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Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

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Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

Can You Marry Your Relative In New York


Can You Marry Your Relative In New York

New York has relatively permissive laws when it comes to marrying relatives. While marriages between direct ancestors and descendants, siblings, and aunts/uncles and nieces/nephews are prohibited, first cousins are allowed to marry in New York. This article will explore New York’s cousin marriage laws, examine some famous cousin marriages, look at the history of cousin marriage, and discuss the implications.

Cousin Marriage Laws in New York

New York’s Domestic Relations Law lays out which relatives are prohibited from marrying each other in the state. This includes:

  • Ancestors and descendants (parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren)
  • Siblings of whole or half blood (siblings that share both parents or just one parent)
  • Uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews

Notably missing from the prohibited degrees of relationship are first cousins. New York does not have any laws specifically allowing or prohibiting first cousins from marrying. This effectively means first cousin marriage is legal by default in New York.

The same goes for first cousins once removed (the children of your first cousins), second cousins, and more distant cousins. Basically any cousins beyond direct siblings are allowed to marry in New York.

When applying for a marriage license in New York, you may be asked if you are related to your intended spouse. You can freely disclose that you are first cousins or whatever degree of cousins you are. The clerk cannot deny you a license on that basis alone.

However, there are a few caveats:

  • Other states may not recognize cousin marriages performed in New York if they prohibit cousin marriage.
  • The Catholic Church requires special permission from the bishop for first cousins to marry in the church.

So while you can legally marry your first cousin in New York, there may be some additional considerations depending on your situation.

Famous Cousin Marriages

Marrying cousins has been relatively common throughout history, especially among royal families seeking to maintain dynastic control. Here are a few of the more famous cousin marriages in recent times:

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt – 5th cousins once removed
  • Edgar Allan Poe and Virginia Clemm – 1st cousins
  • Albert Einstein and Elsa Löwenthal – 1st cousins
  • Saddam Hussein and Sajida Talfah – 1st cousins
  • Rudy Giuliani and Regina Peruggi – 2nd cousins once removed
  • Jesse James and Zerelda Mimms – 1st cousins

So marrying cousins, even first cousins, has never been that unusual among famous and powerful figures.

History of Cousin Marriage in New York

New York’s first marriage law prohibiting certain relatives from marrying was passed in 1830. This original list of prohibited relationships did not include first cousins.

In fact, first cousins have never been included in New York’s prohibited degrees of kinship for marriage. For almost 200 years, first cousins have been allowed to legally marry in New York.

There was one attempt in the early 1900s to prohibit first cousin marriage, but it failed to pass. And no serious efforts have been made since then to ban cousin marriage in New York.

So first cousin marriage has a long history of legal acceptance in the state.

Implications of Cousin Marriage

The two biggest concerns around cousin marriages are the increased risks of genetic defects in children and the potential social awkwardness.

Marrying a blood relative does increase the chances of recessive genetic conditions being expressed in offspring. The closer the biological relationship, the higher the risks due to overlapping DNA.

First cousins have about 12.5% of their DNA in common. The increased risks to potential children are relatively small at 4-7% above the background risk. But it is still higher compared to unrelated parents.

Genetic counseling is recommended so couples can make informed decisions about risks. Some states actually require genetic testing before allowing first cousin marriages.

The other issue is social. Marrying cousins can be viewed as taboo or unacceptable, especially in places where it is uncommon. Even in New York, you may face judgment and prejudice for marrying a first cousin.

Laws allowing cousin marriage try to balance these factors against the personal freedom of consenting adults to marry who they choose. It is a complex issue with reasonable arguments on both sides.

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I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

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It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

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