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Martin H. Tankleff

Special Counsel
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Bio

Martin H. Tankleff, Special Counsel at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, a boutique litigation firm with locations in Garden City, Huntington, and Manhattan.

Marty Tankleff is the current Peter P. Mullen Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University (previous recipients include Ron Klaine, Seth Waxman, Paul Clement, Maureen Mahoney, and others). At Georgetown, Marty teaches a class alongside his childhood friend, Professor Marc M. Howard, called Making an Exoneree. It is an undergraduate class where students reinvestigate potential wrongful conviction cases. In the past five years, Marty and Marc have walked three innocent men out of prison . Through the work at Georgetown, Marty and Marc are either co-counsel or advisory team members on cases in several different states.

At Barket Epstein, Mr. Tankleff will focus on wrongful convictions, prisoner and civil rights while working hand in hand with other members of the firm on criminal defense, civil matters, and related legal matters.

Marty’s zealous advocacy for those who have been wrongly convicted stems from his own persona experience.

Marty was wrongfully convicted on June 28, 1990, for the murder of his parents, Seymour and Arlene, two years earlier. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Tankleff was a 17-year-old student, embarking on his Senior year of High School. In the blink of an eye, his life changed. After being sentenced to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life, Mr. Tankleff filed a 2003 appeal with new evidence from almost two dozen witnesses.

Represented by Bruce Barket, Stephen Braga, Jennifer O’Connor, Brent Gurney, Barry Pollack, Dawn Murphy-Johnson, Roberto Gonzalez, Sheila Kadaguther, Micah Meyers, Courtney Gilligan-Saleski, Mark Pomerantz, Warren Feldman, Scott Splittgerber, and many others, his conviction was overturned, and Marty was released after nearly 17½ years in prison on December 27, 2007. He is a nationally recognized exoneree and is on the National Registry of Exonerees.

After Marty was exonerated, he was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2020. Since Marty’s admission, he has obtained favorable results on behalf of his clients.

Bar Admissions

  • New York State Bar, 2020
  • Eastern District of New York, 2021
  • Southern District of New York, 2021
  • District of Columbia, 2021
  • 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, 2021
  • D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2021

Teaching Experience

  • Touro Law School

    - Adjunct Professor of Law August 2018

    - Taught a class on Wrongful Convictions

  • Georgetown University

    - Peter P. Mullen January 2022-Present

    - Distinguished Visiting Professor

    - Adjunct Professor of Government January 2018-2022

    • Teaches a class with Prof. Marc Howard called Making an Exoneree, where undergraduate students reinvestigate cases of incarcerated men/women who claim to be innocent where the students create documentaries and social media campaigns based on their investigation.

    • Teaches Making an Exoneree (www.MakinganExoneree.com) for past 5 years, an undergraduate five-credit course focusing on wrongful convictions.
    • A full-length award-winning documentary about the 2018 class. (www.MakinganExonereeTheFilm.com)

Publications

Presentations and Invited Lectures

Marty regularly speaks at colleges, universities, and high schools. He has lectured at the NYPD training academy and spoke at former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer’s criminal justice college classes. He was the keynote speaker at the Nassau County Bar Association, the New York State Defenders Association and have spoken at Cardozo Law School, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Georgetown University, Boston University School of Law, Nassau Community College, Touro Law School, Williams College, University of Buffalo School of Law, and several others. The following are a sampling of some of his speaking engagements and presentations:

  • A true story about false confessions - A discussion with Marty Tankleff, exoneree, lawyer and former client of DLA Piper partner Courtney Saleski – March 2021
  • Spoke to 1L’s at Touro Law School, Central Islip, NY – August 2017
  • “Ensuring Accurate Convictions,” NYPD Executive Development Section, March 2013
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau Community College, 2013
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY, 2013
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Hofstra University, 2011
  • Lawline, The Martin Tankleff Case, April 2010
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Symposium on Wrongful Convictions and the Tankleff Case Touro Law Center, 2009
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau Community College, 2009
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2009
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Williams College, 2009
  • “Conducting Investigations into Wrongful Convictions,” New York State Bar Association, 2009
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – CLE Video, Washington, DC – February 2009
  • Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions for Juveniles, Chicago, IL – October 2009
  • Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, Washington, DC – July 2009
  • Ropes & Gray, Pro Bono Presentation, New York, 2009 and 2010
  • Miller & Chevalier, Pro Bono Presentation, Washington, DC – July 2009
  • “Conducting Investigations into Wrongful Convictions,” New York State Senate, 2008
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau County Bar Association, 2008
  • “Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY November 2008
  • John Jay College of Criminal Justice – Professor Saul Kassin’s graduate Classes, New York, NY 2008 – present
  • Williams College – Professor Saul Kassin’s Undergraduate Class, 2008 – 2015
  • Keynote Speaker, New York State Defenders Association, Saratoga Springs, NY – July 2008
  • The Leonard Lopate Show, New York, NY – July 2008
  • New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, Huntington, NY – September 2008
  • North Shore Hebrew Academy, Tolerance Center, New York, NY – 2008
  • The Innocence Project, New York, NY – 2008 – present
  • The Vanguard High School, New York, NY - 2008

Professional Affiliations

  • New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Defenders Association

View Martin H. Tankleff's Full Bio Here

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Education
  • A.A. Clinton Community College - College Plattsburgh, NY
  • J.D. Touro Law School - Graduate School Central Islip, NY
  • B.A. Hofstra University - Undergraduate School Hempstead, NY
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