Attorney Robert King
Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyer in Rochester, NY
Mr. King spent his youth in rural Wayne County, New York, where he excelled
academically and athletically. He was the captain of the Varsity Soccer
team at St. John Fisher College. After college he raced sailboats competitively
throughout North America and as far away as Athens, Greece. Mr. King graduated
Syracuse University College of Law in 2007.
His focus in law school was criminal law with a concentration in counterterrorism
law. In his final year of law school Mr. King completed his capstone paper
on the legal standard for tracing terrorist financing within the United
States. In law school he also consulted with the Department of Justice
and US Customs and Border patrol, eventually proposing a system that would
require the use of biomarkers at the border for anyone entering the United States.
Mr. King is active in the community. He is a past president of the Young
Alumni Association at St. John Fisher College. He is currently active
in the Wayne Central Soccer Alumni Association. He continues to race sailboats
at the Rochester Yacht Club, where he also serves on the Board of Directors.
He was married at St. Rose Church, in Sodus Point, NY, in September 2012.
As a new Assistant District Attorney in Monroe County, Mr. King was assigned
to the local courts bureau, which handled misdemeanor prosecutions in
the Town Courts in Monroe County and Rochester City Court. The average
case load in local courts was approximately 2,000 misdemeanor cases per
year, including Driving While Intoxicated, Assault, Possession of Controlled
Substances, and Harassment. In local court, Mr. King successfully prosecuted
hundreds of cases through trial. After law school, Mr. King began his
career at a leading civil defense firm. The monotony of a desk job drove
him back to the District Attorney's Office where he had spent his
last summer in law school as an intern.
After gaining significant experience in local court, Mr. King was promoted
to the Special Victims Unit, responsible for prosecuting the most sensitive
cases, crimes involving domestic violence and child abuse. While in the
Special Victims Unit he took over twenty jury trials to verdict.
The Special Victims Unit was also where Mr. King first became interested
in becoming a defense attorney. "I learned that people do anything
to save themselves, or hurt people they are mad at. Every day people lie
to the police and lie on the witness stand. Sometimes the liars are the
police themselves. I learned that prosecutors are often forced to try
convict people that aren't guilty because of bad police work and bad
administrative policies," he says when asked about the switch. "I
was fortunate to know some great defense attorneys when I was a prosecutor
and eventually became very jealous of their freedom to go to war for one
person, their client."
Transition to Criminal Defense
Mr. King hit the ground running as a criminal defense attorney. In his
first year he saw eight felony cases to completion, including an A felony
sex crime (with a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison) a B
violent felony (potential sentence of 25 years), a C violent felony (up
to 15 years). The results were three complete dismissals, one misdemeanor
conviction with six weekends in jail, two terms of probation, and a plea
to possession of a gun with three and a half years for the young man charged
with shooting two people.
Over the next several years Mr. King successfully handled over 175 criminal
cases. The number of cases is relatively low. This is intentional. The
firm limits the number of cases in order to devote the appropriate amount
of attention to each case.
Mr. King handles all types of cases. The level of case has ranged from
the lowest to the highest: violations and misdemeanor offenses to felony
charges like murder, sexual abuse, complex white collar cases, and multi-year
investigations into drug trafficking organizations. The firm has handled
more than 25 class A and B felonies – the most serious cases in
New York State.
"I have learned that every single case is critical to the client's
life. The more serious cases are not always the most complicated, complex,
or difficult," says King. “I take the cases that I am interested
in. That usually means an interesting legal issue or potential for injustice.
Most of all, I take cases where I think I can help.”
The most impressive thing about the firm is the results. Unlike most firms,
results are carefully tracked. We like winning. We have done it over and over.
- The firm has handled over 100 misdemeanor cases.
- Criminal charges have been dismissed in 87 percent of those cases.
- In over 75 felony cases the charge has been dismissed or reduced 84 percent
of the time.
- In the past three years, only 11 percent have been sent to jail.
This is a results-based industry, and the results speak clearly.
An Advocate for the Injured
In addition to his Criminal Defense practice, Mr. King takes on a limited
personal injury cases. The firm's personal injury practice began after a past criminal
client was struck by a driver that was trying to send a text message and
came across a double solid line and struck him head on. The client was
a satisfied customer and demanded that Mr. King take his case, even though
the firm had no experience in personal injury law. The lawsuit was successful
and a settlement of over $100,000 was soon reached.
Over the next year a number of past clients were involved in personal injury
matters and they were also successfully resolved. These early cases demonstrated
that Mr. King's skills as a criminal trial lawyer transferred well
into civil practice. His ability to prepare a case for trial exceeded
others without criminal experience. More importantly, Mr. King was more
comfortable in court than most civil lawyers because he had spent his
early career in the courtroom.
Finally, Mr. King's experience settling virtually thousands of criminal
cases with plea bargains gave him an advantage during negotiations in
civil cases. Mr. King has continued to develop the personal injury practice
of the firm. He has successfully represented victims of car accidents,
slip and fall accidents, boat accidents, abuse, and various other types
of injury cases.
In 2016, Robert King was featured in the Super Lawyers Rising Stars list,
a peer-reviewed list that recognizes 2.5% of the most elite attorneys
in the state.