Meet Asset Forfeiture Attorney, Steven L. Kessler

Asset forfeiture attorney and authority Steven L. Kessler maintains a national AV-rated white collar practice in New York.  He litigates cases of first impression and has been involved with many asset forfeiture cases of national significance.  Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Kessler was head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the Bronx District Attorney’s Office in New York, where he supervised and litigated all phases of forfeiture and related matters.  In that capacity, he served as a member of the Forfeiture Law Advisory Group of the New York State District Attorney’s Association.

Asset Forfeiture Authority

Steven L. Kessler is a nationally recognized authority in the field of forfeiture law, representing clients in forfeiture and white collar criminal cases in state and federal district and appellate courts nationwide.  He is a member of the Joint Rules Committee for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York with regard to the forfeiture-related local rules.  Mr. Kessler is the author of Civil and Criminal Forfeiture: Federal and State Practice (West Group 1993 & Supp. 2017), a three-volume treatise analyzing the forfeiture and RICO statutes of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and the major federal forfeiture provisions.  He received the Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award from New York Law School in June 2000 for his highly acclaimed one volume handbook, New York Criminal and Civil Forfeiture (LexisNexis 2017).

A contributor to the New York Law Journal and other publications on issues relating to forfeiture and criminal law, Mr. Kessler is the author and Revisions Editor of portions of the Civil Practice Manual (LexisNexis) and ten chapters of the renowned 15-volume treatise, Weinstein, Korn & Miller’s New York Civil Practice. He is widely quoted and cited in court opinions and media of legal and general circulation nationwide, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Business Week, The Christian Science Monitor, The Houston Chronicle, The Kansas City Star and the ABA Journal, among others. Mr. Kessler was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers and New York’s Top Rated Lawyers every year since 2012, and his biography appears in Who’s Who in American Law and similar publications.  A frequent lecturer at CLE programs, Mr. Kessler is in his twenty-fourth year as an Adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School.

Professional And Community Involement

Mr. Kessler has lectured at the National Conference of State Legislatures and the Southern Conference of the Council of State Governments, and has testified before the New York State Assembly Codes Committee, the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on the Judiciary and the New York City Council.  He is a member of the Forfeiture Abuse Task Force of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and served as Co-Chair of the Forfeiture Law subcommittee of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  He is also a past Treasurer of the NYSACDL and a member of its Board of Directors.

In addition, Mr. Kessler served from 1999-2001 as Chair of the 4,000 member General Practice Section of the New York State Bar Association.  Between 1989 and 2001, he was the editor of One on One, the General Practice Section’s highly acclaimed newsletter, and edited the Section’s monthly Fax Update.  He served for eight years as a member of the NYSBA’s House of Delegates and was Chair of the Association’s Special Committee on AIDS and the Law from 1992 to 1996, a multi-professional committee responsible for the passage of groundbreaking legislation in Albany.  Mr. Kessler served as a member of the Civil Courts Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and served for three years as a member of the Board of Directors of the Bronx County Bar Association.  As an Arbitrator in the Small Claims Part of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Mr. Kessler served as member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Small Claims Arbitrators.  He is a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation.

Steven L. Kessler’s Background

A graduate of the Cornell Law School, Mr. Kessler is a member of the New York and Connecticut Bars and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.  He has appeared before the United States Courts of Appeals for the First, Second and Seventh Circuits and the District Courts in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia.

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