main menu

James R. DeVita


Jim DeVita is a highly experienced trial and appellate lawyer. He represents companies and individuals in government investigations and prosecutions, including investigations and cases conducted or brought by investigative and prosecuting agencies such as the US Department of Justice, the SEC, the IRS, the District Attorney’s Office for New York County and the Attorney General of the State of New York. He also has extensive experience litigating complex civil, commercial and securities cases in the courts, and in administrative and arbitral forums like FINRA. During his long and varied legal career, Mr. DeVita has represented companies of all sizes and individuals from all walks of life: from the CEO of a large international conglomerate to countless indigent defendants in Federal criminal cases as a member of the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) panel for the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Mr. DeVita began his career with a large Wall Street law firm where he specialized in antitrust, securities and general commercial litigation. In 1981, he joined the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. While there he was a member of the prosecution team in the criminal tax case of United States v. Sun Myung Moon and served as the Attorney in Charge of the Southern District’s branch office in White Plains, NY. For his final case in the United States Attorney’s Office, he was the lead investigator and prosecutor in the criminal tax case United States v. Leona Helmsley, et al. After leaving the US Attorney’s Office, he volunteered as a Special Assistant United States Attorney to helped represent the Government in the defendants’ appeal from their conviction.

Upon reentering private practice, Mr. DeVita assumed the role of defense attorney in criminal investigations and prosecutions, and acted as litigator and trial attorney representing clients as both sides in complex civil and commercial litigation. From 2002 through 2007, he was co-counsel to L. Dennis Kozlowski, President and CEO of Tyco Ltd., and played a major role in two trials, the first of which ended in a mistrial and each of which lasted approximately six months. Mr. DeVita also assisted in the direct appeals from the adverse result of the second trial.

Mr. DeVita joined Doar Rieck DeVita Kaley & Mack on March 2, 2015 to be reunited with his U.S. Attorney’s Office colleagues, Walter Mack and John Kaley, and to participate in the legacy of the late John Doar, whom he has always regarded as a true giant of the legal profession.


J.D., Fordham University School of Law, Valedictorian, 1974
B.A., Lafayette College, 1971

Bar Admissions

U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court Western District of New York

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the State of New York
  • Federal Bar Council
  • New York Council of Defense Lawyers

Past Employment Positions

  • Day Pitney LLP, 2010-2015
  • Schoeman Updike & Kaufman LLP, 2009-2010
  • Bryan Cave LLP, 2001-2009
  • Law Offices of James R. DeVita, 1993-2001
  • Spengler Carlson Gubar Brodsky & Frischling, 1989-1993
  • Office of the U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York, Assistant United States Attorney, 1981-1989
  • Seward & Kissell, 1979-1981
  • Sullivan & Cromwell, 1974-1979