Anthony L. Ricco

Adjunct Professor of Law

Over the past 19 years, Anthony L. Ricco served as learned counsel on approximately 45 federal death penalty cases across the country. Those cases include : (1) United States v. Andre Cooper, et. al., Eastern District of Pennsylvania to penalty verdict. Litigated to verdict to life verdict May 2006; (2) United States v. Jelani Solomon, et ano., Western District of Pennsylvania. Litigated to life verdict November 2007; (3) United States v. Deondre Byrd, et al., appointed in 2007. Eastern District of Michigan, case dismissed in 2012 by the government; and (4) United States v. Jarvis Brown, et al., 2008. Western District of Indiana, defendant entered a post authorization plea to life in March of 2009.

Before the New York State Death Penalty was declared unconstitutional in 2004, Anthony L. Ricco served as capital counsel on over a dozen death eligible cases: (1) People v. Corey Arthur, defendant charged with murder in the first degree in death of Jonathan Levin, son of then Time Warner C.E.O. Gerald Levin in 1998; (2) People v. Michael Whiten, et al. In 2003 six young men charged with the double murder of two N.Y.C. undercover police officers. State death penalty declared unconstitutional in 2004. Federal Government indicted in 2005, death not authorized against Michael Whiten. Co-defendant Ronell Wilson, represented by other counsel, sentenced to death by jury verdict; life verdict; life verdict subsequently reversed by the 2d Circuit.

Anthony L. Ricco also served as counsel in several controversial cases: including, inter alia, the World Trade Bombing conspiracy case, United States v. Omar Abdel Rahman; the Embassy Bombing case in 1998, United States v. Usama Bin Laden in 2001; as counsel for Detective Gescard Insnora in the Sean Bell case, People v. Michael Oliver, et al, in 2008.

Teaching Assignments

  1. Since 2007, Anthony L. Ricco has served on the faculty at the Bryan R. Schechmeister Death Penalty College, hosted during the summer by the University of Santa Clara School of Law. The courses Anthony L. Ricco have taught have been on the subject of Future Dangerousness and other substantive issues related to death penalty litigation.
  2. February 12 through February 25, 2010, Anthony L. Ricco served as an instructor at the Capital Case Defense Seminar, hosted by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice and the California Public Defenders Association in Monterey, California in February 2010. The subjects include litigating the impact of gang evidence and future dangerousness in capital cases.
  3. Over the years, Anthony L. Ricco has also been an instructor at CLE courses hosted by the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, Indigent Assigned Counsel Plan. The courses of instruction have primarily been on jury selection issues, opening and closing arguments, cross racial identification, effective cross examination, inter alia.

Professional Experience

Private practice of law, since December 1982.

Law practice involves federal, state criminal defense and capital defense litigation.

Professional Awards and Recognition

  • In 2004, New York County Lawyers Association, Criminal Defense Division. Outstanding Contribution to the Profession.
  • May 14, 2008, Mr. Ricco was named The Attorney of the Year by the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.
  • On September 24, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the American Inns of Court awarded Mr. Ricco its Professionalism Award for 2008. Presentation of the award both at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court, hosted by Justice Samuel Alito.
  • On October 20, 2009, Mr. Ricco was appointed as a National Resource Counsel to the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project in Frankfort, Kentucky. The Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel Project, established in 1992, is a program funded by the Office of Defender Services of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts designed to assist federal judges, federal defenders, and appointed counsel in connection with matters relating to the defense function in federal capital cases.
  • From 2002 through 2012, Mr. Ricco also served as a member of the Defender Services Advisory Group, Death Penalty Working Group subcommittee. This subcommittee is under the auspices of the Office of the Defender Services of the Administrative Offenses of the United States Courts. This subcommittee makes recommendations to the United States Judicial Conference, Subcommittee on Defender Services for the administration and implementation of policies for the provisions of services of court appointed counsel and federal defenders in federal capital cases.
  • Past President of the New York Criminal Bar Association serving from, 2007 to 2009.
  • In 2010 Mr. Ricco was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.
  • In 2012 the New York State Bar Association honored Mr. Ricco with its Outstanding Criminal Defense Attorney Award.


State of New York, January 1982.

United States District Court for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York.

The Supreme Court of the United States and Second and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Panel Membership

C.J.A. Panels and Capital Panels for both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

New York State Homicide, Felony and Appellate Panels.


Northeastern University School of Law, JD, May 1981

Adelphi University, BA, Political Science, May 1978

Mailing Address

Fordham University School of Law
Legal Writing Program
150 West 62nd Street, Room 7-175
New York, NY 10023