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New York State Grand Jury Practice for Criminal Defense Attorneys

Produced on September 28, 2020

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Course Information

Time 1h
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Criminal

Course Description

In New York State, grand juries hear and examine evidence concerning criminal offenses and other misconduct and are charged with deciding on whether to return a written accusatory instrument known as an indictment. The secrecy surrounding the grand jury proceedings and the gravity of an indictment levied against one’s client can be intimidating. However, with proper preparation, thorough investigation, and a strategic approach to communications with the prosecutor, a criminal defense attorney can put their client in a position to avoid an indictment or criminal charges of any kind or otherwise resolve the matter favorably.

This course, presented by Andrew M. J. Bernstein, Leader of Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP’s White-Collar Defense and Investigations Practice, will cover the law governing grand juries, grand jury presentations by the prosecutor, and the intricacies and responsibilities of criminal defense attorneys representing defendants who will be or are considering appearing before a grand jury.

This program will benefit Criminal Court/District Court practitioners looking to expand their practice to include felony grand jury practice as well as experienced criminal defense attorneys looking to further strengthen their current grand jury practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the relevant statutes and case law related to New York State grand jury practice
  2. Effectively represent your client prior to the grand jury presentation
  3. Conduct a thorough investigation and make favorable witnesses/evidence known to the prosecutor
  4. Identify the theory of your case and request certain legal instructions are given to the grand jury
  5. Strategically communicate with the prosecutor to try to slow down the process or obtain a favorable pre-indictment plea offer
  6. Evaluate whether your the client should testify before the grand jury and prepare them effectively if they do
  7. Understand what to expect when you accompany clients during their testimony
  8. Decide what to do if an indictment is returned against your client 

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


Andrew Bernstein

Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP

Andrew M. J. Bernstein is a Partner and Chair of the White-Collar Defense and Investigations Practice at Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP, a full-service corporate, securities, and litigation law firm with offices in New York City and Israel.

Andrew is an experienced federal and state trial lawyer. His practice focuses on white-collar criminal defense, government and internal investigations, representing licensed professionals in misconduct and disciplinary proceedings, and advising corporations on regulatory matters and in commercial transactions. He has tried over twenty-five criminal cases to verdict in federal and state courts, ranging from allegations of fraud, embezzlement, conspiracy, racketeering, and money laundering to murder and federal weapons possession. In addition to his trial and pre-trial litigation successes, Andrew has helped many clients under government investigation or subpoena avoid criminal charges and other sanctions altogether.

Andrew represents corporations across a broad spectrum of industries. His diverse individual clientele includes corporate officers, directors, members of the financial services industry as well as doctors, lawyers, artists and musicians. Andrew frequently represents individuals and corporations who are the target of a grand jury or regulatory investigation or have been served with a grand jury or trial subpoena. Additionally, Andrew is a member of the federal Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panels for both the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.

Prior to joining Sichenzia Ross Ference LLP, Andrew was a founding Partner of a boutique criminal defense and civil rights litigation firm. Before entering private practice, Andrew began his legal career as a Trial Attorney at The Legal Aid Society’s Manhattan Criminal Defense Practice, where he represented over 1,500 criminal defendants.

Andrew frequently lectures on all matters of criminal defense with a particular focus on defending against white-collar investigations and representing corporations and individuals subpoenaed to appear before federal and state grand juries. In 2020, he has lectured extensively for the New York State Bar Association and Lawline on topics concerning grand juries and investigations. Andrew is a faculty member of the New York State Bar Association’s Trial Academy, held yearly at Cornell Law School. For the past few years, Andrew has hosted a series of criminal defense CLEs in New York City entitled “Being Heard at Hearings,” which featured some of the top criminal defense practitioners in the metro area. He has also guest lectured at Cardozo School of Law and Touro Law School and has previously served as a faculty member at The Legal Aid Society’s New Lawyer Training Program.

Andrew graduated with honors from Touro Law School in 2011, where he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Moot Court and recipient of multiple graduation awards for academic achievement and student leadership. While in law school, Andrew was a Research Assistant to noted criminal defense and human rights lawyer and Distinguished Professor of Law, Richard Daniel Klein. He earned his bachelors degree in Crime, Law & Justice from The Pennsylvania State University in 2006.


Thomas B.

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