John M. Thompson
• University of Iowa, J.D. 1974
• Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University- Master’s Degree 1971
• United States Air Force Academy, BS 1970
• Admitted to practice law in the United States District Courts: Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa; District of Massachusetts; District of Connecticut;
United States Court of Appeals: First Circuit; Second Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Eighth Circuit and United States Supreme Court.
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In 1970, John received a B.S. in International Affairs with honors from the United States Air Force Academy and earned an M.A. from the Fletcher School Of International Law and Diplomacy in 1971. John graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law with honors in 1974.
After a year in a private general practice, John began a brief law teaching career, working as a clinical instructor at the Iowa College of Law from 1975-1978. In 1978 John was hired as an associate professor at Western New England College School of Law, where he taught in clinical and classroom courses from 1978 through 1984, concentrating on criminal law, criminal procedure and post-conviction remedies.
John has been in private practice since 1984, primarily as a criminal defense lawyer, working either solo or in small firms in Springfield. Until 1990, he did trials, appeals and post-conviction litigation. From 1990-1994 he did primarily personal injury work, with a focus on childhood lead poisoning cases. Since 1994 John has specialized in criminal appeals and post-conviction litigation, including federal habeas corpus, and providing support for his partner Linda J. Thompson’s trial practice.
Some of John’s noteworthy cases are Shepard v. United States, 544 U.S. 13 (2005), with lead counsel Linda J. Thompson; Commonwealth v. Murphy, 448 Mass 452 (2007); St. Germain v. United States, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9784 (S.D.N.Y. 2004) and the Foxworth habeas corpus litigation: Foxworth v. Maloney, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98849 (D. Mass. 2006) [habeas relief granted]; Foxworth v. Maloney, 515 F3d 1 (1st Cir. 2008) [remanded]; and Foxworth v. St. Amand, 570 F3d 414 (1st Cir. 2009) [reversed]. Since 1984 John has worked as a cooperating attorney for the Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts, and as a contract attorney for the Committee for Public Counsel Services, providing legal services to low-income people. During his Air Force years, John registered as a conscientious objector and was discharged from his officer’s commission for anti-war activities.
In 2006 John received a Lavallee award from the Massachusetts Association of Court Appointed Attorneys. In 2007, the Massachusetts Lawyer’s Weekley named him one of its Lawyer of the Year award winners for his work on the Murphy case. John is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the MACAA, and CLUM.
John has been married to his partner, Linda J. Thompson, since 1970. They are the proud parents of three wonderful adults, grandparents of eight beautiful grandchildren.