Attorney Robert King

Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Lawyer in Rochester, NY

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.

Prosecutorial Background

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.

Robert King is a member of The National Trial Lawyers "Top 100 Trial Lawyers"

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 number of 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.

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