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Founding Partner

John C. Whipple


Phone: (973) 267-7300
Fax: (973) 267-0031

[email protected]

John C. Whipple is a seasoned and well-regarded trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience. He has tried numerous criminal jury trials in the federal and state courts as well as many civil jury trials and prides himself on having the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism while zealously fighting for the rights of his clients.

Certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a criminal trial attorney, Mr. Whipple has developed an excellent reputation in the New Jersey state and federal courts. Clients are referred to him not only by attorneys who do not practice criminal law but also by professional colleagues with extensive criminal experience.

Chambers USA has ranked John Band 1 (their highest rating) in the area of litigation: White Collar Crime and Government Investigations. In addition, they have said “John C. Whipple of Whipple Azzarello, LLC is considered a very sharp guy that is willing to go in and fight for his clients. He sees the big picture very well and has a thorough understanding of how things will go further down the road. He is widely regarded as a top-flight lawyer specializing in white-collar criminal defense”.

Mr. Whipple began his career as an assistant prosecutor in Monmouth County New Jersey. As a newly admitted attorney, he learned the nuts and bolts of trial work and then became a federal public defender for the District of New Jersey where he continued to hone his trial skills. In addition to developing his expertise in criminal defense, Mr. Whipple also handled other, more complex matters. These included: securities, bank and mail fraud cases, narcotic offenses, political corruption matters, and RICO offenses. He became an expert in dealing with the federal sentencing guidelines. His experience in the federal public defender’s office also enabled him to develop appellate skills as well. He has argued numerous cases before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and New Jersey’s Appellate Division.

Mr. Whipple also has significant knowledge regarding attorney ethics, an expertise he developed over the course of a four-year term on the District X Ethics Committee which served Morris and Sussex counties. While a member of this committee, he investigated and prosecuted attorney ethics violations, presided over hearings, and argued before the Disciplinary Review Board. Following his term, attorneys needing legal advice and representation on ethics matters have sought out his services.

Consistently recognized in the Best Lawyers in America and Top Lawyers in New Jersey in the practice of Criminal Defense and named by his peers to the top 100 New Jersey Super Lawyers. Mr. Whipple has earned a stellar reputation as an attorney. Mr. Whipple has also been separately recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in the specialty of White Collar Criminal Defense. He was named 2016, 2018, 2019, and 2020 Lawyer of the Year, New Jersey, and New York by Best Lawyers in the areas of criminal defense (white collar and non-white collar). In addition, in 2019 and 2021 he was named Best Lawyers – **Bet the Company Litigation.

  • Negotiated a probation sentence for a medical doctor charged with first and second degree drug charges for growing marijuana on his farm.
  • Negotiated a probation sentence for a dentist in a significant Medicaid fraud prosecution.
  • Negotiated misdemeanor plea agreements in Federal Court in two separate major felony prosecutions that resulted in probation sentences.
  • The owner of a large construction company, who was charged in a felony labor payoff indictment, was placed on probation after pleading to a single misdemeanor count.
  • Medical practice office manager pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of aiding in the possession of drugs and was placed on probation after having been originally charged with conspiracy to distribute mass quantities of pain pills and money laundering with her employer.
  • Completed an eight month trial in the US District Court in Trenton, New Jersey. It was the longest criminal environmental trial in the history of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Department of Justice. John’s client was the Environmental Manager of a New Jersey company. He was acquitted on all three counts that he faced, including a massive conspiracy charge alleging violations of the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts and defrauding the United States, false statements to the EPA and obstruction of justice and charges of a specific false statement to the EPA/NJDEP and a violation of the Clean Air Act.
  • Tried six Federal RICO cases one of which was the largest police corruption case ever prosecuted in New Jersey, State or Federal. Due to his aggressive and skillful defense against the allegation that the entire municipal police department was a criminal “enterprise”, the jury acquitted all four defendants of the racketeering charges.
  • Named 2021 Best Lawyers **Bet the Company Litigation.
  • Named Lawyer of the Year 2012, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2023, and 2024 by Best Lawyers Newark metro area for Criminal Defense.
  • Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) – This organization is composed of the best trial lawyers in the United States and Canada. A premier North American legal association, Fellowship is highly exclusive. It is only after careful investigation that invitations are extended to experienced trial lawyers proven to have mastered the art of advocacy and those whose careers are marked by the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility and collegiality.
  • Recognized in Corporate Counsel Magazine, New Jersey Monthly Magazine and New York Magazine.
  • Continuously recognized since 2005 as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in the specialty of white collar criminal defense.
  • Rated AV for his legal abilities and ethics by Martindale Hubble. AV Preeminent® is a significant rating accomplishment – a testament to the fact that a lawyer’s peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence. Recognized in: Best Lawyers in America, Top Lawyers in New Jersey, in the practice of Criminal Defense.
  • Named by his peers to the Top 100 New Jersey Super Lawyers.
  • Received the 2009 Professionalism Award by the N.J. State Bar Association.
  • Listed in Chambers USA – a guide ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990. Ranked Band 1- their highest ranking.
  • 2017 Trial Bar award recipient, Trial Attorneys of New Jersey.
  • Court TV.
  • MSNBC documentary “Cops Caught on Tape”.
  • Vice documentary “Betraying the Badge” The Inside Man
  • John has lectured extensively on the following topics:
    • Criminal and civil trial practice.
    • Administrative & criminal investigations/prosecutions of law enforcement officers.
    • State & federal Grand Jury investigations.

**Click to see definition of “Bet the Company Litigation”

  • Criminal Defense in all New Jersey courts and Federal courts
  • White Collar Crime, Trials, and Appeals
  • Corporate Internal and Regulatory Investigations
  • Criminal Defense of Officers and Directors in securities, healthcare, insurance and antitrust investigations and prosecutions
  • Defense of Employment, Civil Rights and Civil RICO Claims
  • J.D. Seton Hall University School of Law
  • B.A. Villanova University
  • New Jersey
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court
  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey(President 2008-2009)
  • Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey – Trustee
  • Member, Criminal Justice Act Panel, District of New Jersey – Selection Committee Member
  • District X Ethics Committee (1996-2000)
  • Chambers – USA
In addition to being consistently recognized in Best Lawyers of America and Top Lawyers in New Jersey for his capabilities as an attorney, Mr. Whipple is an attorney you can relate to. When named in Noticeable Practitioners, Chambers USA states: “John C. Whipple of Whipple Azzarello, LLC is a well-respected white-collar defense lawyer who is described as ‘easy to work with’ and “ a very good lawyer”. He elicits further praise for his affable demeanor and “ability to connect with juries”.

Unlike other firms that offer a broad range of legal services, Whipple Azzarello, LLC focuses its practice on criminal law and complex civil disputes. This enables us to offer tenacious and zealous representation to our clients. With a proven record of success, Whipple Azzarello, LLC is your "go-to" firm for resolving your legal disputes.

161 Madison Avenue
Suite 325
Morristown, New Jersey

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