John C. Lemon - Law Offices of John C. Lemon, APC

John C. Lemon

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2015
Phone: 619-794-0423

Mr. Lemon's practice is dedicated to defending the accused -- primarily in serious and sophisticated cases in federal and California trial courts and in federal appellate courts.  He has successfully represented numerous clients in significant and complex cases including capital murder, attempted murder, narcotics trafficking, marijuana cultivation, alien smuggling, racketeering, and white-collar crime (including SEC investigations).

Mr. Lemon is a graduate of Stanford Law School and is certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and the State Bar of California as a specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy.

Additional Information

Board Certified Criminal Trial Specialist — Certified Specialist in Criminal Trial Advocacy by the State Bar of California and National Board of Legal Specialization Certification
University of OklahomaBA 1990Stanford UniversityJ.D. 1994

Case History

United States v. Murillo, et. al. (C.D. Cal. 2008) — Originally indicted as a death penalty case, Murillo was an eight-week federal murder trial involving  five codefendants alleged to be associates of a putative prison gang.  My client was acquitted of all six felony counts -- including first degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and assault with intent to commit murder -- and immediately released from custody. 
United States v. Maloney, __ F.3d __ 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 3864 (9th Cir. Feb. 28, 2014) (en banc)

Maloney was a relatively straightforward drug distribution case until the prosecutor withheld new arguments for his rebuttal closing and argued facts outside the record.  After a panel of the Ninth Circuit affirmed my client's conviction in a two-to-one decision, the court ordered rehearing en banc and vacated the panel opinion.  The nearly unanimous en banc court -- after first inviting the U.S. Attorney to concede the error -- then reversed Mr. Maloney's conviction and ordered a new trial. 

Maloney attracted national media attention because of the en banc court's pointed reminder to the U.S. Attorney's office that its "interest . . .  in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done."


United States v. Franco, et. al. (S.D. Cal. 2013)Franco was a complex RICO and VCAR (Violent Crimes in Aid of Racketeering) prosecution of several North County San Diego street gangs allegedly under the control of a putative prison gang. After a seven-week trial involving seven codefendants, my client was acquitted by a jury of all substantive crimes of violence, including attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon in furtherance of the alleged racketeering enterprise, as well as discharging and brandishing firearms in furtherance of crimes of violence (18 U.S.C. §924(c) offenses), which would have carried a combined 35-year mandatory-consecutive sentence.
United States v. Heredia, et. al. (S.D. Cal. 2009)Heredia, originally indicted as a RICO case, was an extremely large and complex Department of Justice prosecution of multiple defendants charged with conspiring to use the internet to unlawfully distribute prescription drugs and launder money. The trial, which involved seven codefendants and lasted more than three months, resulted in a hung jury and a mistrial. Before the retrial, my client accepted the government's offer of a plea to a misdemeanor offense with no jail time, no fine, and no criminal forfeiture.

Office Location

1350 Columbia, Suite 600
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

Practice Areas

Criminal Defense: White-Collar

Other Information

Gender: Male