A.B., Duke; J.D., University of Michigan
A.B., Duke; J.D., University of Michigan. Professor Villa is a partner at Williams & Connolly LLP in Washington, D.C., who specializes in corporate and financial services-related litigation (both civil and criminal) and legal malpractice defense. He was named to National Law Journal’s list of “100 Most Influential Lawyers in America” as “the first lawyer that other attorneys and law firms turn to when caught up in the S&L and banking scandals”. The American Lawyer has called him “perhaps the premier [legal] malpractice defense lawyer in the nation.” The Washington Post says that “John Villa of … Williams & Connolly [is] the lawyer and firm that lawyers and law firms turn to when they’re in trouble” (emphasis in original). The Washington Post describes Professor Villa as “a litigator who has gained national prominence with a somewhat rare specialty: defending top-flight law firms in trouble.” The American Lawyer has described his successful trial victory in In the Matter of USAT (decided September 12, 2001) as “the longest trial arising from the savings and loan crisis of the late 1980’s” – a “trial that stretched over 18 months” and resulted in decision that “exonerated [his client] on all counts” “a crushing defeat for the federal agency that brought the case.” He has authored several treatises on banking law. He has recently been retained as Claims Counsel to the Attorneys’ Liability Assurance Society, Inc. (ALAS) – the nation’s largest insurer of large law firms. He is a member of the Advisory Board, Georgetown Law School Corporate Counsel Institute. Professor Villa was a trial attorney (Honors Program) in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1973 to 1977 and a special assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Columbia. He was a recipient of the Attorney General’s Special Commendation Award for Outstanding Service (1975).