Nicholas Kaizer, Partner
Richard Levitt, Partner
Emily Golub, Of Counsel
The Law Offices of Levitt & Kaizer are located in Downtown Manhattan, in the South Street Seaport District. Founded nearly 30 years ago, we focus on Criminal Defense, Appellate Advocacy and Post-Conviction Remedies.
PRESS RELEASE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEVITT & KAIZER
CASE AGAINST WORLD RENOWNED VIOLINIST STEFAN ARZBERGER CONCLUDED WITH
MISDEMEANOR PLEA AND NO JAIL TERM
New York, New York, June 29, 2016. Today, world-renowned violist Stefan
Arzberger favorably concluded the criminal case that has been pending against
him for 15 months by entering a guilty plea in Supreme Court, New York County
to the misdemeanor charge of reckless assault in the third degree. Mr. Arzberger entered the plea without any
factual admission, and was immediately sentenced to no jail term and an
unconditional discharge, thus bringing the case to a close.
On March 27, 2015, Stefan Arzberger,
first violinist of the Leipzig String Quartet and former member and concert master of the
Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, was arrested and charged with serious felony offenses in New
York Criminal Court relating to an assault upon a guest of the Hudson Hotel in
midtown Manhattan, where Mr. Arzberger was staying in anticipation of a
scheduled concert later that day. His
agent immediately secured the representation of the prominent criminal defense
firm of Levitt & Kaizer, which secured Arzberger’s release on bail the
following day, Saturday March 28, 2015.
Extensive defense investigation in the
weeks and months that followed revealed that Arzberger was himself a crime
victim in the hours immediately preceding his arrest. Arzberger’s attorneys submitted extensive
evidence to the NY County District Attorney, including psychiatric and toxicology
reports, hotel and bank surveillance videos, and credit card information, demonstrating
that Arzberger was almost certainly drugged by another person who stole Arzberger’s
wallet, credit cards and iPad in the early-morning hours of March 27, as he lay
unconscious in his room at the Hudson Hotel.
It was in this involuntarily drugged state that Mr. Arzberger had left
his room and entered the room of the hotel guest. Largely through Arzberger’s and his
attorneys’ cooperation, the NYPD and the NY County District Attorney’s Office
arrested and prosecuted the thief on felony theft charges, resulting in that
person’s guilty plea to fraud and sentence of 6-months in jail following by 4
and ½ years’ probation.
On June 29, 2016, after an extensive
re-evaluation of the case, the NY District Attorney’s office commendably dismissed
the top counts of the indictment, which included attempted murder, and authorized
Mr. Arzberger to plead guilty, without a factual admission, to reckless assault
in the third degree, a misdemeanor. Also, by agreement, he was immediately
sentenced to no jail term and an unconditional discharge, with no probationary
period or fine and a certificate of relief for civil disabilities. The Court granted Mr. Arzberger a Certificate
of Relief from civil disabilities and forfeitures. The criminal case, therefore, has been
Mr. Arzberger thanks NY District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr.,
for prosecuting the person who victimized him and for agreeing to a just and
fair resolution of the criminal charges.
Mr. Arzberger is
anxious to reunite with his family and move forward with his life and his
music. He says he “thanks all those who
resolutely stood by me, emotionally and spiritually, as well as those who generously
housed and supported me, both here in the United States and overseas, during
these very difficult 15 months.”
Richard Levitt will be participating in a capital defense seminar at the City Bar on Wednesday, July 14, 2016. A copy of Richard's habeas corpus outline, excerpted from his Second Circuit Criminal Law Sourcebook, with cited cases hyperlinked to the full text decisions courtesy of Google Scholar, can be accessed here.
On June 27, 2016, Richard Levitt and Peter Quijano presented "The Life of a Federal Criminal Case," as part of the Southern District of New York's CJA mentor program. Richard's program slides are viewable here.
We have favorably settled the Court of Claims case of our client, who was wrongly incarcerated for two-and-one-half years before being exonerated through the efforts of our colleague Peter Smith. Nothing can bring back the client’s lost time, but the settlement will provide him a degree of economic freedom.
On April 25, Richard Levitt delivered his annual Second Circuit lecture in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Southern District Courthouse. Access a copy of his 2016 case outline here and his slide
On December 8 Richard Levitt lectured at a seminar titled "Tax Audits, Investigations and Appeals Update," sponsored by tax litigator Barry Leibowicz, at Long Island University. See Richard's seminar slides here.
See Richard Levitt's bitcoin and money laundering slides from his panel presentation at the NACDL's Annual White Collar Seminar on October 22 here.
Download Richard Levitt's 2015 Second Circuit Criminal Law Outline here.
On September 9, Eastern District of New York Judge Brian Cogan granted Levitt & Kaizer's
motion for a stay of federal civil proceeding then pending against out client until the conclusion of
defendant's criminal matter in State Court in Manhattan. Judge Cogan agreed with out argument that
consideration of the following factors weighed in favor of staying the federal proceedings:
(1) the extent to which the issues in the criminal case overlap with those presented in the civil case;
(2) the status of the criminal case, including whether the defendants have been indicted;
(3) the private interests of the plaintiffs in proceeding expeditiously;
(4) the private interests of, and the burden on, the defendants;
(5) the interests of the courts and the public.
Robinson v. Arzberger, 15 Cv. 4747 (BMC). See decision here.
This week, Levitt & Kaizer obtained the dismissal of all claims against our client, a Department of Justice employee, against whom a civil complaint had been filed under Biven v. Six
Unknown Federal Narcotic Agents, 403 U.S. 388(1971). We did so by demonstrating to Plaintiffs'
counsel that the claims were baseless and Plaintiffs' counsel agreed to dismiss the claims prior to our
having to answer or move to dismiss.
See PDFs of Richard Levitt's Annual Second Circuit Criminal Law Lecture here.
November 21: Richard Levitt participated today as a panelist at the American Conference Institute's 2nd National Forum on Virtual & Digital Currency and Payment Systems. His panel was titled "Money laundering, AML and OFAC considerations for digital and virtual currencies, including know your counterparty issues/solutions and transaction monitoring."
November 14: Richard Levitt spoke at LIU Post College of Management, School of Professional Accountancy, as part of a program titled, Tax Audits, Investigations and Appeals, addressing Subpoenas to CPAs: A Criminal Defense Perspective. Download Mr. Levitt's program slides here.
October 8: Today, the Second Circuit affirmed the decision and order of the Hon. Denis Hurley, EDNY, granting a new trial to Rodney Morrison, upon our motion, finding that Mr. Morrison had been denied a fair trial when an unidentified person attempted to bribe a juror during jury deliberations. Mr. Morrison was represented on appeal by Jillian Harrington of New Jersey.
October 7: Today, the Hon. Gregory M. Sleet (D. Del.) sentenced our client, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) by exporting to Russia without required licenses night vision and thermal imaging devices, to 18 months "time served," notwithstanding Guidelines of 46-57 months. As part of our sentencing memorandum we provided the court with an extensive analysis of sentences imposed in 29 comparable cases nation-wide. Our co-counsel in the case was John Malik of Wilmington, Delaware.
6: Today, the Hon. Charles A. Apotheker, (AJSC, Rockland County), with the
People’s consent, granted our motion under CPL Art. 440 to vacate the judgment
of conviction and sentence entered upon our client’s plea of guilty to
possession of a narcotic drug, thus paving the way for the return of the green
card taken upon the client’s conviction in 1969. Because his country of birth had refused to
issue to him a new passport given that he has been in the U.S. more than 50
years, the client has been a “man without a country” under constant thereat of
deportation. Levitt & Kaizer's motion papers were written by Richard Levitt and senior appellate counsel, Yvonne Shivers.
June 14: Today the New York District Attorney's Office dismissed rape and strangulation charges pending against our client after the prosecutor, working cooperatively with Levitt & Kaizer, agreed to not present the case to the grand jury. Substantial contributions to the defense were made by Levitt & Kaizer associate Emily Golub.
May 12: Download Richard Levitt's 2014 Second Circuit Outline here. Download his presentation on behalf of the New York Criminal Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society here.
April 30: Today, the Hon. Gregory Carro, J.S.C. New York County, granted the defendants' motion to dismiss a two-count indictment alleging gang assault based on a violation of New York's Speedy Trial rule. Read decision here. The defendants were represented by Levitt & Kaizer partner Richard Levitt, Edward Sapone and Lawrence Fisher.
April 25: As announced today by the New York Criminal Bar Association:
"May 12: The annual and always eagerly anticipated Second Circuit Year In Review with our very own Richard Ware Levitt! His extraordinary one man showcase of the decisions of the year is a feat not just for the knowledge he bestows but for his sheer brilliance as well in his presentation!Where? 500 Pearl Street, the Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 9C); When? May 12, from 5:30-8:00 p.m. Flyer to Follow"
April 24: For those considering our services, current clients include: investigation of securities fraud in penny stock promotions; investigation of fraud in WIC program; defense of rape charges; Court of Claims litigation involving exonerated former inmate; defense of charges in EDNY alleging unlicensed export of electronic components in violation the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA); defense of charges in the District of Delaware alleging unlicensed export of armaments in violation of the Arms Export Control Act (AECA); defense of charges in New Jersey District Court alleging Medicaid fraud; death penalty representation in the SDNY; defense of indictment alleging Social Security fraud; appellate representation from conviction for coin sale fraud; appellate representation from conviction for labor racketeering; several habeas corpus matters, several additional matters involving civil and criminal litigation.
March 28: Today, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals granted the motion of the Kings County District Attorney's Office to dismiss the appeal previously taken from the order of the Hon. Nicholas Garaufis (EDNY), releasing New York State inmate William Lopez after 22 years of incarceration for a murder he did not commit. In its motion Assistant District Attorney Leonard Joblove explained that his office concluded, following a "thorough examination of the facts of this case" that "there is a sufficient possibility that Lopez is not guilty ... as to render going forward ... contrary to the interest of justice." We are grateful to District Attorney Kenneth Thompson for his willingness in Mr. Lopez's case as well as in others, to fairly re-evaluate convictions that may have been wrongfully obtained or which, because of newly discovered evidence, should not stand.
November 6: Concluding that an attempted bribe of a juror during deliberations may have affected the juror's ability to freely deliberate, EDNY District Judge Denis Hurley today granted a new trial upon the two counts of conviction, in United States v. Morrison, and precluded, on double jeopardy grounds, retrial upon all acquitted counts. See Judge Hurley's opinion here
October 2: Finding that our client was denied effective assistance of counsel under the State constitution the Appellate Division, Second Department, today granted a new trial in People v. Canales. Read decision here. The appeal was co-authored Richard Levitt, Yvonne Shivers and David Cooper.
June 28: Richard Levitt's 1400-page outline of Second Circuit Criminal Law available as a download from North Law Publishers (www.northlawpublishers.com) for just $49.00.
June 27, 2013: Read Richard Levitt and Peter Schmidt's article,
What are the Odds of Complete Reversal After Convcition in the Second Circuit? here.
June 15: Levitt & Kaizer senior appellate counsel, Yvonne Shivers participates in a panel discussing appellate advocacy at St. Francis College.
May 22: Richard Levitt delivers a lecture to the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Division, Brooklyn titled "Wayward Warrants: Challenging Court Ordered Searches and Seizures." View PDF of his presentation here.
April 18: After our client's innocence proffer in a large Internet gambling case brought under New York's OCCA law (similar to RICO) and a further good faith investigation by the prosecutor and his detectives, the Queens District Attorney's Office announced in open court that it was withdrawing all charges against our client. Case dismissed. Record sealed.
April 15: Richard Levitt's 2013 Second Circuit Criminal Law Outline is available as a free download here.
April 11: Richard Levitt gave his annual Second Circuit Lecture in the Ceremonial Courtroom of the Southern District of New York Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street. Download Keynote slides here or view PowerPoint slides here (PP slides may not be identical to Keynote slides due to upload anomalies).
February 22: Hon. Robin S. Rosenbaum (S.D.Fla.) today granted the joint defense motion to change venue from the Southern District of Florida to the Eastern District of New York in U.S. v. Weaver et al., 12-cr-20756. The principal memorandum in support of the motion was filed by Levitt & Kaizer partner Nicholas Kaizer and a separate memorandum in support of the motion was filed by co-counsel James Spertus of Los Angeles, CA. See Judge Rosenbaum's opinion here.
January 24: North Law Publishers, Inc. publishes the new 2013 edition of Just The Rules, the ever-popular pocket-sized compendium of the complete: Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence, Admiralty and Maritime Rules and Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Also included are essential excerpts from the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and selected bail, immigration, and sentencing statutes. Buy it here.
January 16: Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis (EDNY) grants petition for a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of William Lopez, in a murder case the judge says was "rotten from day one." Richard Levitt and Yvonne Shivers represented Mr. Lopez. Read Judge Garaufis' 85-page opinion here. See article here.
View our recently filed motion to change venue in U.S. v. Weaver et al., 12-cr-20756 (S.D.Fla) here.
View recently filed petition for writ of certiorari in Morrison v. United States here, raising cert-worthy issues regarding proper application of double jeopardy rule enunciated in Yeager v. United States and constitutional vagueness of New York State Tax Law Section 471 as applied to cigarettes sales on Indian Reservations.
September 20: Read press account here of trial proceedings in U.S. v. Fazio after juror allegedly remarked, after Richard Levitt's summation, "that was really good" and was discharged from the jury.
April 17: Richard Levitt's Annual Second Circuit Criminal Law Lecture, sponsored by the New York Criminal Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society, 5:30 pm, 8th Floor Meeting Room at the Southern District Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York.
March 8: Judge Pisano (D.N.J.) today granted the defendants' Rule 29 motion to dismiss in U.S. v. Muhlstock, agreeing that the proof prejudicially varied from the indictment and that the government failed to prove that the charged wires were connected to the indicted scheme. We were pleased to have assisted Ed Sapone in the preparation of the Rule 29 papers. Ed brilliantly tried the case to a hung jury prior to the court's decision dismissing the indictment. See decision here.
Yvonne Shivers, senior appellate counsel, publishes habeas corpus article in Atticus Magazine, titled, "Use It Or Lose It." Read article here.
October 5: Habeas Granted: Today, the Hon. William M. Nickerson of the District of Maryland granted the habeas corpus petition filed by Levitt & Kaizer and Raymond Granger and Associates on behalf of their client Christopher Cartwright. Mr. Cartwright, a successful and respected businessman working in the aviation field, pleaded guilty to an honest services fraud conspiracy and received probation. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Skilling v. United States, 130 S.Ct. 2896 (2010), Levitt & Kaizer and Raymond Granger and Associates filed a habeas corpus petition, arguing that the conduct to which Mr. Cartwright pleaded guilty was no longer a crime. The government acknowledged that the habeas petition should be granted and the parties entered into an agreement to affectuate that result. See court’s order here.
September 5: Levitt & Kaizer is pleased to welcome Emily Golub to the firm. Ms. Golub is a recent graduate of NYU Law School, where she served as a Student Instructor in NYU’s Prisoners’ Rights and Education Project and worked as a Student Attorney at NYU's Federal Defender Clinic.
June 2: North Law Publishers, Inc., publishes, "The Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010," by Knox Dobbins and Jason Stone, the first book devoted solely to Title X of Dodd-Frank. Available as a fully searchable PDF download or in hard copy Download Power Point demonstration here