People v. I.D. & D.P., Docket Nos. 2008RI011835 & 2008RI011836; Hon. Matthew A. Sciarrino, Jr., Criminal Court of the City of New York; Staten Island District Attorney.

     The defendants were charged with felony assault on a police officer, rioting and other crimes. After reduction of the charges, Mr. Smith persuaded the Court to grant his motion to dismiss the cases upon the ground that the information was legally insufficient.

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Criminal Investigation by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (see October 14, 2004 AG's Press Release);

     Mr. Smith currently represents an employee of the American International Group (AIG) against an accusation he was involved in a bid-rigging criminal conspiracy with brokers of the nation’s leading insurance brokerage firm, Marsh & McLennan Companies to defraud clients by arranging noncompetitive bids from insurance companies so that a predetermined company could “win the bid”.

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People v. J.S., Docket No. 2005NY077559; Hon. Herbert J. Adlerberg, Criminal Court of the City of New York; Assistant District Attorney: Ehren Reynolds.

     The defendant, a New York City physician was charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument at a time he was under investigation by the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct. Mr. Smith secured an acquittal of the criminal charges for his client.

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People v. J.S., Docket No. 2005NY015782; Hon. ShawnDya L. Simpson, Criminal Court of the City of New York; Assistant District Attorney: Michael Dougherty.

     The defendant, a prominent Manhattan plastic surgeon was charged with sexual abuse of a female patient. According to the prosecutor, he made admissions to the complaining witness during a conversation monitored and recorded by the assigned NYPD detective. Mr. Smith conducted an intensive investigation of the complaining witness’s background and after developing evidence proving she perjured herself in a civil lawsuit, convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the criminal charges.

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People v T.R., Indictment No. 6020-02; Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department; Assistant District Attorney: Ellen Sue Handman.

     The defendant, represented by other counsel, pled guilty to attempted rape in the first degree, the most serious charge in the indictment. On the scheduled date for sentence, the trial judge denied a motion to withdraw the guilty plea. Mr. Smith won the appeal after convincing the appellate court that the trial judge coerced the plea when he threatened to impose the maximum 15-year sentence should the defendant proceed to trial rather than plead guilty.

Court’s written decision

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United States v. A.P., 03-1739; United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit; Assistant U.S. Attorney: Amy Walsh.

     The defendant, represented by other counsel, entered a guilty plea, received a 13-year sentence and waived his right to appeal or challenge the conviction. After a notice of appeal was filed, the government moved in the Court of Appeals to dismiss the appeal upon the ground that he executed a valid waiver of his right to appeal. After briefing the issue and oral argument, Mr. Smith convinced the Court to deny the government’s motion and to hear the appeal on the merits.

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United States v. C.N., 03 Mag. 2178; Hon. Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, United States District Court, Southern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorney: Jessica A. Roth.

     The defendant and 5 alleged coconspirators were arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess cocaine base or crack with intent to distribute. He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years. After declining the government’s invitation to have his client become a cooperating witness and ignoring their threats to indict his client on a variety of charges, Mr. Smith secured a dismissal of the case.

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United States v. A.S, Criminal No. 01-56; Honorable Reena Raggi, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorneys: John Kroger, Amy Walsh, Noah Perlman, and Daniel Dorsky.

     The indictment charged the defendant with racketeering (RICO), racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud and extortion. It alleged that he and 15 co-defendants were part of a criminal enterprise known as the Colombo organized crime family of La Cosa Nostra. He rejected the government's offer to plead guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that called for a 24-30 month sentence calculated under the U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines. The defendant proceeded to trial facing a possible 20-year sentence before an anonymous jury empanelled by the court over defense objection. He was the only one of 16 defendants acquitted despite the testimony of several cooperating witnesses.

      Throughout the trial, Dale L. Smith successfully persuaded the jury that the defendant was a victim of the mafia. The official trial transcript below demonstrates how a proficient lawyer, utilizing a Theme and Theory of Defense, can achieve the best possible result for his client.

cross-examination of cooperating witness 1 (Michael Durso)

cross-examination of cooperating witness 2 (Vito Salerno)

closing argument

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Government of the Virgin Islands v. D.L., Criminal No. F322-01; Hon. Ishmael A. Meyers, Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, VI; Assistant Attorney General: P. Courtney Reese.

     The defendant was a front-seat passenger in a car along with the driver and a rear-seat passenger who was seated directly behind the driver. After receiving a report of a moving vehicle without license plates, the police stopped the car. They ordered all three men out of the car and found a firearm underneath the driver’s seat. All three men were arrested and charged with Criminal Possession of an Unlicensed Firearm.

     On the eve of trial, Mr. Smith convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the case against his client. He argued that the lack of evidence of concerted criminal activity, such as robbery, amongst the men, made it difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that all three men jointly possessed the firearm. Moreover, Mr. Smith argued that given the location of the firearm in the car, it was more likely placed there by either the driver or the rear-seat passenger. Finally, Mr. Smith argued that the police failed to conduct an adequate investigation by failing to attempt to retrieve fingerprints from the firearm and ammunition. As such, the firearm could not be connected to his client. Mr. Smith obtained the best possible result for his client without the necessity and risks of a trial.

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United States v. V.G., Criminal No. 00-13; Honorable Raymond L. Finch, U.S. District Court, Division of St. Croix; Assistant U.S. Attorney: Tracey Christopher.

     The defendant was charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and related offenses. He also was in deportation proceedings with the Immigration and Naturalization Service based on a prior conviction and the underlying conduct charged in the indictment. A conviction would have meant his certain deportation. According to the government, he confessed to growing the marijuana in his backyard and possessing the firearm in his home.

     After replacing the defendant's former attorney, Mr. Smith filed a supplemental motion to suppress the confession. The court granted the motion after an evidentiary hearing. The case proceeded to trial and resulted in the most serious charge [18 USC § 924 (c)], which carried a mandatory 5-year consecutive sentence, being dismissed pursuant to Rule 29 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The judge declared a mistrial after the evenly divided jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict. The district court granted a subsequent defense motion to dismiss the case with prejudice. What appeared to be an impossible case to win was won by skillful lawyering, which avoided the defendant's mandatory incarceration and subsequent deportation from the United States.

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United States v. A.J., Criminal No. 97-413; Honorable I. Leo Glasser, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorney: Noah Perlman.

     The defendant charged with conspiracy was acquitted after trial. See Press Release for more details.

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United States v. V.S., Criminal No. 98-96; Honorable Arthur D. Spatt, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorneys: Barry Jonas and David Bloch.

     What started as a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense and Internal Revenue Service into fraudulent billing by Royce Aerospace, a subcontractor of the Department of Defense, resulted with an indictment that charged the defendant and others with conspiracy to obstruct and defraud the IRS. Although 4 coconspirators cooperated with the government and testified at trial, Mr. Smith obtained an acquittal for his client.

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