Hon. George J. Terwilliger III

Partner, McGuireWoods LLP
George Terwilliger

George Terwilliger is co-head of the firm’s white collar practice and leads the firm’s Strategic Response and Crisis Management practice group. A former federal prosecutor and U.S. presidential appointee in the Department of Justice during two administrations, George offers wide-ranging experience in civil and criminal litigation, agency enforcement proceedings, and government and internal investigations. He also has advised government officials, Congress and private organizations on national security, homeland defense, terrorism, and other public policy and legal issues. George’s work regularly involves providing counsel in the executive suites and boardrooms of major corporations.

In private practice for international law firms, George has represented national and international financial, energy, telecommunications, industrial and healthcare companies. He has led corporate internal investigations and legal compliance reviews that involved work in more than 60 countries around the globe. Individual clients have included media personalities, lawyers, business executives and public officials. No stranger to high stakes litigation and crisis events, George helped lead the Bush-Cheney legal team in the 2000 Florida vote recount, served as special outside counsel to a Senate committee investigating vote fraud allegations, served as counsel to an executive commission on gambling, and has represented many in politically charged election law and similar cases. He represented an incumbent president in First Amendment litigation concerning the right to have an inaugural prayer in a public ceremony.

In his 10 years as a frontline federal prosecutor, George handled hundreds of investigations, trials and appeals, including in white collar and national security cases. President Ronald Reagan appointed him as a U.S. attorney, and he continued to serve as the deputy attorney general and as acting attorney general during the George H.W. Bush administration. In these roles, George ran the Justice Department’s operations, overseeing all the nation’s federal prosecutors, as well as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. He also had leadership responsibility in several national and international crises, including a hostage-taking in a federal prison and the federal law enforcement response to domestic unrest in Los Angeles.  In several instances, he personally handled negotiations of high-profile criminal and civil matters in the United States and abroad.

  • B.A., Seton Hall University, 1973
  • J.D., Antioch School of Law, 1978

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Publications and Multimedia
Beyond the Yates Memo: A New Era of Enforcement? - Event Audio/Video
Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group
June 16, 2017
Supreme Court Preview: What Is in Store for October Term 2016? - Event Audio/Video
Co-Sponsored by the Faculty Division and the Practice Groups
September 28, 2016
Prosecutors Run Amok? - Event Audio/Video
2015 National Lawyers Convention
November 19, 2015
Defining Regulatory Crimes - Event Audio/Video
Criminal Law and the Administrative State: Defining and Enforcing Regulatory Crimes
June 11, 2014
Marijuana and the States: How Should Federalism Principles Inform the Federal Government’s Response to State Marijuana Initiatives? - Event Audio/Video
Sponsored by the Center for Business Law and Regulation at Case Western Reserve University School of Law and the Practice Groups of the Federalist Society
December 05, 2013
NSA Data Collection - Event Audio/Video
2013 National Lawyers Convention
November 22, 2013
Criminal Law at the Federal Level - Event Audio/Video
First Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
June 14, 2013
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - Event Audio/Video
2012 National Lawyers Convention
November 20, 2012
Over-Criminalization and Public Opinion - Podcast
Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
September 20, 2012
The Civilian Trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
Online Debate
January 05, 2010
Preventing Attacks through Surveillance and Intelligence - Event Audio/Video
International & National Security Law Practice Group and the Heritage Foundation
May 28, 2009
The SEC and the Financial Services Crisis of 2008 - Audio/Video
2008 National Lawyers Convention
November 22, 2008
The Obstruction of Justice - Event Audio/Video
Criminal Law and Procedure Practice Group
May 29, 2008