Danny C. Onorato

Danny C. Onorato
  • Education:
  • Washington College of Law,
  • American University
  • Lycoming College
  • Bar Admissions:
  • California
  • District of Columbia


Danny Onorato is a founding partner of Schertler Onorato Mead and Sears. He is a former federal prosecutor and a seasoned trial attorney. Mr. Onorato has received numerous accolades for his white-collar and non-white-collar criminal defense practice, his trial skills, his tenacious representation of clients, and his resourcefulness. Chambers USA describes Mr. Onorato as an “excellent lawyer who is really good at resolving thorny problems.”

Mr. Onorato has successfully represented high-level executives, entrepreneurs, government officials, professional athletes and entertainers, and other individuals in criminal and civil matters throughout the United States, including high-profile white-collar criminal investigations and prosecutions conducted by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal agencies.


White-Collar Matters:

  • Obtained dismissal of wire-fraud charges in the United States District Court in Baltimore, Maryland.

  • Successfully represented client under investigation by the Department of Justice for wire fraud and bribery; no charges filed.

  • Successfully represented employees in a large health care fraud investigation.

  • Successfully represented an executive of a foreign-owned, publicly-traded company in a DOJ/SEC investigation involving the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act; no charges filed.

  • Successfully represented executive under investigation by the Department of Justice and the SEC for exporting material into sanctioned countries.

  • Successfully represented the CEO of a publicly traded company in connection with parallel Department of Justice and House Subcommittee investigations; no charges filed.

  • Represented numerous individuals in DOJ antitrust matter.

  • Represented employees of oil services company in DOJ/SEC investigation for violations of sanctions and export laws.

  • Performed internal investigation for professional Washington area sports team.

  • Successfully represented Korean national in antitrust investigation.

Other Criminal Matters:

  • Represented corporate executive in wire fraud and procurement fraud trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

  • Obtained dismissal of homicide charges on behalf of client in D.C. Superior Court.

  • Obtained dismissal of felony charges against parent wrongfully arrested for felony assault on child.

  • Represented Navy official in conspiracy and fraud trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

  • Represented popular R&B recording artist on assault charges in D.C. Superior Court.

  • Represented professional football player in NFL investigation regarding allegations of domestic assault.


Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Onorato served with distinction as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Columbia. During his years of service as a prosecutor, Mr. Onorato handled more than 50 criminal trials before juries and judges in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. Mr. Onorato also participated in several long-term criminal investigations with specialized federal and state law enforcement task forces.

Mr. Onorato served as a law clerk in the District of Columbia Superior Court for the Honorable Russell F. Canan. Mr. Onorato is a graduate of Lycoming College and the Washington College of Law, American University. He is an active member of the bars of the District of Columbia and California, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the U.S. District Court in Colorado, and the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.


Mr. Onorato has been recognized as a leading criminal and white–collar practitioner by Chambers USA, The Best Lawyers in America, Washingtonian, Super Lawyers, and other publications. Reviewers have described Mr. Onorato’s courtroom presence as “engaging” and “sharp,” and Chambers USA calls Mr. Onorato an “excellent lawyer who is really good at resolving thorny problems.” Super Lawyers has ranked Mr. Onorato in the Top 100 attorneys in Washington, D.C., and the National Law Journal recognized Mr. Onorato as a top 50 Trailblazer. In 2016, Mr. Onorato was inducted as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, an elite organization of the country’s leading trial lawyers.


The attorneys of Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears bring deep experience, practical judgment, and vigorous advocacy to the matters we handle. Our lawyers include former federal prosecutors, former members of the Antitrust and Tax Divisions of the Department of Justice, and a former Assistant to the Solicitor General. We have tried cases large and small, have briefed and argued numerous appeals, and also have the skill and acumen to negotiate resolutions of matters when it is in the best interests of our clients.  More detailed biographies of our attorneys are accessible below.

Experience. Judgment. Results.

To learn more about Schertler Onorato Mead & Sears