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Austin V. Campriello is a partner at New York's Bryan Cave. He served as a prosecutor for eight years before establishing himself as criminal defense attorney. A Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, Mr. Campriello has argued appeals and tried cases in federal and New York state courts where the charges have included murder, counterfeiting, larceny, bribery, extortion, perjury, tax evasion, mail and wire fraud, securities fraud, and racketeering. He has successfully represented clients in numerous investigations including inquiries into allegations of criminal antitrust, conflict of interest charges, environmental crimes, minority business fraud, and election and health care fraud. Mr. Campriello has also conducted investigations into many areas of fraud and municipal corruption.
He was an adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School and he has written on many aspects of criminal litigation. Mr. Campriello is a former president of the New York Criminal Bar Association and he served as chair of the Criminal Court Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.
In addition to defending attorneys, public officials, business executives, and figures in the art world, Mr. Campriello has represented entertainment companies, airlines, hotels, media companies, construction companies, real estate developers, accounting firms, financial institutions, hospitals, and other health care providers.
Over the years, he has been awarded with several distinctions. Mr. Campriello was selected for inclusion in the New York Super Lawyers Metro Edition from 2006 to 2013. He has also been chosen as The Best Lawyers in America, the oldest lawyer-rating publication in the United States from 2005 to 2014.
Mr. Campriello has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, as well as many other media outlets. He is admitted to the Bar of the State of New York, the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Campriello was born and raised in Schenectady, NY. He received his B.A. cum laude from Princeton University where he was in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs, and he earned his J.D. from Columbia University, where he was a Kent Scholar.
When the fearless attorney isn't working, he enjoys the New York Jets, Yankees, reading, and watching movies. Mr. Campriello is a frequent visitor at Thornwood's Risotto restaurant. He is currently reading Philipp Meyer's The Son.
Mr. Campriello's Memories and Motivations
Does Mr. Campriello have a most memorable law school experience? "I recall working on a brief to the Second Circuit in a criminal case with Professor H. Richard Uviller one summer."
Why did he decide to become an attorney? "I enjoyed watching Perry Mason on TV when I was a kid. It was a motivating factor. I thought being a criminal attorney would be fun and something good to do."
What is the best part of Mr. Campriello's job? "I enjoy helping people in need and trying cases."
What is he known for professionally? "You would have to ask others about that."
What does Mr. Campriello think about criminal defense law today? "Although our civil rights are better protected today than ever before, our civil liberties (e.g., right to a fair trial, right to remain silent, protection again unreasonable searches, etc.) are not. America got terrified of street crime in the 70s and 80s and of corporate crime thereafter, and as a result the criminal justice system took a sharp turn to the right."
He has tried cases and argued appeals in federal and New York state courts. Are there any cases that stand out? "Defending L. Dennis Kozlowski (former CEO of Tyco) in two lengthy trials in state court; defending Ahmed Ajaj in the first World Trade Center Bombing case." Mr. Campriello continued to say that both cases stood out because of their complexity and because they received international coverage.
Mr. Campriello has conducted investigations into many areas of fraud and municipal corruption, and has successfully represented clients in various investigations. What has been one of the most important lessons he has learned as an attorney after all these years? "Prosecutors know that corporate America often is compelled to fold rather than to fight, so prosecutors push the envelope and bring tenuous cases." As a former prosecutor, Mr. Campriello elaborated by saying that prosecutors today are more likely to bring cases that never would have been brought when he was a prosecutor because they would have been dismissed or reversed.
What are his strengths as an attorney? "I like to think that I am a pretty good criminal trial lawyer."
What area of the law is Mr. Campriello most passionate about? "Criminal law and procedure."
If he were not a lawyer, what would he most probably be doing? "Good question. I can't think of anything else. This is what I was meant to be."
Where does Mr. Campriello see himself in five years' time? "Another good question. That's too far out to predict."
What motivates him to be an attorney every day? "The challenge."
Writing Engagements, Being an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham Law School and Representing Dewey & LeBoeuf's Stephen DiCarmine
Mr. Campriello has written on many aspects of criminal litigation. Will he continue his writing engagement? "I don't have time anymore."
He was an adjunct professor of law at Fordham Law School. What motivated Mr. Campriello to teach? "I thought that it would be fun." Although he noted that he didn't enjoy reading his student's papers because they covered the same concepts, he loved the classroom. Mr. Campriello added, "Teaching kept me on my toes."
Before going bankrupt in May 2012, Dewey & LeBoeuf had as many as 1,400 attorneys. Its collapse is the largest of a U.S. law firm, costing thousands of jobs as well as millions of dollars of estimated losses for investors, lenders, and banks. Mr. Campriello is currently representing Stephen DiCarmine, who worked at Dewey & LeBoeuf. What charges does Mr. DiCarmine face? "Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Scheme to Defraud, Martin Act Scheme, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and Conspiracy."
He told the press that Mr. DiCarmine's charges reflect a bid by prosecutors to find a "scapegoat" for the law firm's collapse. Does Mr. Campriello feel confident that his client will be exonerated of his charges? "Yes."
Pro Bono Work, Non-Profit Organizations, and How Mr. Campriello Wants to Be Remembered
Does Mr. Campriello handle pro bono work? "I was on the SDNY CJA panel for more than 20 years, which is quasi pro bono, but now I rarely do any pro bono cases."
Is he involved with any non-profit organizations? "I am the Chair of my local Zoning Board of Appeals."
How does the New Yorker want to be remembered? "Professionally: A good criminal lawyer who always tried his best. Personally: A decent human being."
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