At the Law Offices of Steven L. Kessler, we take pride in the fact that attorneys and clients facing asset forfeiture problems and abuses across the U.S. routinely turn to us for help. For more than three decades, we have handled all types of forfeiture matters, including criminal forfeiture proceedings as part of the criminal trial, civil forfeiture litigation as a separate lawsuit filed by the government against the “guilty” property, and administrative forfeiture actions commenced by one of the many governmental agencies. Our experience and proficiency also encompass forfeiture proceedings on the state and local levels, where hundreds of forfeiture laws remain on the books. And we never shy away from litigating complex issues of first impression.
Steven Kessler has handled cases for clients throughout the United States, in Europe, and in the Middle East. Our representation takes us from trial and appellate courts in New York and other states to the Federal district and circuit courts nationwide, and even up to the United States Supreme Court. We are honored to have assisted national organizations who have filed Amicus briefs on forfeiture-related issues.
Recognized nationwide for excellence in national white-collar defense and in the field of forfeiture, our top-rated firm helps you fight the Draconian seizure practices of the government. We passionately and tirelessly work to protect your assets and recover what is rightfully yours.
Steven L. Kessler’s unique background combines the knowledge of a prosecutor approach to forfeiture cases with a detailed understanding of the laws and procedures that apply in the forfeiture world. This enables Mr. Kessler and our firm to provide our clients with the finest representation possible.
As a recognized and respected authority in the field of asset forfeiture due to his definitive treatises on the subject, Steven L. Kessler has appeared and testified before numerous legislative bodies on forfeiture issues and has assisted with drafting and revising state forfeiture laws. His two forfeiture treatises and other written works are cited as authority by federal and state judges in their decisions.
- Joint Rules Committee for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Forfeiture Abuse Task Force
- New York Council of Defense Lawyers
- New York State Bar Association
- Federal Bar Council
- Adjunct Professor of Law, New York Law School
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 publication. 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 a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Small Claims Arbitrators. He is a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation.
Mr. Kessler has represented clients across the nation and the District Courts in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and West Virginia.
Before 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. This experience as a former state prosecutor in asset forfeiture has provided our firm with invaluable insight into fighting for the best interests of our clients.