Michael Baldassare

Michael Baldassare concentrates his practice on defending individuals and corporations in criminal investigations and prosecutions. He has tried numerous federal and state cases to verdict on a variety of charges such as RICO, mail and wire fraud, bribery, and extortion, among others.

He has represented clients in connection with internal and government investigations as well as trial-level proceedings relating to bank fraud, health care fraud, money laundering/structuring, the Arms Export Control Act, tax fraud, and visa fraud.

Michael represents clients in the administrative, licensing, and regulatory proceedings that frequently flow from criminal matters.  He also represents clients before investigative bodies such as the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation.

He has argued matters of first impression before the New Jersey Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In State v. A.G.D., 178 N.J. 56 (2003), Michael represented the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, and convinced the Court that an individual’s Miranda waiver is not knowing and voluntary if law enforcement fails to inform that person that a warrant has already been issued for his arrest. By unanimous decision, the Court vacated the defendant’s conviction. In State v. Delgado, 188 N.J. 48 (2006), again on behalf of the ACDL-NJ, he persuaded the Court to enhance the protections of those accused of crimes by requiring more stringent procedures for out-of-court witness identifications. And, in United States v. Newsome, 439 F.3d 181 (3d Cir. 2006), Michael argued an important issue of first impression regarding the application of an enhancement for identity theft under the Guidelines.

In numerous federal cases, Michael successfully obtained reduced sentences for clients based upon their extraordinary family circumstances, diminished capacity, post-offense rehabilitation, and charitable service to the community, among other reasons.

President, New Jersey Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

New York Area’s Top Attorneys 2012, New York Magazine, December 2011

Professional Achievement Award, New Jersey State Bar Association, Young Lawyer Division, 2001

Listed in:

  • Super Lawyers, Top 100 New Jersey Lawyers, 2012-2019
  • Super Lawyers, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2010-2019
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star, Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2006-2009
Rated by Super Lawyers


Selection methodology for awards and honors can be found here.

No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

State v. Mauti, 208 N.J. 519 (2012)

United States v. Kouevi, 698 F.3d 126 (3d Cir. 2012)

United States v. Bergrin, 650 F.3d 257 (3d Cir. 2011)

United States v. Jones, 566 F.3d 353 (3d Cir. 2009)

United States v. Grier, 475 F.3d 556 (3d Cir. 2007)

State v. Delgado, 188 N.J. 48 (2006)

United States v. Newsome, 439 F.3d 181 (3d Cir. 2006)

State v. A.G.D., 178 N.J. 56 (2003)

al-Marri v. Bush, 274 F. Supp. 2d 1003 (C.D. Ill. 2003)

Cannon v. Cherry Hill Toyota, Inc., 161 F. Supp. 2d 362 (D.N.J. 2001)

Officer, Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey

Adjunct Professor of Criminal Law, Seton Hall University, School of Law

Past Chair, Criminal Law Practice Committee, Essex County Bar Association

Past Vice-Chair, Criminal Law Section, Essex County Bar Association

Past Chair, Individual Rights Section, New Jersey State Bar Association

Past Instructor, Criminal Trial Preparation, ICLE

Member, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

In re Investment Bank Managing Director: We represented a Managing Director of a well-respected investment banking firm in connection with a federal investigation. Our client was never charged.

State v. Client: Michael’s client was charged with second-degree insurance fraud.  After Michael cross-examined the prosecution witness, the State agreed to dismiss the charges if the client completed a non-custodial program of supervision from his home in Florida. 

In re Mayor: Our client was the sitting mayor of a New Jersey municipality.  The Attorney General’s Office said the client was “two weeks away from indictment.”  After our written and oral presentations – which proved that, as a matter of law, the mayor committed no crime and that, in all likelihood, the State’s wiretap was illegal – the matter was closed and no charges were filed.

In re Hedge Fund Executive: We represented a hedge fund executive during an investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Our client was never charged.

In re Real Estate Developer: Our client was an executive and consultant under investigation by a County Prosecutor's Office for an alleged $1 million fraud. We convinced the prosecutor to forgo an indictment and permit a civil resolution between the parties.

United States v. Israeli National: The client was an Israeli national accused of conspiring to sell radio jammers to individuals in the Middle East. The federal criminal charge was dismissed and the matter was settled in a civil proceeding.

State v. Client: Michael’s client was charged with second-degree theft by deception and issuing bad checks in connection with a series of business transactions.  We negotiated a civil settlement and the charges were dismissed.

In re Client: We represented the Assistant Executive Director and Engineer of a Municipal Water Commission, charged with violations of the New Jersey Safe Water Drinking Act, Conspiracy, and Official Misconduct.

In re Client: Michael represented a business owner in connection with a federal grand jury subpoena focused on suspected criminal activity related to international banking activities and accounts in Asia.

United States v. Client: Michael represented a defendant in connection with federal charges based upon a large scale identity theft ring. His client received probation and was ordered to pay approximately $34,000 in restitution.

United States v. Real Estate Agent/Title Agent: Following a guilty plea in federal court, our client faced a suggested guideline sentence of 27-33 months in prison and a restitution order of $2.5 million. The client was sentenced to three months incarceration, six months house arrest and ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution.

United States v. Client:  Michael’s client was charged with bribing a LIUNA Union official.  His client was sentenced to probation.

State v. Physician:  Michael represented a physician charged with racketeering and insurance fraud.  His client was sentenced to probation.

In re Securities Client: Michael represented a client in parallel criminal and civil matters brought by the N.J. Attorney General’s Office arising from allegations of securities fraud.

In re Client: Michael represented a witness in an investigation being conducted by the Office of the Inspector General, United States Department of Health and Human Services.