Jason D. Wright, Esq.
Following a federal clerkship with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, otherwise known as the “Rocket Docket,” Wright commissioned as an active-duty Army judge advocate (JAG) in 2005.
As a JAG, Wright achieved acclaimed success in criminal defense and national security law. In Tikrit, Iraq while serving as an international law attorney in 2008 during the height of the Iraqi insurgency and fight against al-Qaeda, Wright became the first Army JAG in U.S. history to serve as an aide-de-camp to a Commanding General in combat, earning a Bronze Star in the process.
After combat service in Iraq, Wright served as a JAG public defender in Europe, and was twice selected as the top Army JAG criminal defense attorney. In 2009, competing against nearly a 100 military trial lawyers from around the U.S., Wright earned the New York City Bar Association’s “Top Litigator” Trial Advocacy Award. During this period, Wright became the first U.S. Army officer to matriculate and earn an advanced degree in international law from the University of Oxford (M.St., international human rights law).
In 2011, under Congressional authorization, the Department of Defense assigned Wright to represent Guantánamo detainees as a JAG public defender. The Department of Defense appointed Wright to represent two detainees, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the purported al-Qaeda mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and a young Afghan villager named Obaidullah. Up against the vast resources of the United States in the 9/11 case, the largest criminal investigation in the history of the United States, Wright managed a fifteen-member defense trial team and prevailed in numerous motions arguments and evidentiary hearings before the Court. During this period, Wright also pursued global investigations in Europe and the Middle East and conducted high-level engagements with foreign ministers, diplomats, and senior U.N. representatives.
In 2014, Mr. Wright resigned from active-duty military service (and transitioned into the reserves), and later moved to New York City to establish his practice. Wright handles high-profile criminal and white-collar defense, and civil litigation involving civil rights/liberties, national security law, and international law. Wright maintains of counsel relationships with a premiere white-collar boutique firm, The Law Offices of Andrew J. Frisch, P.L.L.C. and a leading national security law firm, The Law Offices of Mark Zaid, P.C.
In addition to his legal practice, he is a Professor of Practice at a top tier law school, and also, as Major Wright in the Army Reserves, he manages Reserve public defender services as the deputy regional defense counsel for New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
Whether in combat or in the courtroom, Wright has earned a reputation as calm, organized, focused, and determined under pressure. He brings these qualities to every client and every case.
Wright, a native of Richmond and the Chesapeake Bay, enjoys the experience of New York City with his amazing wife and their two young sons. They like to travel, hike, sail, and spend as much time with their family and in the outdoors as possible.
Jason Wright: The Case Against Torture
New York Times Short Film Op-Doc | December 14, 2014
The Rebel Advocate
Arte, 28 Minutes (France) | December 11, 2014
Guantánamo Defense Attorney Resigns
NPR’s All Things Considered | August 31, 2014
Indefensible: Why KSM’s lawyer is leaving the case and the Army
Slate Magazine | August 26, 2014
The Good American: The Defender of al-Qaeda Mastermind
Profil Magazine (Austria) | July 29, 2014
Impossible Conflict Traps Guantánamo Defense Attorney
MSNBC, The Rachel Maddow Show | June 25, 2014
Army Drives Military Lawyer to Sacrifice His Military Career
The Huffington Post | April 21, 2014
Justice on Trial: Inside Guantanamo’s 9/11 Prosecution
Ch. 3, The Defender, Jason Wright
Toronto Star Dispatches (E-Book) | October 24, 2013
There’s Nothing Honorable About Torture
National Video Campaign | October 22, 2013
How One Detainee Got Trapped in Legal Limbo
CNN International, Christiane Amanpour’s | May 8, 2013
Special Feature: Interview with KSM’s Lawyer
The Independent | August 15, 2012
U.S. Government Service
Deputy Regional Defense Counsel, U.S. Army Reserves, 16th Legal Operations Detachment, (Major, JAG), 2014 – Present
Managing Trial Attorney, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Chief Defense Counsel, U.S. Military Commissions, (Major, JAG), 2011 – 2014
Defense Counsel, U.S. Army Europe, (Captain, JAG), 2009 – 2011
Aide-de-Camp to LTG Mark P. Hertling, Commanding, Multi-National Division-North (Tikrit, Iraq) and the 1st Armored Division (Germany), (Captain, JAG), 2008 – 2009
International Law Attorney, Multi-National Division-North (Tikrit, Iraq) and the 1st Armored Division (Germany), (Captain, JAG), 2006 – 2009
Administrative Law and Legal Assistance Attorney, 1st Armored Division (Germany), (Captain, JAG), 2005 – 2006
Federal Law Clerk, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, to the Hon. Barry. R. Poretz, 2004 – 2005
Summer Law Clerk, the Office of the General Counsel, the U.S. Army, International and Operational Law Division, to the Secretary of the Army, Summer 2003
Obama’s Guantanamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison
NYU Press | 2016 (Contributing Author)
The Sin of Torture
Amnesty International LiveWire | January 8, 2015
America Tortured and We Need to Shed Some Light on It
Politico | November 23, 2014
Excessive Ambiguity: Refining the Proportionality Standard
ICRC International Review, Vol. 94, No. 886 | 2012
Selected CLEs and Expert Presentations
CLE Instructor, Due Process in Administrative Hearings (CLE 1 hr)
Department of Defense | New Jersey, August 2015
Expert Panelist, Global Streaming Event – Int’l Human Rights Day
Amnesty Int’l France | Paris, December 2014
Expert Panelist, Giddeon’s Army
Center for National Security | New York, October 2014
Keynote Speaker, Right to a Fair Trial
Yale Law School | Connecticut, September 2014
Expert Panelist, Expert Hearing on Military Commissions
Inter-Am. Comm’n | Washington, D.C. October 2013
Keynote Speaker, Legal Conundrums with the War on Terror
Occidental College | California, October 2013
Expert Panelist, Use Your Power
Amnesty Int’l USA | Washington, D.C., March 2013
Keynote Speaker, What is Justice Post 9-11?
Amnesty Int’l USA | Washington, D.C., March 2012
Keynote Speaker, Guantanamo
Repreive | London, September 2012
Keynote Speak, The Response
Amnesty Int’l USA | Washington, D.C., March 2012
Expert Panelist, Proportionality in Armed Conflicts
Int’l Law Conference | Israel, November 2010