Former NYPD Commisioner Bernie Kerik will be back in court this afternoon where federal prosecutors are expected to lay out their reasons why they think Judge Stephen C. Robinson should conduct a hearing to determine if Kerik’s lawyers Barry Berke and Eric Tirschwell are barred by potential conflicts from representing Kerik.
It’s deja vu all over again for the former presidential nominee for secretary of Homeland Security now known in Valhalla as Inmate #210717. Federal prosecutors got his last lawyer, Ken Breen, bounced from the case the same way. Breen, it turns out, is a potential witness in the case.
Whatever the outcome of the case, Kerik can’t complain he had a lack of talent working on his side of the aisle. Breen’s bona fides include 10 years as a federal prosecutor, part of which was a stint as the deputy chief of the securities and business fraud section in the US Attorney’s office in Brooklyn. And his current lawyers hardly represent a step down: Berke has been recognized as one of the 50 best litigators in the country under the age of 45 by the magazine The American Lawyer. Tirschwell was recognized last year by Lawdragon as one of the 500 best lawyers in the country.
And all that doesn’t even include headline-making defense lawyer Joe Tacopina who represented Kerik when he was prosecuted by the Bronx D.A.’s office and in the early stages of the federal investigation. Tacopina, fresh off his successful defense of state senator Hiram Monserrate against felony charges stemming from the slashing of his girlfriend, is expected to be called by federal prosecutors to testify against Kerik.