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An adept lawyer with a reputation for excellence, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. embarked on a career in criminal law upon completion of a judicial clerkship. He is a former member of the elite Enhanced Narcotics Defense Unit within the Legal Aid Society in Manhattan where he represented clients charged with major narcotics crimes and homicides. He is a former Deputy Federal Public Defender in Los Angeles and the Virgin Islands and represented clients charged with an array of federal crimes. As an attorney in private practice he has extensive experience and success representing his clients in numerous federal courts. The variety of cases in which he has appeared as counsel include complex white-collar criminal cases, racketeering offenses, conspiracies, mail frauds, bank frauds, wire frauds, tax evasions, homicides, drug offenses, as well as complex civil cases. He has obtained acquittals for his clients in most of the cases he has tried during his career as a criminal defense attorney and has achieved success in the vast majority of his clients’ complex civil litigation cases. He combines knowledge, preparation, diligence, and skill to ensure the best possible result for each client.



On the basis of peer recognition and professional achievement, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. has been selected by Super Lawyers in multiple consecutive years as one of the top 5% of attorneys practicing white-collar criminal defense in the New York Metro Area and he has lectured on federal criminal law issues. He is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and is admitted to practice law in New York, California, Pennsylvania, the Virgin Islands, many federal courts, as well as before the Supreme Court of the United States Bar.



He received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from American University in Washington, DC and a law degree from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia.

in the media

New York Daily News story reported that the Colombo acting boss pled guilty, the underboss was convicted after trial, and the client of DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. charged with racketeering, extortion, and related crimes was acquitted of all charges in Brooklyn federal court before U.S. District Judge Reena Raggi.
CBS News article reported arguments DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. made during a court hearing for his client, the “daughter of slain civil rights leader Malcolm X.”
New York Post quoted DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. in news article after the U.S. Department of Justice announced its decision not to seek the death penalty against his client.

New York Post news story reported the dismissal of charges against a respected Midtown plastic surgeon the Manhattan District Attorney accused of sexual abuse of a patient. The doctor “was only cleared after intensive detective work by [his] defense lawyer,” DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ., who persuaded the prosecutor to dismiss all charges.

Daily Times Herald columnist covering racketeering and murder trial in Brooklyn federal court described DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. as “by far the most effective attorney on the case when it came to keeping the jury engaged.”
Village Voice news story reported the statement of DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. in response to a question about whether the insanity defense will be raised during the trial of his client charged with fraud, racketeering, and extortion in Brooklyn federal court.

New York Post news article quoted DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. in reference to the revocation of bail for his client charged with mail fraud as part of a labor racketeering indictment pending in Brooklyn federal court.

Gang Land news article reported statement of DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. in connection with his expected trial strategy and the strength of the government’s case filed in Brooklyn federal court against his client.
New York Post news story quoted DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. following his client’s arraignment and not guilty plea in New York State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

Gang Land news article quoted DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. in connection with his representation of a client charged with capital murder in Brooklyn federal court.

New York Daily News article entitled, “Mob Snitch Slammed as Liar at Trial,” reported that DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. during the racketeering and murder trial of his client caused “[t]he still-feisty former Luchese crime family acting boss, [Alfonse D’Arco to lose] his cool at several points during cross- examination in Brooklyn federal court.”
Virgin Islands Daily News article reported the successful arguments DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. made at his client’s detention hearing in U.S. District Court. The United States Attorney charged his client in a complex drug and money laundering conspiracy involving two million dollars of alleged drug- trafficking proceeds that the FBI claimed was traced to a Colombian drug cartel.

In the Courtroom

United States v. Anonymous, No. 01-56; Honorable Reena Raggi, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorneys: John Kroger, Amy Walsh, Noah Perlman, and Daniel Dorsky. The indictment charged a total of sixteen defendants with Racketeering, Racketeering Conspiracy, Mail Fraud, and Hobbs Act Extortion. It alleged that they were part of a criminal enterprise known as the Colombo Organized Crime Family. The client rejected the prosecutors’ offer to plead guilty pursuant to a plea agreement that called for a 24-30 month sentence calculated under the U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines. He proceeded to trial facing a possible 20-year sentence before an anonymous jury empanelled by the Court over defense objection. Despite the testimony of several cooperating witnesses, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. secured the only acquittal in the case for his client.

United States v. Anonymous, No. 00-13; Honorable Raymond L. Finch, U.S. District Court, Division of Saint Croix; Assistant U.S. Attorney: Tracey Christopher. The defendant was charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The latter offense carried a mandatory consecutive five-year sentence. According to the agents, he confessed to growing the marijuana in his backyard and owning the firearm seized inside his home. After replacing the defendant’s former attorney on the eve of trial, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. filed a belated motion to suppress the confession, which the Court granted after an evidentiary hearing. The case proceeded to trial, which ended with a judgment of acquittal on the firearm count. The Court later dismissed the remaining counts in the indictment with prejudice. Consequently, the client avoided mandatory incarceration and deportation from the United States.

United States v. Anonymous, No. 98-96; Honorable Arthur D. Spatt, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; Department of Justice Tax Division Trial Attorneys: Barry Jonas and David Bloch. What began as a joint investigation by the U.S. Department of Defense and Internal Revenue Service into fraudulent billing by Royce Aerospace, a subcontractor of the Department of Defense, resulted with an indictment that charged the defendant and several other men with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and Conspiracy to Obstruct the Internal Revenue Service. Although four of the conspirators cooperated with the government and testified at trial, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. secured an acquittal for his client.

United States v. Anonymous,  No.97-413; Honorable I. Leo Glasser, U.S District Court, Eastern District of New York; Assistant U.S Attorney: Noah B. Perlman. DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. secured an acquittal for a client charged with Conspiracy to Defraud the United States and related crimes as detailed in the Press Release below.

Federal Jury Acquits Antigua Businessman

On Friday, July 14, 2000, a jury sitting in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge I. Leo Glasser in Brooklyn federal court acquitted a businessman from the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda after a one-week trial. The accused, a United States citizen traveling from Antigua to New York on business in November 1999 was arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport on an arrest warrant issued in 1997. Upon his arrival at the airport, he was taken before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Brooklyn, appointed counsel, and detained without bail. He later retained New York  defense attorney DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. who convinced the court to release him on bail pending trial.

The indictment charged a conspiracy involving the transportation of stolen vehicles. According to the United States Department of Justice, the conspirators stole Mercedes Benzes, Porsches, and other luxury vehicles from Brooklyn, Queens, and Long Island and shipped them to Africa, Antigua, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A joint investigation by U.S. Customs Service, New York City Police Department Auto Crimes Division, and New Jersey State Police led to the seizure of more than one hundred cars valued in excess of two-million dollars and stolen between 1993 and 1997. Several members of the conspiracy, including three men who admitted to stealing multiple luxury cars and one man responsible for altering the vehicle identification numbers, pled guilty to the indictment and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution.

At trial, the government, represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Noah B. Perlman, called as the main witness a freight forwarder who claimed he had face to face meetings with the defendant and recorded more than eighteen conversations with him discussing the shipment of stolen cars. The government also called as a witness a conspirator who claimed he stole a late model Porsche that he sold to the defendant for five thousand dollars. Finally, the government called two law enforcement witnesses, one of whom identified the defendant as the person in surveillance photographs taken at the scene of the crimes. After less than one full day of deliberations, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on each of the five counts in the indictment.

Through skillful cross-examination, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. discredited the government’s main witness. Throughout the trial, he characterized the case as one of mistaken identification compounded by an inadequate law enforcement investigation. In the end his client voiced a resounding sigh of relief and expressed deep gratitude for what he described as “an excellent performance” by his counsel DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ.
State v. Anonymous, Indictment No. 13-5-1225; Hon. Peter V. Ryan, Superior Court of New Jersey; Assistant Essex County Prosecutor: Alexander Albu. The accused arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on a flight from Trinidad and Tobago with more than three pounds of cocaine concealed in the lining of a briefcase she was asked to deliver to an individual at the airport in New Jersey. She was subsequently charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute and offered a “plea bargain” of ten years in prison. With DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. as her counsel, she proceeded to trial facing a mandatory-minimum sentence of ten years. After a trial that lasted almost two weeks, the jury was unable to reach a unanimous decision prompting the Judge to declare a mistrial. As a result of his failure to obtain a conviction, the prosecutor reduced his plea offer from ten years to probation to resolve the case.

People v. Anonymous, Docket No. 2005NY015782; Hon. ShawnDya L. Simpson, Criminal Court of the City of New York; Assistant District Attorney: Michael Dougherty. The defendant, a prominent Manhattan plastic surgeon was charged with sexual abuse of a female patient. According to the prosecutor, he made admissions to the complaining witness during a conversation monitored and recorded by the assigned NYPD detective. DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. conducted a comprehensive investigation of the complaining witness and after exposing substantial evidence of her uncharged criminal conduct, including perjury in connection with a civil lawsuit, Mr. Smith convinced the prosecutor to dismiss the criminal charges against his client.

Anderson v. Ariel Services, Inc., 93 A.D.3d 525 (2012); Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department; Counsel for Appellant: Leahey & Johnson PC (James P. Tenney of counsel). DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. represented his client in consolidated appeals in the Appellate Division and shortly after winning the appeals settled the underlying case for a sum that exceeded the liability insurance coverage limit.

People v. Anonymous, Docket No. 2005NY077559; Hon. Herbert J. Adlerberg, Criminal Court of the City of New York; Assistant District Attorney: Ehren Reynolds. The defendant, a New York City physician, was charged with possession of a forged instrument. The case proceeded to trial and DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. secured an acquittal for his client.

United States v. Anonymous, 03 Mag. 2178; Hon. Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, United States District Court, Southern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorney: Jessica A. Roth. The defendant and five other men were arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine with Intent to Distribute. He faced a mandatory-minimum sentence of ten years. After declining the prosecutor’s invitation to have his client plead guilty and cooperate to avoid a lengthy jail sentence, DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. secured a dismissal of his client’s case.
People v. Anonymous, 17 A.D.3d 136 (2005); Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department; Assistant District Attorney: Ellen Sue Handman. The defendant, represented by other counsel, pled guilty to attempted rape in the first degree, the most serious charge in the indictment. Prior to the sentencing date, he retained DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. who made a motion to withdraw the guilty plea, which the judge denied. Mr. Smith won the appeal after convincing the appellate court that the trial judge coerced the plea when he threatened to impose the maximum 15-year sentence should the defendant proceed to trial rather than plead guilty. At the ensuing trial Mr. Smith secured an acquittal of attempted rape for his client.
Walker v. Carter (“Jay Z”), 210 F. Supp.3d 487 (SDNY 2016), affirmed by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a Summary Order on October 11, 2018; Hon. Andrew L. Carter, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; Counsel for Plaintiff: Gregory Berry. DALE LIONEL SMITH, ESQ. successfully defended a hip hop mogul and former CEO of an iconic record label against a seven-million-dollar breach of contract and copyright infringement claims in both the District Court and Court of Appeals.
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