Margarita K. O'Donnell
An experienced trial attorney, Margarita K. O’Donnell focuses on white collar criminal defense and civil matters, representing individuals and corporations in government investigations, criminal prosecutions, and complex civil disputes. Drawing on her experience as a former public defender for the District of Columbia where she represented hundreds of felony and misdemeanor clients – including through trial – she brings strong advocacy and a carefully honed understanding of defense strategy to her engagements. As an extension of this work, Maggie also represents medical providers in disciplinary proceedings before state licensing boards.
Of particular relevance to her international clients and in matters with cross-border dimensions, Maggie has lived in various countries in Latin America, Europe, and Southeast Asia, where she cultivated strong cross-cultural communication skills. She has experience conducting proceedings in Spanish and facility with French and Portuguese.
Maggie also serves as the co-lead of Zuckerman Spaeder’s award-winning Pro Bono Program. In this role, Maggie brings a deep commitment to public service. Maggie’s work includes identifying opportunities for the firm’s attorneys to advocate on behalf of those without the means to hire legal counsel, coordinating with legal services organizations, and supporting the firm’s engagement in local communities. Maggie supervises or leads pro bono cases, including engagements relating to discrimination, immigration proceedings, and criminal proceedings.
- New York University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2009
- Notes Editor, New York University Law Review
- Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar
- Institute for International Law and Justice Scholar
- Columbia University, B.A., summa cum laude, 2004
- Phi Beta Kappa
- Charles A. Beard Prize
District of Columbia
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- Hon. Julio M. Fuentes, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- Hon. Louis H. Pollak, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Public Defender Service
- District of Columbia
- Planning Committee Member, ABA National Institute on White Collar Crime
- Planning Committee Member, ABA Global White Collar Crime Institute
- Board Member, Rising for Justice (formerly D.C. Law Students in Court)
- Member, D.C. Bar Foundation Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council
- Member and Volunteer, Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia
- Member, Women’s White Collar Defense Association
- Represent individuals in investigations by federal law enforcement agencies and grand jury investigations, including investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
- Represented two companies charged in the DOJ’s investigation of FIFA.
- Represents an individual in a criminal appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit.
- Obtained dismissal on summary judgment of a federal civil lawsuit against an MLB player related to claims of assault, battery and civil conspiracy stemming from an altercation at a club.
- Represented a Flint emergency city manager responding to congressional investigation of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis.
- Represents individuals charged with criminal offenses in D.C. Superior Court and investigations by D.C. law enforcement agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department.
- Represents individuals in sealing their criminal records in D.C. Superior Court.
- Represented a pharmacist in disciplinary proceedings by a state board.
- Represented a physician in disciplinary proceedings by two state boards.
- Pro bono representation of individuals in immigration proceedings.
- Pro bono representation of individuals in criminal proceedings.
- Pro bono representation of plaintiff in federal employment discrimination lawsuit.
Zuckerman Spaeder Attorneys Recognized on the DC Courts’ 2022 Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll
July 27, 2023 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Receives CAIR Coalition’s Detained Children’s Champion Award
July 20, 2023 | Press release
Margarita K. O’Donnell Recognized as an Emerging Woman Leader in Law by DCA Live
March 14, 2023 | Press release
National Institute on White Collar Crime: Trial Practice Fundamentals - Key Issues at the Start of Trial
American Bar Association
March 01, 2023 | Speaking Engagement
Zuckerman Spaeder partner lands NatWest monitorship
Global Investigations Review
January 19, 2023 | In the news
Pro Bono Practice Co-Chair Margarita O’Donnell Appointed to the Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services of the District of Columbia Circuit Judicial Conference
July 01, 2022 | Press release
Hot Tips for Navigating a Legal Career Transition
2022 Latina Leadership Academy
June 18, 2022 | Speaking Engagement
Zuckerman Spaeder Receives NLADA’s Beacon of Justice Award for Addressing Racial Inequity
April 21, 2022 | Press release
National Institute on White Collar Crime – Fundamentals of Trial Practice: Key Issues to Consider When Trying Your Case
American Bar Association
March 02, 2022 | Speaking Engagement
Pro Bono Practice Co-Chair Margarita O’Donnell Named to D.C. Bar Foundation’s Young Lawyers Network Leadership Council
November 24, 2021 | Press release
The Women in Law Summit – The Post-COVID Workplace: Reimagining, Rebooting, Rebuilding
November 17, 2021 | Speaking Engagement
National Law Journal Names Zuckerman Spaeder to its 2021 Pro Bono Hotlist
October 28, 2021 | Press release
The 2021 NLJ Awards: Professional Excellence—Pro Bono Hot List
October 25, 2021 | In the news
How I Made Partner: 'I Was Upfront About My Hopes and I Asked for Guidance and Advice,' Says Margarita O'Donnell Morales of Zuckerman Spaeder
May 18, 2021 | In the news
Zuckerman Spaeder Announces the Retirement of Partner Eleanor H. Smith and Appointment of Partners Steven N. Herman and Margarita K. O'Donnell Morales to Lead Pro Bono Practice
March 24, 2021 | Press release
Zuckerman Spaeder Names Maggie O’Donnell and Adam Abelson as Partners
January 02, 2020 | Press release
Sports Media Cos. Fined $1M, Will Close Over FIFA Corruption
March 18, 2019 | In the news
Feds Want $1M Fine For Media Co. In Soccer Scandal To Stick
March 15, 2019 | In the news
Federal Prosecutors Dismiss Rioting Charges Against Last Group of Inauguration Day Protestors
July 20, 2018 | Press release
Charges dismissed against former Henrico firefighter accused of rioting during Trump's inauguration
July 09, 2018 | In the news
Federal prosecutors abruptly dismiss all remaining Inauguration Day rioting cases
The Washington Post
July 06, 2018 | In the news
Henrico firefighter charged with rioting in D.C. during inauguration day
February 16, 2017 | In the news