death was a tragic accident and his clients are innocent."
March 2008 - Televangelist case resolved without a conviction: John represented a Televangelist on charges of aggravated assault based on the allegation that he attacked his wife and fellow Televangelist. Facing a potential 20 years in prison, John and Ed Garland were able to resolve the case without a conviction by negotiating a first offender disposition with one year of probation and community service.
January 2007 - Home confinement for former MBC Financial Aid Director: John represented the former Financial Aid Director of Morris Brown University, in Federal Court in the Northern District of Georgia against the accusation that Mr. Singh committed financial aid fraud that led to the collapse of Morris Brown University. Though he was facing years in prison, John and Ed Garland negotiated a plea that resulted in 18 months home confinement.
August 2006 - Atlanta Police Officer avoids life in prison: John represented a former City of Atlanta Police Officer in both Federal and State court on multiple charges including violation of oath of office and felony murder stemming from the shooting death of Kathryn Johnston by City of Atlanta Police in her home in Atlanta in 2006. Facing overwhelming evidence of guilt and possible life imprisonment, John and Ed Garland negotiated a plea that resulted in 10 years of incarceration.
August 2006 - Federal drug charges dismissed: John represented a woman facing federal charges in the Northern District of Georgia for possession of cocaine and methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, as well as the possession of a firearm during the commission of crime. After extensive negotiation with the government, all charges were dropped against John’s client.
Year Joined Firm
Areas of Practice
- 85% Criminal Trial Practice State & Federal
- 5% Personal Injury
- 5% Professional Malpractice
- 5% Product Liability
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Georgia, 2004
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, 2004
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Georgia, 2006
- Georgia Court of Appeals, 2011
- University of Georgia School of Law, Athens, Georgia
- J.D. cum laude - May, 2004
- University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont
- B.A. magna cum laude - May, 2000
- Criminal Law - Recent Developments in the United States Supreme Court, The Best of CLE, February 25, 2015
- Criminal Law - Recent Developments in the United States Supreme Court, The Best of CLE, February 27, 2014
- Making the Case for Bail, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, July 31, 2014
Honors and Awards
- Honored by The Georgia Bar Journal in 2008 as one of Georgia's Legal Legacies
- Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2012-Present
- Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2013-Present
- Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2014-Present
- Super Lawyers - Rising Star, 2015-Present
- Legal Elite - Georgia Trend Magazine, 2012-Present
Professional Associations and Memberships
- State Bar of Georgia, 2004 - Present
- American Bar Association, 2004 - Present
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 - Present
- Georgia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004 - Present
- American Association for Justice, 2004 - Present
- Georgia Association of Trial Lawyers, 2004 - Present
- Atlanta Bar Association, 2004 - Present