John B. Howard. Jr.

John (“J.B.”) Howard, Jr. is an experienced litigator who has represented both private and government clients in a variety of significant matters in both state and federal courts. Most recently, J.B. served as the Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Maryland, with responsibility for the supervision and direction of the legal business of the state.  He supervised an office of 450 attorneys who, collectively, represent all of Maryland state government’s agencies and units, including all three branches of government. J.B.’s responsibilities involved supervising the legal services for major state agencies as well as all civil litigation.  His duties included serving as the Attorney General’s Counsel to the Board of Public Works, the state’s principal procurement unit.

In addition to his supervisory responsibilities, J.B. has worked directly on a number of high-profile cases and projects. In 2012, he successfully briefed and argued Coleman v. Court of Appeals in the United States Supreme Court, which involved Eleventh Amendment immunity from certain damages claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  J.B. also coordinated Maryland’s filing of the lead amicus brief on behalf of twelve states in the Supreme Court case upholding the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

Additional matters handled by J.B. included successfully arguing a D.C. Circuit case involving state securities regulators’ participation in FINRA arbitrations; acting as deputy counsel to former Maryland Attorney General Steve Sachs in an investigation commissioned by the Governor of State Police surveillance of anti-war and anti-death penalty groups; and serving as the principal author of an amicus brief on the merits joined by 33 States in Exxon v. Baker, which addressed punitive damages under maritime law. J.B. is also an experienced corporate and securities litigator, having worked in these areas while in private practice and while serving in the Securities Division of the Office of Maryland Attorney General.  In his role as Deputy Attorney General, he led the State’s successful efforts to serve as lead plaintiff in a nationwide securities fraud class action against Toyota.

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