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Joseph Tacopina



Joseph Tacopina is the senior partner and lead trial attorney at Tacopina, Seigel & DeOreo.

Mr. Tacopina is considered one of the nation’s premier and most respected criminal trial attorneys, having successfully tried more than 100 cases throughout his distinguished career.

Known as a fierce litigator, Mr. Tacopina has zealously represented clients in State and Federal Courts throughout the nation, in both criminal and civil matters. That is why numerous high-profile clients have flocked to him for representation, including Jay Z, Alex Rodriguez, Meek Mill, Rakim, Michael Jackson, Sticky Fingaz, Sean Hannity, Don Imus, Lillo Brancato, and YG.  His clients have also included politicians, judges, Wall Street executives, and other professionals.

While Mr. Tacopina ably defends clients in the court of public opinion, he has also proven equally adept at keeping many of his clients out of the public eye.

As a former prosecutor, Mr. Tacopina understands how his adversaries in criminal cases operate, and his unmatched string of acquittals and successful verdicts in difficult cases is irrefutable proof of his talents as a skilled and savvy courtroom tactician.  In fact, renowned for his highly potent cross-examination style, Mr. Tacopina often lectures to other lawyers nationally and publishes material on the subject.

Because of Mr. Tacopina’s extensive litigation experience in both Federal and State Courts, along with his unparalleled track-record of results in some very high-profile cases, Mr. Tacopina frequently appears as an expert legal analyst on various national and local media outlets. He can regularly be seen on MSNBC, CNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox News, CNN, and Court TV, and heard on his weekly appearances on the Bernie and Sid morning radio show.

Mr. Tacopina is a member of the Harvard Law School faculty, teaching in its Trial Advocacy Workshop.

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. Additionally, Mr. Tacopina has been a featured speaker at law schools across the country and lectures nationwide on a variety of legal issues.

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 and received the Man of the Year award by New York State’s Commission for Social Justice.  Mr. Tacopina was named to Billboard’s Top Most Influential People in Hip Hop list.

Being recognized by his peers as one of NYC’s top criminal lawyers, Mr. Tacopina has been routinely named to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list, an honor given to attorneys who exhibit excellence in practice.  Mr. Tacopina has achieved the most prominent AV Preeminent rating, one of the highest accolades an attorney can obtain.

Mr. Tacopina is licensed to practice in New York State and Connecticut Courts, as well as Federal Courts in the Eastern, Southern, Western and Northern Districts of New York.

Here is what many notable people have said about Mr. Tacopina:

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, 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

Practice Areas:

  • Criminal Defense
  • White Collar Criminal Defense
  • Civil Litigation
  • Employment Litigation
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Personal Injury

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 City Patrolmen’s Benevolent 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


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

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, Harvard Law School, Trial Advocacy Workshop
  • All-Stars of the Courtroom Forum, St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami Gardens, FL, 2019
  • Law in the limelight: A career of high-profile cases, Sacred Heart University, Department of Management, 01/29/2020


The National Trial Lawyers
10 Best Award CLA 2015