Roland G. Riopelle
After practicing law for more than fifteen years at elite firms and as a prosecutor for the United States Attorney’s office in the criminal division of the Southern District of New York, Roland G. Riopelle founded Sercarz & Riopelle, LLP with his partner Maurice Sercarz in 2003.
Mr. Riopelle’s practice is primarily focused on criminal defense in both federal and state courts, regulatory defense matters, and a broad spectrum of civil litigation and arbitration matters. He has tried to verdict a wide variety of cases, ranging from criminal securities fraud and public corruption cases, to civil claims involving medical malpractice and securities arbitration.
In addition to his caseload, Mr. Riopelle is active in a variety of professional organizations, including the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he has chaired the Criminal Advocacy Committee and served on the Criminal Courts and Judiciary Committees. Mr. Riopelle is also an active member of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, and the Federal Bar Council. He has appeared as a lecturer on Continuing Legal Education topics for other attorneys, particularly in connection with developments in the criminal law, and is often consulted and quoted by journalists in connection with significant criminal cases. Mr. Riopelle has been elected a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (an honor limited to only 1% of the attorneys in America), and was selected by his peers to be included in the 2009 Edition of Best Lawyers in America.
Mr. Riopelle was born in California in 1959. He is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and he is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society. After completing his undergraduate studies, Mr. Riopelle obtained a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia University, before returning to U.C. Berkeley at the Boalt Hall School of Law, where he obtained his Juris Doctor degree in 1985. While attending Boalt Hall, Mr. Riopelle was the Articles Editor of the Industrial Relations Law Journal.
After graduating from law school, Mr. Riopelle clerked for the Hon. Fred Cassibry in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, before returning to New York City to begin his law practice in 1986. Mr. Riopelle was an associate with the firms of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, and Stillman, Friedman & Shaw, P.C. with a practice focused on both civil and criminal litigation, before becoming an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York in October 1991. In his seven year tenure at the United States Attorney’s office, Mr. Riopelle prosecuted a variety of cases ranging from major narcotics cases to large commodities frauds. Among other honors, Mr. Riopelle received the Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney in 1994.
Since returning to private practice, Mr. Riopelle has tried a wide spectrum of matters, ranging from a medical malpractice case, to securities arbitrations, and criminal cases involving complex allegations of securities fraud, accounting fraud and money laundering. Among his most recent successes are the trial of securities fraud charges to an acquittal together with Mr. Sercarz, in United States v. Richard Volpe, 05 Cr. 390 (SHS) (S.D.N.Y), and the trial of another securities fraud case, United States v. Robert Malin, 05 Cr. 613 (ILJ) (E.D.N.Y.), in which Mr. Riopelle obtained an acquittal for his client on all but one of the counts in the indictment, and obtained a hung jury on the remaining count. In addition, Mr. Riopelle has successfully represented various corporate executives who were subjects of criminal investigation in matters ranging from accounting fraud to tax evasion, but were never charged with crimes.