John Ackerman


The Ackerman Law Firm

Firm Website


Sunrise Beach





John E. Ackerman is a graduate of the University of Wyoming Law School. He began his legal career in Casper, Wyoming as a criminal defense lawyer. While there, he defended the Kennedy case, the subject of a recent book, “The Darkest Night” by Ron Franscell.

In 1972, he moved to Houston, Texas where he became Dean of the National College of Criminal Defense. During his time at the College, he was a member of the Criminal Defense Council of the American Bar Association.

While Dean, in the summer of 1976, Mr. Ackerman successfully defended American Indian Movement leader Russell Means on a 1st Degree Murder charge in Rapid City, South Dakota.
In 1981, he returned to the private practice of criminal law in Houston, Texas. In 1981 and 1982, he served for one year as President of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

In 1992, Mr. Ackerman was appointed Judge of the 339th District Court in Houston by Governor Ann Richards.

In May of 1997, he began representing accused persons at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague, Netherlands. He continued this work until December 2008, when he opened the Ackerman Law Firm in San Antonio, Texas.

Mr. Ackerman has been honored by his colleagues with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association and by being named to the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association Hall of Fame.