John Wesley Hall is a criminal defense lawyer and NACDL’s 50th Past President. He has held all officer positions in NACDL and was a member of the Board of Directors for twelve years prior to 2002. He received NACDL’s 2002 Heeney Award, NACDL’s most prestigious recognition.
A student of the Fourth Amendment (FourthAmendment.com) and law of legal ethics in criminal defense practice and prosecutorial misconduct for over 42 years, he has argued twice in the U.S. Supreme Court, authored numerous amicus briefs in the Supreme Court for NACDL and others. As an ethics advisor, Mr. Hall has been consulted by at least 900 criminal lawyers seeking confidential counsel on ethics issues in the United States and Canada, military courts and tribunals, including the Guantanamo tribunal, and international criminal tribunals. He also wrote or co-wrote all of NACDL’s ethics advisory opinions to date. He tried a war crimes trial in the Special Court of Sierra Leone in 2004-06. He has handled over 350 jury trials and over 300 appeals, having made at least 90 oral arguments. He has orally argued in five federal circuit courts and four state appeals courts.
He is the author of Professional Responsibility of the Criminal Lawyer (3d ed. 2005, Thomson West), Search and Seizure (5th ed. 2013, Lexis Law Publishing), and Trial Handbook for Arkansas Lawyers (5th ed. 2006, Thomson West). Mr. Hall was one of the principal drafters of the International Criminal Bar’s Code of Conduct and was elected by defense counsel in the International Criminal Court in The Hague as a member of the Attorney Disciplinary Appeals Board of the ICC 2007-10. He is a Fellow in the American Board of Criminal Lawyers, peer review listed in The Best Lawyers in America and SuperLawyers, and A-V rated by Martingale-Hubbell.
In 2015-17, he was appointed by the Arkansas Governor as the criminal defense representative to the Legislative Criminal Justice Oversight Task Force.