Mitch Dinnerstein has over thirty years of trial experience in criminal defense work in New York City.  He learned the ropes by working for the Legal Aid Society of New York from 1977 to 1983, in private practice until being asked to join the Capital Defender Office who represented people charged with capital punishment (the death penalty).  After being involved in having the death penalty struck down in New York, where no one was ever executed, he returned to private practice in 2006.   He now represents people in the most serious of charges in State and Federal court.

Mitch’s clients have included some of the most high profile cases in the New York area.  He has represented one of the defendant’s in the notorious multiple murders above the Carnegie Deli.  He has represented individuals charged with the murder of police officers.  He has represented individuals charged in terrorism cases.  Her has represented and consulted with numerous lawyers in death penalty and other complex criminal litigation.  He has helped rethink the federal laws over the statutory mandatory minimum sentences in child pornography and in drug cases. He is involved in litigation over the Government misuse of electronic monitoring as a bail condition.

Mitch has been honored by Steps to End Family Violence (STEPS) as its Outstanding Lawyer in 1994 for successfully representing a woman charged with the murder of her abusive husband.   Mitch has appeared on COURT TV as a guest commentator and has been invited to appear on shows featuring Geraldo Rivera and Star Jones.

Mitch is known as a brilliant, tenacious cross examiner of Government witnesses.  His cross examinations have often been used as models in numerous training sessions for less experienced lawyers.  He has appeared as a guest lecturer for seminars with the Legal Aid Society and at colleges and law school programs.

Mitch graduated from Buffalo Law School in 1976.  He graduated from S.U.N.Y. at Stony Brook in 1972.



  • Senior Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division
  • Board Member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL)
  • Board Member of the 18-B Screening Committee,
  • Capital Defender Office – Lead Counsel in several high profile death penalty cases
  • Mentor for new applicants for Criminal Defense lawyers in the Southern District of New York


  • New York Law School
  • Brooklyn Law School
  • New York University Law School
  • Cardozo Law School
  • Pace University School of Law
  • Legal Aid Society