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New York City Criminal Defense & Civil Rights Attorney Craig Trainor

Craig Trainor is a rare breed among attorneys – a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. He has a unique understanding of the City’s history, culture, customs, needs, and future. Because he comes from a blue-collar section of south-eastern Brooklyn, Mr. Trainor is able to communicate with all segments of New York society, from the highly respected federal judge to the under appreciated courthouse staff and janitors, without whom the system would come to a grinding halt. His ability to engage anyone makes Mr. Trainor an effective advocate, whether he is negotiating a contract or trying a case.

Mr. Trainor has a diverse and exceptional background. Upon graduating from law school in 2005, Mr. Trainor became a law clerk to the Honorable Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., Chief Judge of the United States District Court for Northern District of New York. As anyone involved in the legal profession can attest, a “federal clerkship” is considered a crowning achievement for a young lawyer because the competition for the limited number of clerkships available in the United States is intense. As a result, the prestige and respect a federal clerkship commands is like few others in the law. As a law clerk, Mr. Trainor advised Judge Scullin on a variety of cases, from a large-scale civil fraud and breach of contract case to a complex criminal conspiracy case. He drafted legal decisions for the Judge’s review in a variety of contexts, from a civil rights case in which a number of police officers unlawfully imprisoned, strip-searched, and beat up a young African American male to a murder-for-hire, extortion, and conspiracy case involving a violent gang of drug dealers. He also assisted the Judge in the civil rights trial and federal prosecution that resulted from these cases.

Following his clerkship, Mr. Trainor began working as an associate attorney with De Feis O’Connell & Rose, P.C., a highly regarded white collar criminal defense and regulatory defense law firm. Mr. Trainor practiced law under three former accomplished federal prosecutors, one of whom was the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. As an associate, he defended clients accused by federal and state authorities of public corruption, securities fraud, bid rigging, money laundering, and operating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme that preceded the Bernie Madoff scandal. To that end, Mr. Trainor wrote legal briefs, motions to dismiss, and sentencing memoranda, which were submitted to courts as varied as the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York to the Delaware Court of Chancery, and dealt with federal and state prosecutors from numerous agencies. He also prepared clients for, and represented them in, proffer sessions and depositions with the United States Attorney’s Offices, the local District Attorney’s Offices, and the United States Securities & Exchange Commission.

Having honed his legal prowess in his three years handling sophisticated white collar cases, Mr. Trainor decided that, prior to setting up his own law firm, he would broaden his legal repertoire by joining the District Attorney’s Office. As an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, Mr. Trainor prosecuted hundreds of cases, ranging from assault to identity theft to shoplifting to drug dealing. He was charged with conducted hearings and trials. In doing so, he gained the insider’s perspective necessary to defend these same cases as a defense lawyer.

Upon completing his tenure at the prosecutor’s office, Mr. Trainor created The Trainor Law Firm, P.C., in order to give back to individuals and small businesses, as a criminal defense lawyer, a trusted legal advisor and defender, and a plaintiff’s attorney. While forming the Firm, Mr. Trainor worked with a well-known civil rights law firm, and handled federal cases involving New York City police officers depriving individuals of their constitutional rights, from using excessive force against criminal defendants to falsely arresting innocent individuals. Mr. Trainor also assisted the firm in a Federal Tort Claims Act case involving armed federal agents bursting into an innocent person’s home, causing the plaintiff extensive emotional injury.

Although Mr. Trainor’s substantial experience as a licensed New York attorney makes him ideal for your matter, there is more to the story. In order to appreciate fully the depth of Mr. Trainor’s experience, one must examine the legal positions he held even before he was admitted to the Bar. Indeed, it was while he was student in law school that Mr. Trainor drafted his first federal legal decision and tried his first case.

Mr. Trainor served as a judicial intern to legendary jurist Royce C. Lamberth, then a district court judge and now the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge Lamberth mentored Mr. Trainor and gave him substantial responsibilities, including drafting a number of complex Freedom of Information Act opinions involving a well-known FBI investigation and an opinion involving a question of first impression in the federal courts regarding attorney’s fees. Few law students can say they have had the high privilege of working directly under one of the finest federal judges in the United States, who is widely admired for his fierce independence and sage legal judgment.

From there, Mr. Trainor became a law clerk with the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, where he drafted legal memoranda and briefs for federal prosecutors in the Organized Crime and Narcotics Trafficking Section. One portion of a brief Mr. Trainor drafted resulted in a federal judge declining to suppress over half of a kilogram of crack-cocaine. This was a particularly significant victory because the judge stated on the record – prior to Mr. Trainor briefing the issue – that he was inclined to suppress the evidence because the police officer stopped the defendant in his vehicle on private property with, in the judge’s view, questionable probable cause. While researching the issue, Mr. Trainor found an obscure D.C. traffic regulation that permitted the officer to stop the defendant, and the judge ultimately ruled in the United States’ favor as a result. The defendant later pleaded guilty because of this ruling. As a result of Mr. Trainor’s efforts on the case, the federal prosecutor with whom he worked later informed the United States Attorney that: “But for the hard work and perseverance of Craig, the result would have been otherwise. . . . Had this case proceeded to trial, we would have no doubt made new case law on appeal.”

Seeking even more trial experience, Mr. Trainor became a student prosecutor in the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. There, Mr. Trainor tried four misdemeanor cases to verdict and second-chaired over twenty other misdemeanor cases in Maryland state court – a rare accomplishment for any law student.

Mr. Trainor’s extensive and diverse legal background demonstrates his exceptional qualities as an attorney who brings a strategically creative and aggressive approach to legal problems. He has the knowledge and judgment to advise clients on important decisions, while always focusing on minimizing a client’s risk and maximizing a client’s return. In sum, he will fight hard and, most importantly, effectively to obtain the best result for you.

Mr. Trainor has a unique set of skills and experience that position him
for success in your case


    Attorneys understand that a federal judge clerkship is a highly sought-after position. Mr. Trainor has used this experience to inform his work on behalf of those accused of crimes or harmed by police brutality and misconduct. The federal clerkship gave Mr. Trainor a keen understanding of how to build a winning case in federal court. He understands court procedures inside out and knows what types of arguments and evidence are persuasive.


    Mr. Trainor prosecuted hundreds of cases against people accused of crimes ranging from assault to identity theft to shoplifting to drug dealing. His criminal defense clients benefit from the insider’s perspective he gained in this position.

  • Federal and State Investigations

    Mr. Trainor spent three years focusing exclusively on defense of sophisticated white collar crimes, from public corruption to securities fraud. White collar criminal cases are highly complex and technically challenging. All of Mr. Trainor’s clients benefit from the depth of knowledge he has in financial crimes, investigation, and the use of experts in case development.

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