Awards and Expertise

John Sears has had a long and distinguished career representing people charged with crimes throughout Arizona. He has appeared as a guest commentator on CNN’s In Session coverage of the Sedona sweat lodge manslaughter case, and is a frequent speaker on criminal law to lawyers throughout the country.


John holds the highest possible rating from Martindale-Hubbell, the oldest lawyer rating service in the country, and is an Arizona State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist. He has been named a Super Lawyer of the Southwest, one of Arizona’s 100 Best Trial Lawyers, and is named in both Arizona’s Finest Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. In January 2016, John was elected president of Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

In 2011, John received the John J. Flynn Lifetime Achievement Award from Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice, the statewide criminal defense lawyers organization, becoming only the eighth recipient and the first from outside Phoenix and Tucson. In presenting the award, Arizona criminal defense legend Larry Hammond remarked that he has said to people in his firm and to other younger lawyers that “… there could be no better expenditure of their time than to come to the Yavapai County Courthouse and watch John Sears cross-examine cops.”

In June 2016, John was awarded the Arizona State Bar Association’s Tom Karas Criminal Defense Award, given to him for a career in which he “has worked tirelessly to advance the principles of criminal justice by representing clients or the public with integrity, fairness, tenacity, creativity, brilliance and, above all, professionalism.”

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