Brooklyn native John Balestriere is an entrepreneurial lawyer who tries cases, conducts investigations, and argues appeals.
Mr. Balestriere represents company and individual clients in all kinds of complex disputes, including commercial and business matters, as well as criminal and regulatory cases from investigation through to trial or arbitration and appeal. He also represents clients in intense negotiations, and directs internal investigations into alleged misconduct within companies, institutions, and government entities.
He works with his colleagues in joint ventures with the firm’s clients to achieve the best possible result as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Mr. Balestriere has handled street crime, white collar crime, organized crime, fraud, business tort, class action, civil rights, qui tam, defamation, and a variety of other matters across the country. He is a graduate of Monsignor Farrell High School, Columbia College, and the Yale Law School.
Mr. Balestriere has seven years of law enforcement experience in both Eliot Spitzer’s State Attorney General’s Office and Robert Morgenthau’s Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He first worked for Mr. Morgenthau after college as an analyst in the Rackets Bureau. There, he assisted attorneys in investigations into judicial and political corruption, Cosa Nostra organized crime groups, major narcotics distribution gangs, and identity theft. After law school, Mr. Balestriere served in that same office as an Assistant District Attorney in the Trial Division, trying a significant number of cases to juries and handling matters spanning from the lowest level misdemeanors to the highest level felonies. While there he also specialized in Domestic Violence and Sex Crimes prosecution and conducted investigations into bribery of government officials, organized employee theft schemes, and credit card fraud.
Mr. Balestriere was recruited from the District Attorney’s Office to work in a newly created investigative unit in the New York State Attorney General’s Office. There, he directed teams of former police detective investigators, financial auditors, and investigative analysts in long term investigations of organized crime, insurance fraud, human trafficking, and large identity theft rings. Such investigations led to the arrest and indictment of dozens of individuals, including entire gangs who, working with doctors, lawyers, and other professionals, had perpetrated large auto insurance fraud schemes throughout the New York City area. Mr. Balestriere also devised a unit-wide intelligence system that allowed various investigators and attorneys to pool their resources and more effectively conduct investigations into a variety of frauds.
After work as a criminal prosecutor and investigator, Mr. Balestriere joined a small class action firm where he prosecuted securities, antitrust, and consumer fraud cases against the some of the largest banks and public companies in the world.
Mr. Balestriere has been quoted in media in the United States and abroad, including The New York Times, CBS Morning News, The Birmingham Post-Herald, ABC News, Univision, and RAI television – the official broadcasting channel of the Italian government. He has commented on a wide range of topics including ongoing criminal trials, pending civil actions, recently passed legislation, major fraud investigations, the emerging use of the class action device in foreign countries, and the benefits of risk sharing in litigation. Mr. Balestriere has lectured in classes at Columbia College, Yale Law School, and Fordham Law School.