Press Release regarding the Shooting Death of John Geer

From DiMuroGinsberg, P.C., Counsel for the Family of John Geer
February 2, 2015, Alexandria, Virginia
After almost seventeen months of deafening silence, the family of John Geer, a Fairfax County resident and father of two, has finally seen the Fairfax County Police Department’s own evidence that John was wrongfully shot by Officer Adam Torres.  On December 22, 2014, a Fairfax County judge forced Fairfax County, the FCPD and Chief Roessler to turn over information they had learned about the facts and circumstances surrounding John’s fatal shooting, which had been known only to them and which they had inexplicably withheld from the family and the public for almost a year and a half.  Now we know that at least four Fairfax County police officers were eyewitnesses to the shooting [besides Officer Torres] and they confirm the account given by two civilian witnesses – that John Geer was shot in the doorway of his home by Officer Torres with his hands up in the air and that he was not making any threatening gestures. One officer who was an eyewitness to the shooting told investigating detectives: “It’s not good.  He killed that guy and he didn’t need to.” He went on to say that he didn’t understand why Officer Torres shot John Geer.  Neither do we.

John was neither under arrest for any crime nor was there a warrant for his arrest as he stood lawfully inside the front door of his home.   Prior to the fatal shot, John repeatedly told Officers that no one was going to get hurt today, that he did not want to get shot and did not want anyone else to get shot. He specifically stated that he “did not want to die today” or anyone else to get hurt.  John stated that he knew his rights, he had done nothing wrong and he wanted the police to get off his property.

Although Officer Torres refused to be interviewed the night of the shooting, during a subsequent police interrogation after the shooting, Officer Torres admitted that well before he fired the fatal shot, John voluntarily showed the officers on the scene a holstered gun which he then deliberately and visibly placed on the floor. John then purposefully raised his hands in the air, where they remained for almost an hour.  This same holstered gun was indeed found still sitting on an ankle-high stairwell landing several feet to John’s left after Officer Torres fatally shot him. Other officers described John as speaking calmly and standing with his hands up in the air for nearly an hour prior to the shooting without making any threats to the officers.  In fact, in a manner consistent with such behavior, and just moments before he was fatally shot, John asked for permission to scratch his nose several times and then slowly lowered his hands to do so, and thereafter immediately raised his hands again above his head and shoulders.

John repeatedly told other officers at the scene that he felt Officer Torres was acting nervous. On several occasions John asked that Officer Torres stop pointing his weapon directly at him and put his gun down or move back.  Each time John scratched his nose, after asking for permission, Officer Torres admitted that he raised the weapon he had pointed at John and often placed his finger on the trigger. Placing his finger on the trigger is in violation of the County’s and the universal cardinal rules of gun safety. At one point, another officer asked Officer Torres to lower his weapon to help deescalate the situation. Officer Torres temporarily complied but soon raised it again.  The officer closest to John, who was speaking to John for over forty minutes before Officer Torres fired his weapon at John, stated he had a close and an unobstructed view of John, had his eyes on John, and that John had his hands up in the air when he was fatally shot. This fact has been consistently confirmed by at least four other police officers and two civilians – John’s father and a close friend who witnessed the shooting.  In fact, no other officer corroborates Torres’ account of Geer’s hand movements and placement at the time John was fatally shot.

Moments after the shooting, Officer Torres repeatedly stated to another officer that “he was sorry”, that his wrist hurt (presumably from pointing a gun at John without a reason for almost an hour), and for some unexplained reason Torres immediately stated that he had fought with his wife immediately before arriving at John’s house. Clearly, John was shot for no reason, and no excuse afterwards will change that fact.

Although the release of this information is an important step towards justice for John Geer, the FCPD and Chief Roessler need to release the remaining information concerning Officer Torres – including their previous investigation into his angry outburst, which was so severe that a Fairfax County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney characterized an encounter with Torres at court as a total “meltdown.”  To that end, on Monday, January 26, 2015, the family filed three motions with the court asking for the remaining documents that the FCPD continues to withhold.  It is critical to the emotional well-being of victims’ families and for the public’s confidence and safety that Fairfax County is transparent in police shootings such as this one and that there be justice for John Geer.

It is now clear that within days, if not hours, the facts of this case were known to the FCPD. There is no excuse for Fairfax County and the FCPD to force the family to get a Court order to learn Officer Torres’ name and the basic facts of this case. Officer Torres’ statements, as well as the statements of the four police officers and two civilians recounting John being shot with his hands in the air, should have been released a long time ago. At the very least, Fairfax County could have released the incident report created by the lead criminal investigator after redacting information that was irrelevant to John’s shooting in order to protect civilian witnesses’ and the family’s privacy. Instead, it took over seventeen months and a court order, to finally force the Fairfax County Board of Supervisor to publish  over 11,000 pages, 50 audio tapes and several video tapes from the investigative file of John’s death on the County’s website on Friday, January 30, 2015. The County has a duty of transparency to a victim’s family and to the public in general.  The County’s complete silence and stonewalling the family, the public and even the prosecutors looking into this tragic matter for seventeen months, cannot be condoned and is plainly unacceptable.

It is time for the FCPD to publically address and re-evaluate their policies regarding the use of deadly force and commit to timely internal investigation of such shootings to ensure that no other citizens are victimized by inadequate police procedures and improper actions by police officers.  If an unarmed Fairfax County resident can be shot on the threshold of his own home with his hands raised in the air, it is clearly time for a change.

For additional information, please contact family attorneys Michael Lieberman or Ben DiMuro at 703-684-4333 or or

Jonathan Mook is appointed to the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities

Alexandria, VA — January 13, 2014 — DiMuroGinsberg is pleased to announce that Jonathan R. Mook, was sworn in as a member of the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities.   Jonathan’s appointment was confirmed by the Alexandria City Council. Jonathan will serve as a representative from the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce on the Commission.

The ACPD advises the Alexandria City Council on issues relating to the needs of persons with disabilities and carries out the City Council’s initiatives to remove barriers to the disabled in housing, transportation, public accommodations, employment, health and social services, and education. In response to his appointment, Jonathan expressed his view that “by working together, advocates for persons with disabilities in the business community can make the City of Alexandria a better place for those who live, work, and visit this wonderful city.”

Further information about the Alexandria Commission on Persons with Disabilities and the projects in which it is involved can be found on the City of Alexandria website

DiMuroGinsberg is a boutique litigation firm in Alexandria, Virginia. Our practice focuses on general and complex civil litigation in the areas of corporate and commercial, business torts, intellectual property law, criminal law, employment and labor law, and professional liability and ethics.

Seven unanswered questions in the police shooting of John Geer

After Fairfax County on Monday decided to release the name of the officer involved in the fatal shooting of John Geer in 2013, and make the new allegation that Geer had threatened police with a gun, there remain a number of crucial unanswered questions in the case.

Read the Full article and learn more:

Family of Man Shot by Fairfax County Police Fights for Information

“The family of a Fairfax County man who was shot and killed by police during a stand-off last year is suing the officers and police chief involved.
Fairfax County Police responded to 46-year-old John Geer’s Springfield home in August 2013 for a domestic disturbance. The mother of Geer’s two children told police there were weapons in the home.”
-NBC Washington

Read the Full article and learn more:

DiMuroGinsberg Forms New DG Key IP Group, Welcomes Attorneys Cecil E. Key, Jay P. Kesan and Teresa M. Summers

ALEXANDRIA, VA.  – DiMuroGinsberg, PC is pleased to announce the formation of its new intellectual property practice group, the DG Key IP Group, with the addition of attorneys Cecil E. Key, Jay P. Kesan and Teresa M. Summers to the firm.

“We’ve formed this group to enhance the services we offer to clients in protecting and leveraging their IP assets, which is key to success in today’s business environment,” said Bernard J. DiMuro, DiMuroGinsberg’s managing partner. “We also welcome Cecil, Jay and Teresa who bring experience and technical knowledge to enhance and grow the firm’s existing IP practice.”

The DG Key IP Group combines essential elements of the firm’s litigation and intellectual property practices to help clients minimize their risks associated with litigation while also providing transactional representation. The DG Key IP Group delivers focused services in the areas of IP transactions, patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights.

Attorneys in the DiMuroGinsberg IP Group have been recognized as leaders in intellectual property law, having represented clients as litigation and appellate counsel in federal district courts and before the International Trade Commission (ITC) and various U.S. Courts of Appeal. In addition, the firm’s attorneys have served on the boards of entrepreneurial startups, working as scientists and engineers and advised some of the world’s most successful technology companies.

The firm’s IP attorneys also have testified before Congress and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) about developing IP issues; lectured at top universities; and been widely published in national newspapers, legal periodicals and peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Key focuses his practice on IP litigation, including patents, trademarks and copyrights, in which he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants before numerous federal district and appellate courts, including the Courts of Appeal for the First, Fourth and Federal Circuits, and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the USPTO. He also concentrates on the acquisition and deployment of funding for development of his clients’ intellectual property assets. Key has represented clients in matters involving a diverse range of technologies, including software, semiconductors, broadband and networking, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and wind turbines. He has been involved in many seminal IP cases, including one before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the scope of protection for product trade dress, and has served as lead counsel for clients that are both asserting and defending against IP claims.

Key earned his law degree (cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds an M.M. from Southern Methodist University and a B.M. (cum laude) from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Kesan is a registered patent attorney who focuses his practice on helping clients protect, assert, and monetize their IP assets. Kesan has worked with clients across a wide variety of industries, and has represented clients before federal district courts and agencies, including the USPTO. He is also called upon to serve as a special advisor to both private and public sector entities regarding matters of IP law, and has served as an expert in IP disputes on numerous occasions. He is a professor and Workman Research Scholar at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Director of the Program in Intellectual Property and Technology Law at the University of Illinois College of Law. Kesan also previously held research or scientist positions with the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Columbia University. In addition, he has served as a technical or legal consultant with various patent law publications and as a technical expert in microelectronics, microwave/millimeter wave circuits and devices, optoelectronics, communications and software. Kesan also has served on the boards of directors or advisors for numerous technology start-ups.

Kesan earned his law degree (summa cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds an M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.

Summers counsels and represents clients in patent, commercial and Hatch-Waxman matters and litigation and in appeals to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Her practice spans many industries, including biomedical sciences, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, telecommunications, consumer electronics, and computer hardware and software. Summers has extensive experience in ITC Section 337 litigation and Federal Circuit appeals, having litigated nearly a dozen actions at the ITC that resulted in exclusion orders or successful settlement. Summers is active in Federal Circuit activities, including assisting the judges in recent Joint Judicial Conferences in Japan, China and Korea on U.S. IP rights. She is the chairperson of the Federal Circuit Bar Association’s Patent Reform Committee and created the Tokyo IP American Inn of Court, the first Inn of Court based in Japan and the first American Inn of Court based outside of the United States

Summers earned her law degree (magna cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center and also holds a B.S. from the University of California, San Diego.

About DiMuroGinsberg, PC

DiMuroGinsberg is a litigation and business law firm operating in Alexandria, Va., since 1990. The firm practices in the areas of corporate and commercial law, business torts, business disputes, RICO, criminal law, employment law, professional liability and ethics, intellectual property and patent cases . The firm also has a strong complementary corporate law and business law practice. For more information, visit

Feds say Fairfax County slowed federal investigation of John Geer police shooting

ON AUG. 29, 2013, a Fairfax County police officer shot an unarmed Springfield resident John Geer in the doorway of his home with his hands in the air. In the hour before officers finally entered Geer’s home to check on him, he bled to death.

Earlier, Mr. Geer’s domestic partner of 24 years and the mother of their two daughters had called police after Mr. Geer became upset over her saying she was going to end their relationship and he began throwing her possessions out into the street.

The police responded, remaining outside his house for forty-five minutes while pointing their weapons at the unarmed Mr. Geer as he stood in his doorway with his hands up in the air. Then, for no known reason, while Mr. Geer continued to have his hands up in the air, an unidentified Fairfax County police officer shot Mr. Geer in the chest. Mr. Geer died from the single bullet wound.

Since August 29, 2013 the Fairfax County Police Department have refused to provide any information to Mr. Geer’s family regarding who shot him, why he was shot, why medical treatment was not provided or any other information pertaining to the shooting. Now, 15 months later, they still have refused to provide such information to the family, the public or the press because they claim there is an ongoing federal criminal investigation.

Michael Lieberman of our firm is representing the family and the Estate and on Tuesday, Sept. 2, we filed a civil suit in Fairfax Circuit Court seeking $12 million in damages from Fairfax County Police. The wrongful death lawsuit alleges, among other things, gross negligence and failure to supervise the patrol officer who killed Mr. Geer.

DiMuroGinsberg receives Best Law Firm Tier 1 Rankings for Commercial Litigation and Real Estate Law from U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers.

Alexandria, VA, United States — Monday, November 03, 2014 — DiMuroGinsberg, PC has been ranked in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” list by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers® in the following areas:

National Awards

  • Tier 3, Commercial Litigation
  • Tier 3, Real Estate Law

Metropolitan Awards

  • Tier 1, Washington DC, Commercial Litigation
  • Tier 1, Washington DC, Real Estate Law
  • Tier 2, Washington DC, Employment Law – Management

Firms included in the 2015 “Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.

The 2015 Edition of “Best Law Firms” includes rankings in 74 national practice areas and 120 metropolitan-based practice areas.

The U.S. News – Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” rankings, for the fifth consecutive year, are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Clients and peers were asked to evaluate firms based on the following criteria: responsiveness, understanding of a business and its needs, cost-effectiveness, integrity and civility, as well as whether

Ben DiMuro named one of the 2014 Leaders in the Law by Virginia Lawyers Media

Virginia Lawyers Media, the publisher of Virginia Lawyers Weekly, has announced the 2014 class of “Leaders in the Law.”

Now in its ninth year, this awards program recognizes the lawyers across the commonwealth who are setting the standard for other lawyers in Virginia. “Leaders” are recognized for changing the law, serving the community, changing practice or improving Virginia’s justice system, among other accomplishments.

The Class of 2014 honorees are:

  • Ralph L. “Bill” Axselle Jr., Williams Mullen, Richmond
  • Thomas R. Bagby, Woods Rogers PLC, Roanoke
  • Matthew P. Bosher, Hunton & Williams  LLP, Richmond
  • Dawn Butorac, Fairfax County Public Defender’s Office, Fairfax
  • Donald Caldwell, Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney, Roanoke
  • Manuel A. Capsalis, Capsalis Fitzgerald PLC, Leesburg
  • Vinceretta Taylor Chiles, Chiles Law Offices PC, Richmond
  • Roger T. Creager, Creager Law Firm PLC, Richmond
  • Dean Nora V. Demleitner, Washington & Lee University law school, Lexington
  • Bernard J. DiMuro, DiMuroGinsberg PC, Alexandria
  • Hugh M. Fain III, Spotts Fain, Richmond
  • Michael Goodove, Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, Norfolk
  • Linda M. Jackson, Littler, Washington, DC
  • Kristi Cahoon Kelly, Kelly & Crandall PLC, Fairfax
  • Judge Stanley P. Klein (ret.), Blankingship & Keith PC, Fairfax
  • Jeffrey K. Lehrer, DLA Piper LLP, Reston
  • Bryant C. McGann, Vandeventer Black LLP, Norfolk
  • Judge John J. McGrath Jr. (ret.), Juridical Solutions PLC, Harrisonburg
  • Senior U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne, Eastern District, Richmond
  • Dennis J. Quinn, Carr Maloney PC, Vienna
  • Douglas Ramseur, Office of the Capital Defender, Norfolk
  • Kenneth T. Roeber, Sands Anderson PC, Richmond
  • O. Randolph Rollins, Drive to Work, Richmond
  • Stephen R. Romine, LeClairRyan, Norfolk
  • Robert Tayloe Ross, Midkiff, Muncie & Ross PC, Richmond
  • James W. “Jay” Speer, Virginia Poverty Law Center, Richmond
  • James W. Theobald, Hirschler Fleischer, Richmond
  • Robert Wagner, Office of the Federal Public Defender, Richmond
  • Edward S. Whitlock III, Lafayette, Ayers & Whitlock PLC, Glen Allen
  • Larry D. Youngner, Tully Rinckey PLLC, Arlington

The honorees will be celebrated at a reception on Oct. 23 at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond. The “Leader of the Year,” voted on by the Class of 2014 honorees themselves, will be announced at this reception.

Each honoree also will be profiled in a special supplement that will be distributed at the event and inserted into Virginia Lawyers Weekly in late October.

Alexandria, Va. Attorney Nina Ginsberg was sworn in as Parliamentarian of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association’s 57th annual meeting in Philadelphia on August 2.

Alexandria, Va. Attorney Nina Ginsberg was sworn in as Parliamentarian of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) at the Association’s 57th annual meeting in Philadelphia on August 2.

Read the full press release.

Three DiMuroGinsberg lawyers named to Best Lawyers in America 21st edition. Ben DiMuro for Commercial Litigation, Jonathan Mook for Employment Law – Management and Tom Hicks for Business Organizations, Corporate Law and Real Estate Law.

Alexandria, VA, United States — Monday, August 25, 2014 — DiMuroGinsberg, PC is pleased to announce that three lawyers have been named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.

Best Lawyers has published their list for over three decades, earning the respect of the profession, the media, and the public as the most reliable, unbiased source of legal referrals. Its first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries.

“Best Lawyers is the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise,” said President and Co-Founder Steven Naifeh. “Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success.”

Lawyers on the Best Lawyers in America list are divided by geographic region and practice areas. They are reviewed by their peers on the basis of professional expertise, and undergo an authentication process to make sure they are in current practice and in good standing.

DiMuroGinsberg, PC would like to congratulate the following attorneys named to the 2015 Best Lawyers in America list:

Bernard J. DiMuro, Commercial Litigation
C. Thomas Hicks III, Business Organizations (including LLCs and Partnerships)
C. Thomas Hicks III, Corporate Law
C. Thomas Hicks III, Real Estate Law
Jonathan R. Mook, Employment Law – Management

About DiMuroGinsberg, PC

DiMuroGinsberg is a litigation and business law firm operating in Alexandria, Virginia since 1990.  The firm practices in the areas of corporate and commercial law, business torts, business disputes, RICO, criminal law, employment law, professional liability and ethics, intellectual property and patent cases (local counsel only).  The firm also has a strong complementary corporate law and business law practice.

Due to DiMuroGinsberg’s lawyers’ regular practice in the Court and frequent appearances before the judges of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the firm is often called upon to act as lead or local counsel for corporate counsel and out of state clients and law firms unfamiliar with the local rules and practices of the unusually efficient federal court in Alexandria, the legendary “Rocket Docket.”

To be eligible for a “Best Law Firms” ranking, law firms must have at least one lawyer listed in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America list.  DiMuroGinsberg is honored to have three of our partners listed, Bernard J. DiMuro for Commercial Litigation, C. Thomas Hicks III for Business Organizations (including LLC’s and Partnerships), Corporate Law, Real Estate Law and Jonathan Mook for Employment – Management.

Media Contact:
Michele Kraftschik
Director of Operations