A native and resident of Brooklyn, Abe George is one of the top-rated attorneys in New York City. He has a stellar legal career as a criminal defense lawyer and has worked as a public prosecutor, served in the District Attorney’s office in Brooklyn, and now leads a private practice.
He is a firebrand advocate of the civil rights of the city’s residents and has litigated numerous cases in this regard. Besides civil rights, George has a strong focus on criminal law. He sparked his interest in criminal defense right out of law school when he interned for the DA’s office in Queens and Manhattan. After that, he secured the Assistant DA’s position in Manhattan where he worked for more than eight years.
While in the Assistant DA’s post, he was in charge of prosecuting a wide range of criminal cases including narcotics, violent gangs, and homicides. In 2012, he decided to go for the Brooklyn District Attorney position. At the last minute, he joined forces with his rival in the race to beat the long-serving incumbent. In 2014, he secured a spot in the Brooklyn DA’s office where he continued to wage war on narcotics.
Besides the war on drugs, George has also been involved in fighting for the reform of the Stop and Frisk policy employed by the NYPD. Later the same year, he left public prosecution to focus on his private practice in Downtown Manhattan where he remains heavily involved in assisting wrongfully convicted persons to find justice.
What inspired you to go into private practice?
As a public prosecutor, I have worked on numerous cases where I felt deeply against the violation of people’s civil rights. The legal system should work to protect people’s rights. The police department has made some great strides in reducing crime, but there are a few bad apples that give the rest of the hard-working men and women in law enforcement a bad name. I fight for those whose civil rights have been violated as a result of aggressive unconstitutional police action. Similarly, I spend a great deal of time pro bono to help those who are wrongfully convicted because this is a true travesty of the criminal justice system.
What motivates you as a criminal attorney?
I have studied the law in-depth and am well-versed in criminal investigation and legal research. I have been on the public side of the legal system prosecuting criminals for over a decade and believe people should enjoy their civil liberties without fear. The law is there to protect the citizens, not demonize them. It is there for the service of all without discrimination. It is, therefore, a tragedy when the law that should protect us is used in a manner that violates our rights as citizens.
Where does your passion for the war on drugs come from?
From my experience, handling narcotics cases and violent gangs, I have seen first-hand the devastating effects of drugs in our communities. I am a native of Brooklyn and wish to see an end to this threat to our society. But I also feel that we have been too aggressive on low-level marihuana usage creating criminals out of nonviolent recreational users.
Decriminalizing the use of marihuana will allow us to focus on the more profound issues affecting us such as harder narcotics that are destroying our families and the very fabric of our communities in New York City.
What kind of challenges do you face as a criminal defense lawyer?
It’s disheartening to see people suffer and not receive the justice they deserve from the legal system. Sometimes the victims are young children who can hardly speak for themselves.
You have to be resilient and establish a creative strategy. I have handled plenty of pro bono cases since I went back to private practice and I believe this demonstrates my respect for the criminal justice system. I am not in it to make ridiculous money.
What makes you successful in this business?
Besides my experience with the legal system, I am passionate about what I do. I derive great pleasure from seeing the system work for ordinary citizens. I am available to provide personalized services that ensure justice is served and have won numerous notable cases, especially in the civil rights segment.
I also work closely with the Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice, a non-profit organization that helps wrongly convicted persons find justice and to integrates positively back into their communities.