Peer Review

As Seen In Forbes, January 18, 2010

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When prosecutors see Maurice Sercarz or Roland Riopelle enter a room with a client, certain traits are likely to leap to their minds: bold, competent, tough. And, most of all, they know these guys aren’t afraid to go the distance. “What sets us apart from the pack is the depth and breadth of our trial experience in large complex cases,” says Riopelle. “We frequently go to trial, and we’ve tried everything from homicide cases to the most complicated securities fraud issues.”

The two veteran lawyers formed Sercarz & Riopelle, LLP in 2003. It is one of those perfect legal mar- riages, with the two partners com- ing from opposite sides of the aisle and bringing 50 years of litigation experience between them. Sercarz, who started in the Criminal Defense Division of the Legal Aid Society, went on to handle white-collar fraud and governmental corruption cases. He has tried over 100 major felony cases. Riopelle is a former prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York who, since leaving the office, has achieved great success in the representation of white-collar defendants.

“The impetus for forming the partnership was our desire to com- bine our skills in order to provide high quality trial representation in complex cases for individuals with a great deal at stake,” says Sercarz. “What’s unique about this firm is the melding of Roland’s expertise in white-collar representation with my experience in trial work.”

The partners have represented individuals in virtually all areas of white-collar criminal litigation including insider trading, securities fraud, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, and public corruption cases.

Riopelle and Sercarz are no strangers to high-profile cases. For example, they recently secured the acquittal of Richard Volpe in one of the highly publicized NYSE specialist cases. After a two-week trial, Sercarz won the acquittal of Brian Bartlett, a decorated detective with the NYPD who had been accused of accepting bribes along with other officers of the 23rd Precinct. The firm is currently representing one of the targets in the ongo- ing Bernard Madoff fraud investigation.

Those are just a few of the reasons why prosecutors know what they are in for when the firm takes on a case. Such a reputa- tion can make for a more favorable resolution. As Riopelle puts it: “Prosecutors know which attorneys are not afraid to try a case. That can be a huge benefit for a client.”

What Their Peers Say About Roland Riopelle and Maurice Sercarz:

“They are clearly recognized as one of the outstand- ing small litigation firms in these areas. Rollie combines a keen intellect with a passion for his work. I met him as a young lawyer when he worked at our firm, and now watch with pride — following his service as an assistant United States Attorney — as he works with Maurice Sercarz to build a firm on the same model we have created, namely, a combination of defending white-collar criminal cases and handling complex civil litigation.”

— Charles Stillman, founding partner, Stillman, Friedman & Shechtman

“I came to know the two in federal criminal matters that I prosecuted when they represented charged defendants or targets. One case went to trial and resulted in an acquittal on all charges. That case reflected that they are tremendously skilled and savvy trial lawyers whose styles complement each other extremely well. Together, they bring to the table a vast array of federal and state criminal experience, which allows them to navigate any sort of criminal case.”

— Anthony Barkow, former federal prosecutor

“They are two of the finest attorneys I know. Maurice is highly regarded as a master of trying cases. He’s been on the defense side all his life, and you have a perfect balance with Roland as a former federal prosecutor.”

— Gerald Shargel, defense attorney

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