24/7 call for a free consultation 212-300-5196




When you’re facing a federal issue, you need an attorney whose going to be available 24/7 to help you get the results and outcome you need. The value of working with the Spodek Law Group is that we treat each and every client like a member of our family.

Man Receives $6M in Malicious Prosecution Settlement

A Tale Of Long Wait for Justice: Derrick Deacon’s Story

Gather ’round the table, I’d like to share the riveting story of a man who was entangled in a veritable nightmare. Picture this, Derrick Deacon: more than 24 years behind the bars for a crime he never committed. A murder accusation that flipped his world upside down. His tireless battle for justice culminated in twist – a change that had him walking out of the courtroom, not guilty and a hefty $6 million richer as settlement for his malicious prosecution lawsuit against New York City.

The Early Years: Conviction and Confusion

You see New York Daily News gave an account of this on November 1, 2016. Turns out, back in 1989, young 16-year-old Anthony Wynn’s life was brutally cut short through a shooting in a Brooklyn apartment hallway. A certain Abdullah Pickering, hungry for the $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers hotline, pointed an accusing finger at Deacon, a reported drug user back then. Deacon stood his ground, proclaiming his innocence and swearing he’s nowhere near the crime scene. But alas, the verdict came down hard. Guilty. His fate sealed, he was sentenced to 25 years to life.

Unraveling The Truth: A New Hope Arises

Around 12 years into his sentence, in 2001, an unlikely ally appeared. Enter federal informant Trevor Brown. He approached the FBI with a bone-chilling revelation: this gang member, Pablo, confessed to the murder. According to the FBI informant, Pablo – in an unfortunate robbery gone sideways – turned out to be the real trigger that ended Wynn’s life.

Inching closer to the truth, Deacon pulled strings and by 2009, after a long eight-year wait, managed to bring Brown on the stand. But Brown wasn’t alone. Alongside him was another witness, Colleen Campbell, who was previously threatened by law enforcement to give a not-so-truthful testimony at Deacon’s first trial. Campbell, who originally told investigators that she saw someone else fleeing the crime scene, testified to the threats, the pressure, and her fear of the real perpetrator.

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

A Turn Of Events: Unsettling Discovery

The testimony unfolded how she was told that if she didn’t give vague testimony in court, her children would be taken away. “I was fearful of the real perpetrator and others who may have been associated with him. Being noncommittal about [Deacon] seemed to be the safest and easiest approach at the time,” she confessed at the 2009 hearing.

Despite riveting testimonies, Justice Albert Tomei decided against setting the verdict aside. However, fortune began to favor Deacon when, in 2012, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court decided to reverse Deacon’s conviction. The official statement read: “the likely cumulative effect of the newly discovered evidence and the recantation testimony established a reasonable probability that the result of a new trial would be a verdict more favorable to the defendant.” People v. Deacon, 96 A.D.3d 965, 946 N.Y.S.2d 613 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep’t 2012).

A Second Stand: The Final Verdict

But some cases refuse to die down, don’t you agree? The Brooklyn district attorney seemed to think so and decided for a retrial. So, in November 2013, Deacon found himself back in a familiar place. This time, however, the jury returned with their verdict in under nine minutes. Not guilty.

“There was no case,” the foreperson stated, blindsided by the lack of substantial evidence against Deacon. “There was never a shred of evidence against Derrick Deacon. Why did they try him a second time if he’s been in jail for 24 years?”

I guess the Brooklyn D.A.’s office might want to put some thought into that, given the taxpayers now bear the burden of the $6 million settlement Deacon won in his lawsuit.

“The case should have never been retried and the acquittal after nine minutes was a slap in the face of the D.A.’s Office,” Todd Spodek from the Spodek Law Group pondered. “This settlement is some level of redemption and compensation for Derrick’s suffering.”

Interestingly, this $6 million windfall was on top of another $3.9 million Deacon had already secured from the State of New York for his wrongful incarceration.

The Unveiling of a Brutal Reality

Such stories unfold every day, revealing the harsh realities of the justice system. Erroneous convictions, malicious prosecutions – and every so often the innocent pays the price. Derrick Deacon’s story, a painful journey of endurance and eventual vindication, should serve as a sobering reminder and call to action to mend these cracks in the justice system and a need for high-profile attorneys – like those at the Spodek Law Group – to ensure true justice is served.

Schedule Your Consultation Now