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Jonathan P. Sheldon

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Appellate Attorney in Fairfax, VA

Sheldon & Flood, PLC
10621 Jones Street, Suite 301A
Fairfax, VA 22030
Phone: 703-229-7000
Fax: 703-251-0757
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2022
Licensed in Virginia Since: 2004
Practice Areas: Appellate (50%), Criminal Defense (40%), Criminal Defense: White Collar (10%)
Attorney Profile

Jonathan Sheldon has authored more than 75 briefs in high profile civil and criminal cases in the state and federal appellate courts. He has presented oral argument more than 40 times, been counsel of record on over 50 cases in the Supreme Court of Virginia, including 10 granted and argued to the full Court, and at least 15 in the Court of Appeals, as well as many in the United States Courts of Appeals over the last 10 years, resulting in 12 reported published decisions and 32 unreported published decisions.

Mr. Sheldon has served as a consultant or asked to appear for media including CNN, CBS News and television programs such as "Law & Order" and "Larry King Live." He also frequently serves as a speaker at conferences and seminars.

Mr. Sheldon is the author of the only treatise on habeas corpus and post-conviction remedies in Virginia: “Virginia Law and Practice: Post-Conviction Remedies in Virginia,” VaCLE  2019, and is co-author of “Trial of Capital Murder Cases in Virginia,” VaCLE 2019

Practice Areas
  • 50%Appellate
  • 40%Criminal Defense
  • 10%Criminal Defense: White Collar
Focus Areas

Appeals, Criminal Law, Expungement, Felony, Murder, White Collar Crime, Criminal Law - Federal


9 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2022

About Jonathan P. Sheldon

First Admitted: 1996, Massachusetts

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity

  • United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
  • Virginia Bar
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • Virginia State Bar Capital Defense Workshop - Chair, 2015
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
  • Virginia State Bar Council Member - Criminal Law Section, 2015
  • Massachusetts Bar
  • U.S. Court of Appeals For The D.C., 4th, 5th & 6th Circuits

Other Outstanding Achievements

  • The Washington Post reports on Sheldon’s representation of the D.C. Sniper
  • Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly notes Sheldon’s criminal defense experience around the country.
  • Washingtonian Magazine features Sheldon
  • Slate describes Sheldon’s work to exonerate the innocent
  • Mr. Sheldon has either appeared in or been asked to consult on numerous books and television shows, including CNN, CBS News, Al Jazeera News, Law & Order, Larry King Live, Laura Lippman’s book I’d Know You Anywhere, and is featured in the 2013 book Fighting for Their Lives: Inside the Experience of Capital Defense Attorneys.

Educational Background

  • University of Massachusetts, Amherst, B.S. in Mathematics, 1987


Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Speaker for VaCLE engagement, Speaker, Post-conviction remedies in Virginia, VaCLE, 2018
  • Speaker before Virginia State Bar Apellate Summit , Speaker, Transition from Trial to Appeal, Virginia State Bar Appellate Summit, 2018
  • Speaker at William and Mary law school , Speaker, The Law of Capital Punishment, William and Mary Law School, 2018
  • Trial of Capital Murder Cases in Virginia, Author, Trial of Capital Murder Cases in Virginia, VaCLE , 2017
  • Post-Conviction Remedies in Virginia., Author, Virginia Law and Practice: Post Conviction Remedies in Virginia, VaCLE, 2016
  • Speaker before the Virginia State Bar , Speaker, Habeas relief for immigration consequences of convictions, Virginia State Bar, 2015
  • Speaking engagement at the Capital Defense Seminar, Speaker, Dealing with client mental illness, Capital Defense Seminar, 2015
  • Speaking engagement at the 2014 Capital Defense Seminar  , Speaker, Getting the evidence you need in a criminal case, Capital Defense Seminar, 2014
  • Speaking Engagement at the Capital Defense Seminar  , Speaker, Turning the state's crime lab to your advantage, Capital Defense Seminar, 2014
  • Author, Ethical Implications of Modifying LI Protocols, PLOS Medicine, 2008
  • Author, Can Lethal Injection Be “Fixed”?, The Lancet, 2007
  • Author, Inadequate Anesthesia for Lethal Injection, The Lancet, 2005
  • Habeas relief for immigration consequences of convictions, Virginia State Bar
  • Dealing with client mental illness in attorney client relationship, Capital Defense Seminar
  • Getting the evidence you need in a criminal case, Capital Defense Seminar
  • Turning the state’s crime lab to your advantage, Capital Defense Seminar


  • In re Watford, No. 161187, 2018 Va. LEXIS 11 (Mar. 1, 2018), granting Watford the first contested writ of innocence in the history of Virginia, 2018
  • Contreras v. Davis, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11679 (E.D. Va. Jan. 26, 2017), granting writ of habeas corpus for a new sentencing proceeding for a 15 year old sentenced to 77 years imprisonment, 2017
  • Contreras v. Davis, 136 S. Ct. 1363 (2016), granting Contreras's appeal, reversing the Fourth Circuit's adverse judgement and remanding for further proceedings, 2016
  • Commonwealth v. Revuru, jury trial, client found Not Guilty in less than 30 minutes. , 2015
  • Commonwealth v. Helmy.  The defendant was convicted in 2009. The defendant discovered that this conviction had Immigration consequences more than five years later, in 2015.  On September 18, 2015, the court ordered a change to the conviction resulting in a "NOT guilty" finding., 2015
  • Escamilla v. Superintendent, Rappahannock Reg'l Jail, 777 S.E.2d 864 (Va. 2015), 2015
  • Kozich v. Department of Corrections, Habeas petition granted that alleged ineffective assistance of counsel at sentencing, which resulted in a 6-year sentence. After winning his habeas case, Kozich was sentenced to drug treatment., 2014
  • Morva v. Davis, 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 127932 (W.D. Va. 2014), 2014
  • Gray v. Pearson, 526 Fed. Appx. 331 (4th Cir. 2013), reversing denial of habeas relief, 2013
  • Dowdy v. Commonwealth 278 Va. 577 (2009)
  • Muhammad v. Kelly 575 F. 3d 359 (4th Cir. 2009)
  • Gray v. Kelly 131 S. Ct. 2956 (2011)
  • Commonwealth v. Burns, Supreme Court of Virginia unanimously reverses in capital case for a jury trial., 2010
  • Muhammad v. Kelly 558 U.S. 1019 (2009)
  • Bell v. True 413 F. Supp. 2d 657 (W.D. Va. 2009)
  • Ngo v. Holloway, 551 Fed. Appx. 713 (4th Cir. 2014)
  • United States v. Khan, 451 Fed. Appx. 262 (4th Cir. 2011)
  • Burns v. Commonwealth 279 Va. 243 (2010)
  • In Re Aponte - Pardon granted to petitioner for a felony conviction, January 2015. , 2015
  • Powell v. Kelly 562 F. 3d 656 (4th Cir. 2009)
  • Dir. of the Dep't of Corr. v. Kozich, 2015 Va. LEXIS 171, Rec. No. 141788 (Dec. 10, 2015) (granting Kozich a writ of habeas corpus)
  • Williams v. Dretke 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 34438 (S.D. Tex. 2005)
  • Dominguez v. Pruett, 287 Va. 434 (2014)
  • Brame v. Pixley, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77351 (E.D. Va. 2012)
  • Williams v. Thaler 602 F.3d 291 (5th Cir. 2010)
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Office Location for Jonathan P. Sheldon

10621 Jones Street
Suite 301A
Fairfax, VA 22030

Phone: 703-229-7000

Fax: 703-251-0757

Last Updated: 11/16/2021

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