Mr. Portale started his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney for the Honorable Jeanine Pirro at the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office. During his tenure, he rose through the ranks from the Appeals Bureau to Investigations, where he prosecuted Narcotics, Firearms, and Gangs, top to bottom – winning every appeal and every trial but one.
Following his tenure as a prosecutor, Mr. Portale transferred the investigative and trial skills he had refined into criminal defense work, spending the next twenty years building a reputation for being aggressive, creative, and calculated in the courtroom, and earning his place among the top criminal defense lawyers in the country.
In 2017, he and his partner James A. Randazzo founded the firm Portale Randazzo LLP, which concentrates on both criminal and civil defense. Mr. Portale’s body of work has spanned decades. From criminal defense such as white collar, homicide, drug crimes, and sex crimes, to civil litigation and defense ranging from Asset forfeiture, FLSA, ERISA, Qui Tam to general civil litigation, he has successfully defended clients from coast to coast.
Mr. Portale has been interviewed and/or has contributed as a guest commentator/expert in many television, news periodical and digital platforms pieces such as, Fox News; Justice with Jeanine Pirro, Netflix, CNN, Dateline NBC, ABC News – 20/20, CBS News – 48 Hours, Good Morning America, ABC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The New York Post, Washington Post, USA Today and People Magazine. Feel free to read about the many successful results, client testimonials and watch a clip or two from one of his TV appearances or documentary features.
Over the last decade, Mr. Portale has expanded his bandwidth to include practicing as general counsel for an array of New York and New Jersey Medical practices, surgery centers and labs, he also handles asset forfeiture/government seizure, civil and commercial litigation.
Education & Personal Life
Mr. Portale attended the University of Buffalo as an undergraduate and soon after earned his Juris Doctorate from the John Marshall School of Law. He is originally from Buffalo, NY.
When not fighting for justice in the courtroom, Mr. Portale enjoys hiking, snowboarding, rugby, and spending time with his fiancé Brooke and their two sons Hudson & Sebastian.
High Profile Cases
Mr. Portale has been involved in numerous high-profile cases.
- In a defense case that garnered international media coverage, the People of the State of New York v. Angelika Graswald, Mr. Portale and his team masterfully crafted a defense after police claimed his Latvian immigrant client admitted she had murdered her fiancé in a kayak on the Hudson River in April, 2015. Undeterred by the murder charge and the evidence against his client, who faced a possible sentence of 25 years to life, Mr. Portale and his team worked tirelessly for over two years and were eventually able to overcome both Murder and Manslaughter, leveraging a plea to Criminal Negligence that allowed Ms. Graswald to be released before Christmas, 2017. Shortly after her release, Mr. Portale and co-counsel Anthony Piscionere took the fight to the Duchess County Probate Court, where they reached a confidential settlement surrounding the Life insurance proceeds of the deceased.
- Mr. Portale was co-counsel for Bill Clinton’s neighbor, Carlos Perez-Olivo (a criminal defense lawyer himself) who was charged with Second Degree Murder in 2008. At the trial, Mr. Portale was responsible for all the forensic evidence, in which he provided scientific proof that Mr. Olivo could not have been the one to shoot his wife.
- In 2009, Mr. Portale was a member of the defense team of former NFL linebacker Eric Naposki, who was arrested and charged with first degree murder in Newport Beach, California.
- In 2010, Mr. Portale was lead counsel for Westchester Police Officer James Pileggi on charges of Reckless Manslaughter for shooting and killing a friend in his car at point blank range – with his own off duty firearm. That trial resulted in a hung jury.
- Immediately following the Pileggi trial and without a day’s rest, Mr. Portale defended Terry Carver, a longshoreman accused of breaking a screen, climbing in the window of his girlfriend’s apartment and stabbing her lover nine times in the chest and torso. Mr. Carver was acquitted in six hours.