I have an enormous responsibility because many of my clients become entangled in extremely high-stakes situations through which I need to guide them. Their lives as they know them are threatened; some could potentially wind up in prison for a very long time. I gain great satisfaction helping them avoid that fate. I believe I’m very good at getting to the heart of a case, synthesizing the facts down to what's important, and staying realistic at all times about what is and isn't possible. In addition, I’m told my skills as a cross-examiner rank among the best of any of my contemporaries.
Highly regarded for his trial skills and courtroom victories and the recipient of numerous awards by prominent ranking agencies, defense attorney Michael Shapiro takes on some of the most high-profile cases in the country. Michael currently divides his practice among white-collar criminal defense, internal corporate investigations, and complex civil litigation.
Over the course of his storied career, Michael has handled virtually every kind of criminal case imaginable, from antitrust to zoning fraud, and has put his sharp intellect and legal talents to use in defense of many noted public figures including Bernhard Goetz, John Gotti, and Vincent Gigante. He also defends individuals and businesses in a variety of matters across the country and around the world.
When the legal life of a person or business is at stake, Michael tackles the matter with his unparalleled abilities, creativity, and knowledge. To best serve clients and win cases, he emphasizes scrupulous attention to detail, incessant preparation, thorough cross-examination, and taking full advantage of resources of a law firm that is second to none.
Michael views criminal defense lawyers as the oncologists of the legal profession because they set out to help people who find themselves in the most critical situations. He sees it as his job to help mitigate clients’ primary legal issues so they become something more manageable and less onerous, which also helps alleviate the tangential pressures his clients face regarding their concerns about family and finances.
At the start of his career, Michael worked for the government in various positions on the prosecution side of the aisle. He credits these valuable experiences with greatly enhancing his ability to defend clients because he gained deep insight into how prosecutors think and operate. Michael firmly believes that very few people deserve the drastic punishment of years or life in prison—particularly those who are accused of, at essence, stealing money.
Media outlets turn to Michael for his insight on various legal matters. He served as a legal analyst on the television news program “In Depth with Chris Matthews” in 1994-95, which included his commentary in the lead-up to and during the O.J. Simpson trial. Frequently recognized by his peers for his stellar advocacy, Michael is perennially ranked as a Super Lawyer by Thompson-Reuters and belongs to the exclusive, by-invitation-only New York Council of Defense Lawyers.