Ivan Bates | Meet Ivan
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Meet Ivan

Ivan J. Bates has dedicated his life to service, justice and the preservation of rights for all people. One of the top defense attorneys in Baltimore City, Ivan got his start after law school as a prosecutor for the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Today, as senior partner of the firm Bates & Garcia, Ivan has been involved in many of the city’s recent high-profile cases. He is a veteran trial attorney with decades of experience and a track record of success in the courtroom. In fact, he even had the privilege of serving as co-counsel in a case argued before the Supreme Court of the United States (Maryland v. Blake).

After high school, Ivan served his country in foreign and domestic assignments as a member of the 32nd Air Defense Artillery unit in the U.S. Army. Following his tour of duty, he enrolled in college through the GI Bill. Ivan excelled at Howard University and would go on to graduate with honors. In fact, he served as Howard University Student Association President from 1991 to 1992.

Ivan became drawn to the law after studying Thurgood Marshall and learning how he was able to use the law as a force of good to help people. It was because of this inspiration that Ivan went to law school and earned his Juris Doctorate from William and Mary, School of Law. While at law school, Ivan was a recipient of the Public Service Fellowship, a member of the Black Law Student Association and a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

In 1995, Ivan came to Baltimore to be a law clerk and to care for his Aunt Edna when her health started to decline. She lived on North Avenue and 23rd Street. Back then, Ivan saw how she was almost paralyzed by the crime in her community. It was the fear his Aunt Edna endured that motivated Ivan to become a prosecutor in Baltimore City. In those early years, Ivan clerked for the NAACP Legal Defense and for the Honorable David B. Mitchell for the Circuit Court of Baltimore City.

He was later offered the position of Assistant State’s Attorney in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. There, he worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and the Homicide division, where he never lost a murder trial. After serving as a homicide prosecutor, Ivan went on to start his own law practice. A successful small business owner, Ivan has remained involved in community and civic organizations. In recent years, Ivan served as President of the Monumental Bar Association, where he promoted causes such as the recruitment of African-Americans into the field of law.

Today, Ivan believes his experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system is needed if confidence is to be restored in Baltimore City. He knows that we can have reform and keep people safe at the same time.

Ivan and his wife, Dr. Lana Bates, live in Baltimore City with their one-year-old daughter, London. Ivan is also proud to be the stepfather to his 10-year-old daughter, Brielle. He and his family worship at New Metropolitan Baptist Church.