Overview

Mr. Liston’s legal career has spanned more than 20 years in the public and private sectors, including five years as an Assistant District Attorney under Robert M. Morgenthau in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and more than 15 years in private practice.

His areas of expertise include conducting internal investigations and advising and representing individuals and organizations concerning white collar criminal, regulatory, and civil litigation matters.  He has extensive experience advising and representing individuals, companies, and financial institutions seeking to mitigate criminal, regulatory, and reputational risk in the areas of money laundering, sanctions evasion, foreign corruption, and financial crimes.  He also counsels clients regarding Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and U.S. sanctions laws administered and enforced by Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

His practice includes complex civil litigation with a focus on fraud and Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claims, securities fraud, business and financial disputes, professional liability, intellectual property, litigation funding, and banking.  He also advises and represents individuals and institutions regarding land use, zoning, landmarks preservation, Constitutional, and Open Public Meetings Law issues.  An experienced trial attorney, he has handled numerous trials and appeals in criminal and civil matters. 

Mr. Liston served from 1994 to 1999 under Robert M. Morgenthau as an Assistant District Attorney in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office where he gained extensive courtroom experience through numerous jury and bench trials, hearings, and grand jury presentations, and where he supervised numerous investigations into identity theft, credit card fraud, official corruption, welfare fraud, narcotics trafficking, organized crime, and gang violence.

As he shares the firm’s commitment to pro bono and community service, Mr. Liston has, by appointment of the New York State Supreme Court, represented dozens of people pro bono in criminal matters including numerous jury trials. From 2009 to the present he has served, by the appointment of the Mayor of the City of New York, as one of the thirteen Commissioners of the Civilian Complaint Review Board, which investigates and prosecutes citizen complaints against members of the New York City Police Department.  He is the former Chairman of Manhattan Community Board 8 and he serves in a leadership role with various community service organizations, including the Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center, for which he serves as President.

Mr. Liston was selected by New York Super Lawyers (2015-2017) as one of the “Top Attorneys” in the field of White Collar Criminal Defense.

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, U.S. Department of State, International Visitor Leadership Program, for various State Department-sponsored programs concerning anti-money laundering, terrorist financing, international security, white collar crime, and securities regulation
  • Speaker, conference regarding U.S. laws regulating imports and other legal issues related to U.S./Vietnam relations, hosted by the An Giang People’s Committee in Long Xuyen, Vietnam
  • Speaker, Introduction to Manhattan Criminal Court, 19th Precinct Community Council

Professional Affiliations

  • Commissioner, Civilian Complaint Review Board (2009-2014)
  • Faculty, Manhattan District Attorney’s Trial Advocacy Program
  • Member, Executive Committee, Morgenthau-Vance Alumni Group (2000-present)
  • Member, Hogan-Morgenthau Associates (1999-present)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office Trial Bureau 40 Association (2006-present)
  • New York State Bar Association, Committee on White Collar Criminal Litigation (2013-present)
  • Member, Irish American Bar Association of New York and Scottish American Bar Association of New York (2007-present)
  • Chairman, Manhattan Community Board 8 (2005-2008) (Board Member, 2003-present)
  • Co-Chair, Landmarks Preservation Committee, Manhattan Community Board 8 (2008-2014)
  • Co-Chair, Health, Seniors, & Social Services Committee, Manhattan Community Board 8 (2013-present)
  • Member, Manhattan Borough Board (2005-2008)
  • Chairman, East 79th Street Construction Safety Task Force (2005-2006)
  • President, Holy Trinity Neighborhood Center (2001-present)
  • Vice President, 19th Precinct Community Council (2003-2006)

Experience

  • Counsel, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Associate, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP
  • Assistant District Attorney, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable Richard S. Cohen, Appellate Division, Superior Court of New Jersey

Representative Matters

  • Representing Internet broadcasting company in connection with patent infringement matters brought on its behalf, related to streaming media delivery systems.
  • Representing patent holder in connection with patent infringement matter brought on its behalf against Fortune 100 company, related to real time vehicle guidance and traffic forecasting.
  • Counsel to court-appointed receiver on multiple receiverships, advising receiver on a wide range of matters, including labor and employment law issues, contract disputes, ongoing litigation, regulatory issues, and Intellectual Property issues.

  • Counsel to town planning board in connection with Establishment Clause and Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA) issues related to annexation applications.

  • Represented executives and employees of Royal Ahold subsidiaries in investigation of U.S. Foodservice by U.S. Attorney’s Office and SEC and in related civil litigation.
  • Representing individuals in connection with proceedings before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.
  • Represented the former president of Bank Al-Madina in a civil RICO case filed on his behalf in the Southern District of New York in connection with the multi-billion dollar collapse of Bank Al-Madina.
  • Represented export company and its leadership accused by U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Department of State of export violations.
  • Represented Brazilian bank in connection with discovery in aid of litigation in Brazil
  • Represented international bank in connection with civil litigation related to Parmalat collapse.
  • Represented sales executives in the criminal investigation of foreign pharmaceutical company for alleged off-label drug promotion and bribery of prescribing doctors.
  • Represented senior executive of a telecommunications company in criminal and SEC investigations relating to alleged fraud in reporting financial results.
  • Represented Big Four accounting firms in various federal securities class actions and malpractice actions.
  • Represented accused at trial in first-ever criminal prosecution for alleged perjury before the National Association of Securities Dealers.
  • Conducted internal investigation of major foreign corporation relating to whistleblower allegations of false financial reporting; represented company in resulting FBI and SEC investigations.
  • Extensive involvement in drafting and planning motion to dismiss complaint against an international banking client in $150 million federal district court case involving RICO, fraud, and money laundering claims similar to those advanced in the Bank of New York-Russian money laundering case.  Plaintiff dismissed the action without prejudice rather than respond to the motion.
  • Briefed and argued case before the New York State Appellate Division that resulted in a substantial change in the law governing the de facto merger doctrine (Fitzgerald v. Fahnestock, 730 N.Y.S. 2d 70 (1st Dept. 2001).

Publications & Events

In the News

Education

  • Rutgers University School of Law, Newark (J.D. 1993), Senior Research Editor, Rutgers Law Review; First Place Nathan Baker Mock Trial Competition; Semifinalist, David Cohn Appellate Moot Court Competition
  • Rutgers University, New Brunswick (B.A. 1990)

Bar Admissions

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • District of New Jersey
  • Eastern District of Wisconsin