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“an expert in asset forfeiture in the state”

— The New York Times

“national expert on state and federal forfeiture laws”

— The Kansas City Star

Steven L. Kessler

Dedicated. Experienced. Committed.

Steven L. Kessler Has Been Interviewed By Or Seen In:

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Steven L. Kessler Image

When attorneys across the country need counsel for difficult forfeiture cases, they turn to Steven L. Kessler. Mr. Kessler has been protecting the assets of clients from government overreach on the federal, state and local levels for more than three decades. An experienced litigator and nationally recognized authority in the field, Mr. Kessler is equally comfortable when defending a complex federal Ponzi scheme case in West Virginia, securing the return of marital assets in a mini-Madoff litigation in New York, protecting tens of millions of dollars of client assets in Texas or seeking the return of funds seized at Salt Lake City International Airport. Whether working with local counsel or directly retained by the client, Mr. Kessler and his firm provide the finest representation possible.

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Notable Cases

Steven L. Kessler was the lead attorney in these important cases, some of which made new law in the federal and state courts.
Click the case link to explore the court decisions.

United States v. Real Property Located at 1407 North Collins Street, Arlington, Texas

United States v. Surgent

United States v. Peterson



“I would never handle any forfeiture without him”

“Steven Kessler is the first person every lawyer should call about a forfeiture. He is truly a lawyer's lawyer who will guide you through this complicated process. I would never handle any forfeiture without him.”

- Nancy Hollander, Esq.
Past President, NACDL

“passion and unwavering commitment”

“Steve Kessler is truly the best in his field, but it's not just his knowledge and expertise that make him the best - it's his passion and unwavering commitment to doing everything he can to ensure the best possible outcome for his clients. It's unfortunately become a rarity in this world to find people who consistently work hard and always do the right thing and refuse to give up - Steve is a rarity and a blessing to anyone who gets to have him in their corner. He represents his clients with constant strength, dignity, perseverance and dedication.”

- Amy H, Texas

“A brilliant man who truly cares about his clients”

“Steven Kessler is a brilliant man who truly cares about his clients, and his knowledge and tenacity is beyond description. He thinks carefully about all the decisions he makes as if he were representing his own family member. He even brought humor into some of my more serious situations to help me get through some painful times. He is thorough, articulate, trustworthy and devoted and the most knowledgeable, ethical and professional attorney that I have ever had the pleasure to work with.”

- Alan B, New York

“Highly recommended as one of the top lawyers”

“Attorney Steven Kessler represented me in a very complicated and high-profile case. He came highly recommended as one of the top lawyers in his field. I have to say, he exceeded all my expectations. Not only was I successful in the outcome of my legal battle, but his knowledge and professionalism helped me stay calm and focused throughout the duration of that difficult time. Mr. Kessler always responded to my questions and concerns in a kind and timely manner. I am so grateful for his dedication, honesty and integrity. The world could use more lawyers like Steven Kessler.”

- Susan M, Pennsylvania

“He entered my life at a time when I was David fighting Goliath”

“I was introduced to Steven Kessler during a life changing moment. Overnight, without any warning, I became a defendant in a federal disgorgement proceeding. All my resources were restrained. I had no ability to pay bills, no money for food, and no medical insurance. My life was in turmoil. Steven Kessler entered my life at a time when I was David fighting Goliath. Mr. Kessler fought by my side for three years. It was eight months of battle before the Court was compelled to secure a monthly allowance for me, from my frozen assets to pay my monthly bills. Together, Mr. Kessler and I took my case through the federal appellate court and to the highest court in New York State, and we won. My case permanently set a precedent as case law in the State of New York. Steven has remained my defender and friend for 11 years. Forever Grateful.”

- Janet S, Florida

Asset Forfeiture Publications

Steven L. Kessler is the author of two authoritative treatises on asset forfeiture, both of which are cited by courts nationwide:

Civil and Criminal Forfeiture: Federal and State Practice (Thomson Reuters) was first published in 1993 and has been updated annually for 28 years.

New York Criminal and Civil Forfeitures (LexisNexis) has been updated annually since 1996.

Steven L. Kessler has also authored scores of articles on asset forfeiture:

Steven L. Kessler’s article discussing the recent revisions to New York’s primary civil forfeiture statute was published in the New York Law Journal.
Originally published on September 26, 2019. New York’s Major Revisions to the Civil Forfeiture Laws by Steven L. Kessler, Sept. 26, 2019, New York Law Journal
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Steven L. Kessler’s article discussing the United States Supreme Court’s recent decisions regarding criminal forfeiture was published in The Champion
Originally published on February 10, 2018. Applying the Brakes on a Runaway Train: Forfeiture and Recent Supreme Court Developments by Steven L. Kessler, The Champion (Jan/Feb 2018 issue), National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 Image

The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000

By Steven L. Kessler On April 25, 2000, President Clinton signed into law The Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000 (HR 1658), Pub. L...

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We’re Here To Help

Need expert help with your asset forfeiture related legal questions and issues? Have you been hit with a civil asset forfeiture action?
Need to go over your options and be prepared to protect your assets? Schedule a 15-minute initial consultation.

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