Since graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1969, Gerald Shargel has spent practically every day building a reputation as one of the country’s most dynamic, effective, and acclaimed defense attorneys. Over the past forty years, he has won an acquittal for legendary mob boss John Gotti, negotiated an unheard of plea bargain on behalf of Joe Halderman, the man accused of attempting to extort $2 million from David Letterman; defended financial marauder Marc Dreier, accused of a $400 million Ponzi scheme; and represented the Jimmy Coonan, one of the leaders of the Irish mafia. He has counseled top restaurateurs like China Grill’s Jeffrey Chodorow, who was convicted on charges related to the bankruptcy of Braniff Airlines, and politicians like embattled Senate President Malcolm Smith, who is under investigation in connection with his nonprofit, New Direction.
Named the most visible criminal defense lawyer of the year by The American Lawyer (2009)—in addition to being a regular on the Best Lawyers list—Shargel is also Brooklyn Law School’s Practitioner in Residence where teaches a variety of criminal law subjects. This past spring he taught Criminal Law: Current Events in which students explored current topics and events in criminal law, with the help of a variety of guest speakers including former Attorney General Michael Mukasey and New York State Court of Appeals Judge Carmen Ciparick. In his spare time, Shargel serves on the Board of the Directors of the Exoneration Initiative, a ground-breaking non-DNA-based innocence project, and is also a contributor to the Daily Beast.