Ivan J. Bates
Bates & Garcia PC
Ivan Bates has handled a number of high-profile cases as a criminal defense attorney. Bates currently represents Baltimore police Sgt. Alicia White, one of the highest ranking officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray. He previously defended a Drug Enforcement Agency agent in the Silk Road case that ultimately led a federal judge to sentence the founder of the illegal online marketplace to life in jail.
Bates has also been on the other side of the courtroom as an assistant state’s attorney with the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office.
But one of the most rewarding aspects of his career involves providing legal services to “others who didn’t really think they could have had a good lawyer,” Bates said.
In some cases this has involved pro bono work, but it’s also meant providing counsel at a discounted rate to a mother working an extra shift to pay for a lawyer to represent her son, he said.
“It’s the cases that no one has really heard about, the kids that I’m able to give a second chance, those are the cases I’m most proud of,” Bates said.
Another career highlight has been starting his own firm, Baltimore-based Bates & Garcia PC, in 2006.
“I like having my own business,” he said. “It lets you put your career in the direction you want it to go. It’s very rewarding.”
He also gives back to his community and those he cares about: He created a nonprofit, the Baltimore United Foundation, to provide small donations mostly to local sports teams for new uniforms or a trip to a tournament, he said.
“There are groups who need small dollar amounts, so I give them something to make what they’re doing a bit easier,” Bates said.
He also makes it a point to speak and mentor to youth in the community, as he was mentored by two loving parents and a broader community that supported him.
“I think being an African American, seeing how these younger kids look up to me, I’m able to sit down with them and help them understand some of the pitfalls and obstacles that are there,” he said.