Richard Willstatter


IMG_2178A graduate of Duke Law School, Richard Willstatter has emerged as a leader among New York’s criminal defense lawyers. He is a past President of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL), an organization of more than 1,000 lawyers across the state, dedicated to protecting the rights of the accused and strengthening the criminal defense bar. Mr. Willstatter has headed and remains a member of the Amicus committee of NYSACDL, which coordinates the filing of “friend of the court” briefs on important legal issues before state and federal courts. He is serves  on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), where he also serves as Amicus Curiae committee Vice Chair.

Mr. Willstatter is a tenacious advocate for his clients, well known among his colleagues for a no-nonsense approach that stresses preparation, research, solid paperwork, investigation, and assistance of experts when needed. Mr. Willstatter is also dedicated to educating himself about new developments in the law and having a continuing dialogue with his criminal defense colleagues on “cutting edge” issues. He has given numerous Continuing Legal Education lectures on such topics as current appellate issues, the Federal Rules of Evidence, Obtaining and Reviewing Digital Evidence, and the cross-examination of a forensic chemist.

He has also published articles in the NACDL’s magazine, The Champion, on fingerprint evidence, habeas corpus challenges to the Federal Bureau of Prisons on release of inmates to half-way houses, and litigating mental competency issues in the Federal system. He also writes for NYSACDL’s quarterly magazine, Atticus. This commitment helps give Mr. Willstatter the creativity to “think outside the box” and find issues helpful to his clients that are not always so obvious. Among his numerous success stories, Mr. Willstatter convinced a Federal appeals court to overturn a $100,000,000 civil RICO verdict, won a new trial for a client who was convicted of murder, and won reversal of a conviction and release from prison for a client who received an unfair trial in a rape case.

Areas of Practice:

  • Criminal Law
  • Federal Criminal Law
  • Litigation & Appeals
  • White Collar Crimes

Representative Cases

In the Media

  • Village Voice: The Rise and Fall of Internet Sports Bookie and Poker ProLink

    Richard Willstatter was quoted in an article in the Village Voice.  The article begins: Last Wednesday, a former bookmaker named James Giordano stood up in a Queens courtroom to be sentenced for promoting illegal gambling. Giordano, 55, was indicted in 2006 for running a sports betting website in the Caribbean that banked millions of dollars […]

  • Times Herald-Record: Orange DA promotes boost in asset forfeitureLink

    Richard Willstatter was quoted in an article about asset forfeiture in the Times Herald-Record: There are objections to forfeiture. The flow of money can create political pressure to get even more money from people, said Richard Willstatter, of White Plains-based Green & Willstatter and a past president of the New York State Association of Criminal […]

  • Reuters: Strauss-Kahn may attempt a consensual sex defenseLink

    Richard Willstatter was quoted in a Reuters article about Dominique Strauss-Kahn: “Nobody except for Mr. Strauss-Kahn and the woman who has not been named knows what happened or didn’t happen in that room,” said Richard Willstatter of Green & Willstatter, the president-elect of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “Prosecutors like to say […]

  • The New York Times: Witness Warrants Were Misused in Queens and Elsewhere, Court Papers SayLink

    Richard Willstatter was quoted in the New York Times discussing material witness warrants: Because material witness warrants are usually issued with little public scrutiny and are employed behind the scenes in the shadows of the criminal-justice system, it is hard to know how frequently the police and prosecutors use — or abuse — them. The State […]

Published Works:

  • “Dealing with Fingerprint Evidence: Confronting the Prosecutor’s Evidence and Creating Your Own”, The Mouthpiece, NYSACDL Newsletter, January/February, 2003
  • “Habeas Corpus Challenges to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ New Policy on CCC Placement”, The Mouthpiece, NYSACDL Newsletter, May/June, 2004
  • “The Federal Criminal Mental Competency System”, The Champion, June, 2006
  • “What must you do if you are relieved as counsel?”, Atticus, Summer 2011
  • “Supreme Court Updates,” Atticus, Summer 2013
  • E-Discovery and Use of Digital Evidence,” The Champion, November 2017

Amicus Briefs:

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • President, 2012-13
    • Chair, Amicus Committee, 2004-2011
    • Member since 1990
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Vice Chair, 2nd Circuit Amicus Curiae Committee, 2002-present
    • Member, Board of Directors, 2020-present
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
    • Member, 1992- present
  • Westchester County Bar Association
    • Member, 1990-present
  • New York Council of Defense Lawyers, 2012-present
  • Federal Bar Council, 2010-present

Past Employment Positions:

  • The Legal Aid Society, Bronx, NY, Criminal Defense Division, 1981 – 1989

Bar Admissions:

  • New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York, 1997
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, 1981
  • U.S. District Court, Western Disrict of New York, 2016
  • U.S. District Court, District of Vermont, 2014
  • U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, 2011
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit, 1992
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Circuit, 1996
  • Supreme Court of the United States, 2008


  • Duke University School of Law, Durham, North Carolina, 1980, Juris Doctor
  • Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 1977, Bachelor of Arts
  • Honors: Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Major: Political Science

Contact Us for a Free Consultation