Walter Jones, Jr.
Walter Jones, Jr. is a Director and Partner in Pugh, Jones & Johnson's Litigation and Internal Investigations Practice Groups. Walter has tried over 250 jury trials and has argued more than 30 civil and criminal appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh and Tenth Circuits, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Supreme Court. His civil experience in both federal and state courts includes cases related to RICO, constitutionality of municipal ordinances, fraud, patent, products liability, employment and personal injury, as well as general commercial cases. Walter has led the majority of the internal investigations at the Firm. He also has extensive experience defending white collar criminal cases in both federal and state courts. Prior to forming the Firm, Walter served as an Assistant United States Attorney, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division, Chief of the Criminal Division and Special Litigation Counsel in charge of all litigation, both civil and criminal, for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois. He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and is one of only 500 members of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
Walter is the 2018 recipient of the University of Illinois' prestigious James Seaberry Award for Excellence, and has been selected as a Leading Lawyer by the Leading Lawyer Network. Notably, he was elected by his peers as a Leading Lawyer in civil appellate law, commercial litigation and criminal defense law for 2018 from the Leading Lawyers Magazine. From 2006 to 2020, Walter has been named a Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers Magazine.
- Successfully defended a global law firm in a dispute with one of its equity partners who alleged that the law firm had improperly caused him to lose his equity interest in the firm. Plaintiff's claims included breach of contract and rescission. PJJ’s initial motion to dismiss the complaint was granted. On appeal, the ruling was reversed. PJJ was then required to try the case twice, first before a jury in the law division and then in chancery. After trial victories in both cases, plaintiff appealed. The Illinois Appellate Court found in a noteworthy decision that plaintiff was barred from pursuing his equitable rescission claim.
- Lead trial counsel in the representation of a global law firm in the defense of legal malpractice and related claims arising from our client's representation of a hedge fund and its related entities alleging that our client's failure to structure, draft and negotiate required loan and security agreements caused it irreparable harm. Plaintiffs alleged that as a result of our client's failures, they never received a legal, valid and enforceable interest in the collateral and consequently suffered losses in excess of $400 million. The matter settled favorably for our client at the eve of trial.
- PJJ’s trial team, led by Walter Jones, defended the City of Chicago and five individual officers and detectives in the jury trial of malicious prosecution and conspiracy claims brought by prominent former death row inmate, Anthony Porter. Plaintiff sought a $24 million verdict. Walter and his trial team won a complete defense verdict. The Illinois Supreme Court denied certiorari. The Porter case is featured in the highly-acclaimed Showtime and Netflix documentary entitled Murder in the Park.
- Representation of a large golf club manufacturer in a patent infringement case before the Honorable David Coar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff patent holder alleged that our client, through its subsidiary corporation, had infringed its golf club patents, both literally and via the doctrine of equivalents. We countered that prior art invalidated the plaintiff’s patent, and that the plaintiff had committed fraud on the patent office by failing to disclose prior art. After a four-week jury trial, the jury not only exonerated our client on the charges of infringement, but also found plaintiff guilty of fraud on the patent office. Walter gave both the opening statement as well as the closing argument. At the conclusion of the case, the Federal District Court Judge awarded our client $2,000,000 in attorneys’ fees and an additional $101,000 in costs.
- Representation of the City of Chicago in successfully prosecuting the criminal contempt charges against the owner of The Epitome nightclub for municipal code violations which resulted in 21 deaths.
- Secured summary judgment for major telephone company in a telecommunications toll fraud case.
- A major drug manufacturer selected Walter as one of only 15 national trial counsel to defend numerous class action products liability claims filed against it following multi-district litigation involving more than 400 HIV and blood component claims.
- Successfully represented a national retailer in a $50 million dispute with its excess carrier over a fraud claim.
- Conducted an internal undercover investigation for a University that resulted in the dismissal of several tenured instructors who had given grades to unregistered students. Walter successfully represented the University in litigation that took place as a result of the instructors being dismissed.
- Defended an executive when the SEC brought charges against three former executives of a major Illinois utility. The SEC alleged that these executives manipulated the company's earnings through accounting gimmicks and transactions that took advantage of the company's low cost inventories in a rising gas price environment without disclosing the practice or its effect on earnings. Walter defended the accountant, who was the only member of management not charged by the SEC.
- In a qui tam litigation matter, a purported whistleblower alleged that the government contractor presented in excess of three million false claims over a four-year period. The whistleblower alleged that alterations were made to claims for payment, but failed to show any evidence that those alterations were incorrect. Walter and his team represented the contractor and showed that there was no evidence of a false claim for payment. In a seminal decision, the Northern District of Illinois agreed, and dismissed the case with prejudice.
Service and Memberships
- American Bar Association
- Chicago Bar Association
- Cook County Bar Association
- Illinois State Bar Association
- Fellow, American Board of Criminal Lawyers
- Fellow and former Chair, American College of Trial Lawyers
- Fellow, International Academy of Trial Lawyers
- Former Chairman of the American Bar, Prosecution Function Committee
- Former Chairman of the Seventh Circuit Litigation Review Committee