FacultyFaculty/Author Profile
Roland Riopelle

Roland Riopelle

Sercarz & Riopelle

New York, NY, USA


Mr. Riopelle is a partner in the firm of Sercarz & Riopelle, LLP, where he litigates primarily criminal cases and the occasional complex civil case.  He is a graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law.  After law school, Mr. Riopelle clerked for a Federal District Judge and later served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 1992 to 1998.  He is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, and has been elected one of the Best Lawyers in America and a New York Superlawyer for each of the past six years.  He is the vice-president of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, and he is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  He is an active member of the New York State Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he has chaired the Criminal Advocacy Committee, served on the Criminal Courts and Judiciary Committees, and chaired or participated in various Continuing Legal Education programs, primarily related to evidentiary rules and criminal law.  Mr. Riopelle is also a member of the Disciplinary Committee for the First Judicial Department in New York State, where he chairs a panel that hears professional disciplinary matters relating to attorneys admitted to practice in the First Judicial Department of New York State.

Mr. Riopelle routinely tries criminal cases.  Some of his best known criminal trials have been:

  1. United States v. Millan, et al.  In this case, Mr. Riopelle was one of two prosecutors of a narcotics organization that dealt more than $300 million in heroin in a four year period.
  2. United States v. Volpe.   In this case, Mr. Riopelle and his partner defended a floor broker on the New York Stock Exchange against criminal charges of front running, and obtained an acquittal for the defendant.
  3. United States v. Malin.  In this case, Mr. Riopelle defended the leader of the “Squawk Box Seven” in two multi-defendant trials, obtaining an acquittal of his client on 39 of 40 counts in the first trial, and obtaining a complete dismissal of the charges against his client after a successful appeal of the jury’s guilty verdict in the second trial.
  4. United States v. Hatfield.  In this case, Mr. Riopelle and his partner tried the longest criminal trial in the history of the Eastern District of New York in a complex accounting fraud and insider trading case, obtaining a split verdict for their client.
  5. United States  v.Bongiorno.  In this case, Mr. Riopelle represented Bernard Madoff’s administrative assistant/secretary in a six month trial of complex charges relating to the Madoff Ponzi scheme.  Although his client was convicted of all charges against her in this notorious case, Mr. Riopelle obtained a sentence of only 6 years for his client, although the sentencing guidelines called for a life sentence, and the prosecution argued for a sentence of more than 20 years.
  6. SEC v. Obus.  In this case, Mr. Riopelle represented the alleged tipper in an insider trading conspiracy, and obtained a defense verdict for his client.
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