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.
Some recent client comments:
"Richard represented me in a sexual harassment and sexual abuse case. He is very intelligent and knowledgeable about the law and has a vast amount of experience which definitely attributed to my innocence. My case unfortunately lasted a year, and in the end, went to trial. During trial, Richard was very comforting and clear on what was happening every step of the way. I felt relaxed as I knew he was working and doing his utmost to prove my innocence. His knowledge of the law was truly displayed during trial and after about 5 days on trial, he was able to get me the verdict of not guilty. I can't thank Richard enough for all he and his team did to work on my case throughout the whole year. I am forever grateful and will definitely recommend him to anyone in need."
A Wonderful Lawyer
Where do I begin......My husband was in need of a good attorney. We were referred to Levitt & Kaizer. The first time I met Nick I was sure he was the one for us. This is my husband's first offense on a very serious matter. Nick showed compassion, understanding, patience and kindness during this terrible ordeal. He didn't judge. He worked with me and my husband with the best attitude. He was very straight, but kind, and gave us the best advice. He worked with us step by step. He kept in contact with us always. If I would call, he immediately called back. He made this terrible time in our lives much easier than I ever would have imagined. He did everything I could think of defending my husband. Every time the prosecutors said something derogatory against my husband, he stood up and shut them down. He remembered everything we said and my husband got the best outcome, considering his offense. By far, I was so impressed with his work ethics. An outstanding job! I would recommend him to anyone. As strange as it sounds, he made it a good experience and he never abandons you. How special is that! He is on the top of my list of people and I will never forget him for being so kind.
Richard represented me in a sexual harassment lawsuit against a former employer. In what was a very traumatic and emotional situation, Richard was compassionate, diligent, and fought for me every step of the way. From numerous depositions to a lengthy hearing, he was simply phenomenal and I could rest assure that I was always in the most capable hands. Richard's commitment to my case was unwavering and in the end he was able to provide me with the justice he knew I deserved. I simply can't express the gratitude I have for Richard and his amazing team, I could not have asked for better representation.
May 5: Levitt & Kaizer partner Richard Levitt delivered his annual Second Circuit Criminal Law lecture yesterday -- with an outstanding cameo by outgoing NYCBA President Ed Sapone -- in the Ceremonial Court Room of the Southern District of New York Courthouse. The event was co-sponsored by the New York Criminal Bar Association and The Legal Aid Society. Richard's 2017 supplement to his Second Circuit Criminal Law Source Book and his lecture presentation can be accessed here. Our best wishes to incoming NYCBA President Elizabeth Macedonio.
April 20: Today, our client was acquitted at trial in criminal court, Kings County, of all charges stemming from an allegation that he molested his juvenile niece. The victory was of particular importance because a conviction would likely have resulted in the removal of our client -- a professional who has lived here most of his life -- from the U.S. The case was tried by Levitt & Kaizer partner Richard Levitt with the assistance of law clerk Lara Wengenmayr.
March 31: Today, after nearly two years' work, the Department of the Treasury granted our request that it remove the names of our two clients and several related companies from its list of Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons, and so they are "no longer designated as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to Executive Order 12978 of October 21, 1995, 'Blocking Assets and Prohibiting Transactions with Significant Narcotics Traffickers.'" Major work on this matter was performed by Emily Golub.
March 3: Today, an American Arbitration Association arbitrator found for our client in a sexual harassment case against a major fashion company and the president of a related entity, awarding substantial damages and attorneys' fees. The defendant -- 50 years old -- had harassed our client -- a young, female executive -- over a period of about nine months. Her three complaints went unanswered. Finally, he approached her at her desk and said he wanted to "f*ck" her. When she said loudly that his conduct was inappropriate he replied, "No, what I will do to you will be inappropriate." The arbitrator found that our client's and her witnesses' "accounts were credible" and her "demeanor as a witness was exceptional," while finding, as to defendant, that she "did not find his general denials to be credible or compelling." Nearly a month later, as of April 1, 2017, defendants have not paid the arbitrator's award, even though they had themselves compelled arbitration through a compulsory arbitration clause of our client's employment contract. We'll provide updates. Our excellent cocounsel is John Beranbaum of Beranbaum Menken LLP.
Some of the client feedback we have received:
My family and I truly appreciate everything Richard Levitt and Nicholas Kaizer have done for me. I was charged with serious federal fraud charges and things would have been much different if I didn’t find their law firm. There are no words to thank both of them for their hard work, dedication and such caring and compassionate support when I needed it the most and there is no doubt in my mind that they are the best attorneys out there. I could not have gone through this process without them and if I did, the result would be far different. I value and respect their support, honesty, hard work, and all around excellent legal representation. They are both truly outstanding professional attorneys.
I retained Mr. Kaizer based on the suggestion of another attorney. "Nick" represented me in a matter involving the federal government. From the first meeting with Nick, I felt at ease. He’s patient, empathetic and honest. He took the time to understand a very complex set of circumstances spanning multiple parties. Importantly, Nick is very well-respected in the legal community (which was absolutely key to achieving such a favorable outcome). He sees the ‘big picture’. Throughout the process, he was proactive and responsive to any questions that I had. In the end, he achieved an outstanding result for me – significantly better than either of us had thought possible. On a more personal note, he's a true gentleman. I feel fortunate that Nick was on my side and would recommend him without hesitation.
Attorney Levitt is not only a great legal mind, he is also one of the most compassionate people I have ever met. Attorney Levitt and his staff have continually gone above and beyond to be of service to my family during an extremely trying time. His commitment to his clients goes unmatched. I highly recommend Attorney Levitt and his staff!
On behalf of a client, I had one hour to find a criminal lawyer, never having even spoken to one before... I found Nicholas Kaizer. I decided to entrust him and Mr. Levitt with a bizarre and very challenging case, and thus my sanity with it. My trust could not have been better placed. Both Mr. Kaizer and Mr. Levitt understood the complexity from the beginning and worked most diligently through this labyrinth of a case and supported the bewildered accused – and thus also me – in a most compassionate and professional manner. I will sing both Mr. Kaizer’s and Mr. Levitt’s praises forever and ever. Hallelujah!
I had the good fortune to work with Richard's firm as co-counsel in several tax matters, where they provided me with superb guidance and support on criminal tax issues. I also lectured with him on criminal tax matters. It was very clear to me that not only did he have excellent practical experience, but a deep conceptual undertanding of all of the very sophisticated issues confronting counsel engaged in white collar criminal defense. I recommend him most highly.
Richard Levitt was recommended to me several years post-conviction when the government sought to enforce an order of restitution. I retained the firm and they obtained a phenomenal result with my only having to pay a modest monthly restitution. I’ve since retained them again and unreservedly endorse them as expert criminal defense attorneys who are smart, caring, affordable and can handle all the complexities and numerous collateral consequences of a federal criminal prosecution.
Mr. Kaizer has been my attorney for over twenty years. In three criminal cases that Mr. Kaizer represented me in he obtained outstanding and favorable results. I attribute these results to Mr. Kaizer's intelligence, courtroom acumen, and a little bit of "street smarts'. He always treated my family with kindness and consideration during our trying times. He is a true gentleman and professional.
Mr. Levitt has a sharp legal mind and will look after your best interests. He provides wise legal advise and excellent legal representation. Mr. Levitt and his staff go beyond just professional legal services, they care about the well-being of their clients. Mr. Levitt and his staff were always very professional and respectful when working with me. I highly recommend Richard Levitt and his staff to handle your legal representation.
RIchard was a consummate professional throughout our experience with him. He provided excellent advice and counsel throughout the trial as well as the appeal. I would highly recommend him.
Just published! Richard Levitt's 1500-page Second Circuit Criminal Law Sourcebook is now available in hard copy and electronic formats. Electronic version is in PDF format and is fully searchable. All case summaries are linked to full text decisions via Google Scholar. Call 646-368-6328 for further information and to order.
Our current cases include, among others: political corruption investigation; pension fraud investigation; defense of federal murder prosecution; defense of federal union corruption prosecution; defense of federal medicare prosecution; defense of multiple federal drug prosecutions; defense of state securities fraud prosecution; defense of state sexual abuse prosecution; representation of attorneys in various investigations/prosecutions; defense of forfeiture proceedings; defense of prison official in civil litigation; defense in investigation of client by Forfeiture Litigation Unit; several habeas corpus matters; defense of § 1983 action against supervisor of group home; various appellate matters
PRESS RELEASE, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 29, 2016
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LEVITT & KAIZER
CASE AGAINST WORLD RENOWNED VIOLINIST STEFAN ARZBERGER CONCLUDED WITH DISMISSAL OF ALL FELONY CHARGES, 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 with the dismissal of all felony charges and the entry of 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 the Court granted Mr. Arzberger a certificate of relief from civil disabilities.
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.”
You can read reviews of Richard Levitt by former clients here. You can read reviews of Nicholas Kaizer by former clients here. Richard Levitt participated as a lecturer 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 Source Book, with cited cases hyperlinked to the full text decisions courtesy of Google Scholar, can be accessed here. Richard's slides can be viewed 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