Joseph Tacopina

Founder, Lead Trial Attorney


Criminal Defense
White Collar Criminal Defense
Personal Injury
Employment Litigation
Employment Discrimination & Sexual Harassment
Civil Litigation

Joseph Tacopina is the firm’s senior partner and lead trial attorney.

Mr. Tacopina is also a faculty member of Harvard Law School’s Trial Advocacy Workshop, where he teaches trial skills and his highly potent cross-examination style to law students.

Mr. Tacopina is one of the country’s most respected high-stakes trial attorneys, having successfully tried more than 100 cases in his distinguished career. He frequently represents clients in notable civil, criminal and commercial litigation, zealously advancing their interests and often recovering substantial money damages.

Mr. Tacopina began his career as a prosecutor in Brooklyn, where he prevailed in an extraordinary 39 of the 40 trials he led. After moving into private practice, his unmatched string of successful verdicts grew, as did his reputation as a savvy courtroom tactician and a go-to advocate for high-profile clients dealing with situations that capture the public’s attention. Known as a fierce litigator, he has zealously represented athletes, politicians, actors, executives, musicians, judges, law enforcement officials and other celebrities, including former President Donald J. Trump, the NFL team Washington Commanders and its former owner Daniel Snyder, Michael Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, Meek Mill, YG, Sean Hannity, Don Imus, Swiss Beatz, American singer Ne-Yo, Emmy Award-winning television journalist Sarah Wallace, Kimberly Guilfoyle, executive director of the NFLPA DeMaurice Smith and Rapper A$AP Rocky.

Outside of the courtroom, Mr. Tacopina deftly defends his clients in the court of public opinion, and is equally adept at keeping clients away from the media’s spotlight. The matters he works on frequently capture the nation’s attention, including his successful effort to free rapper Meek Mill from prison, the investigation into the disappearance of Baby Lisa Irwin, Major League Baseball’s investigation of Alex Rodriguez and the acquittal of Sopranos actor Lillo Brancato on murder charges.

Mr. Tacopina frequently appears on major national media outlets, including CNN, FOX and Newsmax, and can also be heard on his weekly appearances on WABC Radio’s Sid & Friends in the Morning in New York.

Mr. Tacopina is a member of the Federal Bar Council, the New York Counsel of Defense Lawyers, and the Judicial Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He also serves on the Legislative Committee for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Among his many accolades, Mr. Tacopina has been honored by the National Italian American Bar Association; been named Humanitarian of the Year by Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network; has received the Man of the Year award from New York State’s Commission for Social Justice; has been named to Billboard’s list of Top 100 Power Players in R&B and Hip-Hop; and has been named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 35 Lawyers. He has also consistently been named a New York Super Lawyer, an honor given to attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice, and has earned Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent rating, the highest accolade an attorney can obtain from their peers.


“One of the most prominent trial attorneys in America.” —Fox News

“Joe Tacopina taught me that sometimes, you’ve got to go to war.” —Meek Mill

“One of the great defense attorneys of all time” —Sean Hannity, Fox News

“Tacopina ranks among a group of top criminal defense lawyers” —The Wall Street Journal

“One of the great trial lawyers in America who wins cases that nobody else could win” —Rikki Klieman, CBS News Legal Analyst

“Tacopina’s unbelievable. The guy works magic. He is the real deal. He’s not to be messed with” —Don Imus, Imus in the Morning

“Joe Tacopina, a New York Defense Attorney famous for getting acquittals in high-profile cases” —Business Insider

“Joe Tacopina, the best in the business” —Ashleigh Banfield, CNN

“Tacopina’s the kind of lawyer who makes you want to get into trouble so he can defend you” —NY Daily News

“The best defense attorney in the country” —Sid Rosenberg, WABC Radio

“High profile, high powered New York defense attorney” —ABC Primetime

“One of the best attorneys in the country” —Reverend Al Sharpton

“A top New York criminal defense lawyer” —Crain’s New York Business

“Mr. Tacopina is to the defense bar what Donald Trump is to real estate” —The New York Times

“Joe Tacopina, defense attorney…one of the best” —The Today Show

“Elevated to the upper level of prominence” —USA Today

“One of the country’s top attorneys” —Soledad O’Brien, CNN

“Joe Tacopina, one of the go to defense lawyers in America” —Don Imus, Imus in the Morning

“One of New York’s fiercest defenders” —NY Daily News

“Top-shelf, high powered litigator” —New York Post

“When you hire Joe Tacopina—it’s over” —Don Imus

“Joe Tacopina is one of New York’s best criminal defense attorneys” —Geraldo Rivera, Fox News

“The most famous defense attorney in the country” —Bernie and Sid In The Morning

“Joe is different...he wins.” —GQ Magazine

“He's a T-Rex in shark's clothing with the mind of Perry Mason.” —NBC News

“He’s the best defense attorney in the country” —Bernie and Sid In The Morning

Professional Associations

  • Federal Bar Council, Member
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member, Committee on Federal Legistlation
  • Judicial Committee for the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member
  • New York State Court Officers Association, Of Counsel
  • Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Assistant District Attorney, 1991 to 1994
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Coordinator at Large, Legislative Committee


  • National Italian American Bar Association’s Man of the Year
  • Rated by Super Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent Peer Rating by Martindale Hubbell
  • Humanitarian of the Year by The National Action Network, 2019
  • Man of the Year award, New York State’s Commission for Social Justice, 2019
  • Billboard’s Top Most Influential People in Hip Hop
  • Named one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 35 Lawyers, 2022

Bar Admission

  • New York
  • Connecticut
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Western District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court District of Connecticut

Classes & Seminars

  • Faculty Member, Harvard Law School, Trial Advocacy Workshop
  • All-Stars of the Courtroom Forum, St. Thomas University School of Law, 2019
  • Law in the Limelight: A Career of High-Profile Cases, Sacred Heart University, 2020
  • Presentations for members of the New York State Bar Association, National Council of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and Federal Bar Council