Richard A. Portale


“When you are accused of a crime, you want a seasoned warrior to defend you against what may seem like insurmountable odds, someone with a track record of success, who will hold the Government to their burden of proof. You need someone who is not afraid to grind it out- for as long as it takes to prevail.”

New York criminal defense attorney Richard A. Portale is known in and out of the courtroom for his passion, hard work, and commitment to justice.  Mr. Portale has consistently fought for decades to protect the rights of his clients with a track record that that is second to none. 

No matter the scope of the charges our clients are facing, Mr. Portale recognizes impact that results will have on the lives of his clients and their families.  He represents his clients with empathy, zeal and a refreshingly direct approach.

Professional & Bar Association Memberships
  • New York State Bar Association (Criminal Law Section)
  • Westchester County Bar Association
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Columbian Lawyers Association



  • Asset Seizure Forfeiture
  • ERISA defense
  • Fair Labor Standards Act defense
  • General counsel
  • Healthcare compliance
  • Qui Tam defense



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. 


  • United States Supreme Court 
  • United States Court of Appeals, D.C. – Second Circuit 
  • United States Court of Appeals – DC Circuit 
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York 
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of New York 
  • United States District Court – District of Columbia 
  • New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division Second Department 
  • New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division Fourth Department 
  • Numerous pro hac vice appearances from coast to coast.


  • Super Lawyers – for 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022
  • Hudson Valley’s Top Lawyers – for 2021, 2022
  • Americas Top 100 Attorneys – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • American Institute of Trial Lawyers, Litigator of the Year, Criminal Law – 2019
  • Westchester’s Top Attorneys, Westchester Magazine (Selected by peer recognition and professional achievement) – 2018, 2019
  •  American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys – 10 Best in Customer Satisfaction – 2022, 2023
  • The National Trial Lawyers,Top 100 Trial Lawyers – 2015, 2016 and 2018
  • National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, Nationally Ranked – Top 10 Attorney Award – 2018
  •  Lawyers of Distinction, Excellence in Criminal Defense Law – 2018
  •  Lawyers of Distinction – Criminal Defense, Top 10% in the USA –2017
  • American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys, Client Satisfaction Award – 10 Best – 2015 and 2016
  •  Top 100 DWI Attorneys – New York City – Recognized by the National Advocacy for DUI Defense – 2014 and 2015

Attorney Richard Portale in the News