John E. Virga

Principal Attorney

  • (916) 444-6595
  • John Virga has been practicing in Sacramento for over five decades. John was born and raised in Sacramento. His brother Michael J. Virga, his father-in-law William A. White and his nephew Michael G. Virga were Sacramento Superior Court judges.  He is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley and the University of Santa Clara Law.

    After spending the first four years of his career as a Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney, he left to start his own firm. Since that time, he has focused on criminal defense and personal injury. John has tried well over 100 trials including both civil and criminal trials. He is one of the few attorneys to prevail in the criminal defense of a death penalty case and to secure a multimillion-dollar civil award. He is the only lawyer to take the testimony of a United States President in a criminal case. John is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

    While growing up in Sacramento, John was an active baseball player and is an inductee of the The La Salle Club Baseball Hall of Fame. Additionally, John managed multiple world championship boxers.



    Santa Clara University School of Law, J.D.
    University of California, Berkeley, B.A.

    Bar Admission

    California, 1966

    Significant Cases

    • United States v. Lynette Alice Fromme.  Defended Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme for the attempted assassination of President Gerald Ford. John took the first and only testimony of a sitting United States President in a criminal case.
    • Oak Park Four.  Represented a defendant charged in the homicide of a City of Sacramento Police officer that occurred at a time when the police were occupying Oak Park.  The case was racially charged and polarizing in Sacramento.  The District Attorney pursued death penalty charges.  After months of trial, the case was dismissed and the defendants went free.  For a good discussion of the case see Black Politics After the Civil Rights Movement: Activity and Beliefs in Sacramento, 1970-2000, David Covin, 2009.

    John has also handled criminal and civil appeals in state and federal court.

    Honors and Awards

    • 2017 Top Lawyer, Sacramento Magazine
    • 2016 Top Lawyer, Sacramento Magazine
    • AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell
    • NAACP Dedication to Civil Rights Award, 1989
    • Sacramento Magazine “Best and Brightest in Sacramento,” Honoree


    • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Member, 2007-present
    • American Trial Lawyers Association, Member, 1989-present
    • Consumer Attorneys of California, Member
    • Capitol City Trial Lawyers Association, Member
    • Italian Bar Association of Sacramento, Former President

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