About Warnken, LLC

Warnken, LLC – Who We Are and What We Do

Warnken, LLC handles workers’ compensation, personal injury, criminal defense work, administrative discipline, litigation including trials and appeals, and estate work.  The diverse areas of practice relate to the unique set of lawyers we employ.  Each attorney concentrates in a different area of law.  Each attorney is also asked to think outside the box to be a contributing member to other attorney’s cases, as this strengthens the practice as a whole.

In addition to the above work, I serve as an expert witness in police misconduct cases and ineffective assistance of counsel cases, and legal malpractice cases.

Practice Areas


Workers’ Compensation and other types of injury cases have been handled by Warnken, LLC for more than 25 years.  Workers’ compensation, car accidents, medical malpractice and other personal injury are the largest part of Warnken, LLC’s practice at this point.


Most firms that are criminal defense firms handle almost exclusively trial work.  This Firm’s criminal cases are about 20% trial and about 80% post-verdict.  Our criminal post-verdict practice includes appeals, collateral review petitions (post conviction, coram nobis, and habeas corpus), motions for new trial (standard, newly discovered evidence, and actual innocence), subsequent sentencing proceedings (reconsideration, three-judge panels, and illegal sentence), parole, gubernatorial clemency and pardon, and expungements.  I have taught criminal law and criminal procedure for over 30 years.  I tend to have opinions about the way cases should be handled and I tend to share those opinions.

Administrative Discipline

Warnken, LLC also handles administrative discipline cases.  Specifically, the Firm represents the Maryland Troopers Association, the lead labor organization of the State Police.  Administrative discipline cases include not just law enforcement, but attorneys, doctors, nurses, and social workers.  Law enforcement from over 30 different agencies around the state and the country have relied on Warnken, LLC for representation.  I have taught Issues in Law Enforcement at the University of Baltimore.  I have also lectured throughout the country on the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and other police related legal issues.  James Nichols, Esq. heads up the practice, though a number of us, including me, contribute.

Civil Appeals

Civil appeals have also been a major component of the Firm for years.  From 1987 to 1992, I practiced law part-time.  Even then, because I was “the professor,” I found that interesting and important cases came my way, including my first Court of Appeals case in 1989 (a 7-0 win), my first Supreme Court case in 1990, and my first appearance as an expert witness before Congress in 1992.  I became known not as a practitioner of criminal law or cop law, but an appellate lawyer.  I am brought in on appeals with regularity – plaintiff or defense, injury or contract litigation, state or federal – to be the Maryland appellate lawyer.  In the last few years, this has been as diverse as mortgage foreclosure, MD civil procedure, punitive damages, finality of judgment, and more.

The Firm’s History

As I said, from 1987 to 1992, I practiced law part-time.  In the late 1980’s, my wife Bonnie, a registered nurse of two decades, went to law school, graduated, passed the bar, and clerked for a judge.  In November 1992, we started this law Firm.  In our first year, we opened 29 files.  In 2010, we will open about 500 files.  All told, in our history, we have opened more than 6,000 files.

In 2004, I started a “farm system.”  I look at my first-year law students, assessing their human skills, human compassion, analytical skills, written and oral communication skills, work ethic, and attitude.  Using that criteria, I offer ten-week summer internships to about ten students.  From the very best interns, the Firm hires law clerks.  From the very best law clerks, the Firm hires attorneys.  We currently have six attorneys and half a dozen support staff.