John Powers

John Powers

The NCDD is proud to spotlight John Powers of Long Island, New York. John has been practicing criminal defense for 23 years, all in the New York City and Long Island, New York region. John was born in Manhattan to parents native of Queens, New York. His father was an executive in the tobacco industry and his mother was a stay-at-home mom until John went to college. John grew up attending all boys Holy Cross High School in Flushing, Queens. His high school basketball coach, Joseph Giannuzzi, mentored and shaped him in influential ways (see at 25:00 his remarks at Giannuzzi's retirement party (YouTube).

John's leadership in his community is highly prized. His evolution from hometown boy to local savior involves one of John's favorite stories. His favorite DWI jury win is a client that knew him well from his days as a bartender. The trust factor from being a favorite bartender to being the lawyer who won an acquittal for a friend is one he relishes. He describes the experience of knowing everyone involved, including the witnesses, as a challenge for all to see him in a different light. Once the verdict came back in only a few minutes time, his reputation as John The Criminal Defense Lawyer was sealed.

John majored in Political Science at Adelphi University. His mother had taken a job at the University to earn him free tuition. From there, he received his law degree from Touro Law Center. In addition to his membership in NCDD, he is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Suffolk County Bar Association, and serves on the executive board of the Suffolk County Criminal Defense Association. He was handpicked to work for Joseph Caramango, Esq. before he passed the bar exam. In five years, when Mr. Caramango moved, he took over the practice expanding it to what it is today with an emphasis on DWI defense. John's father made an everlasting impression on him when he was young that would spur him to become a lawyer.

He emphasized that every day the frontpage story of the newspaper is based on something related to the law. John realized that as an attorney, he could have a voice and advocate for people that are marginalized. "History is full of lawyers doing something great" as he put it and actively plays a part. His approach to law is a systems approach of examining a case, beginning with the client's due process rights. He is currently fighting for the State to uphold people's due process rights where citizens driver's licenses are taken without a hearing.

When John is not practicing law, he enjoys golf and fishing. He has three children. His son Matthew is a senior in high school and into competitive fishing. His daughter Katherine is a sophomore and a high-level varsity volleyball player. Their youngest daughter, Lauren, is 13 and plays travel soccer. John coached all three children in basketball for many years. John enjoys his involvement in the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick. He served as President of the Society from 2015-2017. Throughout the pandemic, the charitable organization has been coordinating efforts with local restaurants who have been hard hit from the pandemic in providing food to first responders and hospital workers.

When asked what the NCDD means to John, he remarked "Nothing has changed my career more than the Harvard sessions of trial by peer fire. If you can handle that, then you can handle anything when you go back to your jurisdiction." He is grateful to the dedicated practitioners and NCDD members who are selflessly helping one another through the difficult practice of law in general, commenting, "We are all on an island, in a way, and it's comforting to know you can reach out for a lifeline at any time." A sign on an Irish gate reads "The farmer allows walkers across the field for free, but the bull charges." John is a ferocious, yet charming bull with wit and humor in New York's world of criminal justice. We, at the NCDD, are proud of his work and to have him amongst us.

Written by Mimi Coffey

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