AG Racine Announces Chief Deputy AG Jason Downs' Departure from OAG

A Respected Trial Attorney in the District & Nationally, Downs Will Co-Lead National Law Firm’s State AGs Practice Group

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Attorney General Karl A. Racine today announced that Chief Deputy Attorney General Jason Downs will soon depart the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to co-lead a national law firm’s state attorneys general practice group.

“During my over 30 years of practicing law, I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with a plethora of exceptionally talented lawyers and leaders,” said AG Racine. “Not yet 40 years old, Jason's sharp legal mind, creativity, prodigious work ethic, and selfless leadership foreshadows that he will soon be recognized as one of our country’s most able lawyers. During Jason’s two years as Chief Deputy in our office – and throughout his career – he fought for the most vulnerable people in our justice system with empathy and compassion. His leadership, particularly during the pandemic, made the District a better place to live and our office a better place to work. My colleagues and I thank Jason for his exceptional service to the District of Columbia, and we look forward to watching him soar.”

Chief Deputy Downs will join Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as Co-Chair of the State Attorneys General Practice Group and a member of the Litigation Department.

The Chief Deputy Attorney General manages the day-to-day operations of OAG, including by supervising the office’s legal work. During his time as Chief Deputy, Downs provided strategic guidance and leadership on OAG’s consumer protection and antitrust cases against large technology companies, helped introduce legislation to modernize the District’s juvenile justice system, and guided OAG’s trial strategy in a range of matters. Appointed Chief Deputy on March 9, 2020, Downs led OAG’s overnight transition to telework caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and ensured that the Office continued providing high-quality legal services to District government and residents during a tumultuous time. In addition to his leadership responsibilities, Chief Deputy Downs personally litigated high-profile matters before the courts and maintained an active pro bono practice. He was appointed General Counsel of OAG in November 2019, and then Chief Deputy Attorney General in March 2020.

Before joining OAG, Chief Deputy Downs was a part of the litigation team that investigated and settled the Freddie Gray civil matter for $6.4 million. He also served as lead counsel on the Terrence Sterling civil matter in the District that settled for $3.5 million and he successfully resolved several disputes governed by the NFL Players Association.

Chief Deputy Downs spent nearly a decade working with the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia trying dozens of cases before juries and courts. He was promoted to Training Director for the final two years of his tenure where he taught trial advocacy to the most well-respected and feared public defenders in the country.

In 2017, the National Trial Lawyers honored Chief Deputy Downs as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Trial Lawyers. He was also selected as a 2018 and 2019 Rising Star by Super Lawyers, and a 2020 Super Lawyer.

Chief Deputy Downs previously served on the Board of Directors for LearnServe International, a District-based nonprofit organization that equips local high school students from diverse backgrounds with entrepreneurial skills. He also volunteered as a youth mentor at Thurgood Marshall Public Charter High School and taught basic legal concepts to Ballou High School students interested in pursuing a legal career.

He has also taught at Harvard Law School and The University of Maryland School of Law. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore and a law degree from the University of Maryland.