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NiaLena Caravasos

About me

A driving cornerstone of NiaLena's success is her passionate advocacy and her belief in traveling "the road less traveled by" made so famous by the poet, Robert Frost.


•  Recently spotlighted by Super Lawyers in a feature article entitled "Fierce" 
•  Only criminal defense lawyer ever featured on Super Lawyers cover in Philadelphia Magazine
•  Honored by Super Lawyers as one of the "Top 50 Women" in Pennsylvania


Differing from most of her colleagues, NiaLena has tremendous compassion and focuses first on her clients as people. She utilizes a unique all-encompassing approach in an effort to help them during their representation because she realizes that clients who have been caught in the crosshairs of a criminal investigation are typically also dealing with a variety of other serious issues that transcend the confines of their specific legal case.


Differing again from most other criminal lawyers, NiaLena is a graduate from the renowned Wharton School and also has work experience in the international business world. Consequently, she is also able to identify with many of the challenges facing white collar crime defendants in a manner that her colleagues cannot.


Often setting her own course, NiaLena is known for always putting her clients' interests first: that reputation was initially earned when she was the youngest and only female attorney representing a high-ranking organized crime figure in the federal RICO trial of U.S. v. Joseph Merlino and yet did not hesitate to separate her client, Frank Gambino, and go against the old-boys network of other criminal lawyers representing mafia co-defendants. Her client who emerged from the trial victorious through his acquittals of attempted murder and racketeering charges and with an outcome better than the other defendants was the beneficiary of NiaLena's individual courage, relentlessness, and strategic creativity. NiaLena's closing argument on behalf of Frank Gambino was then chosen in a nationwide contest and featured by the Center for Criminal Justice Advocacy in Houston, and it is still being used to this day by professors around the country as a way to instruct students.


•  "Top 100 Trial Lawyers" by The National Trial Lawyers
•  "Best Attorneys Of America" Lifetime Charter Member by Rue Ratings
•  "10 Best" Attorneys in PA and "10 Best" Law Firms in PA by American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
•  "Global Awards Winner - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year" by Corporate INTL
•  "Leading Lawyer Award Winner - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year" by Lawyers World


NiaLena has also served not only as lead counsel in numerous serious multi-defendant federal and state criminal cases but also was the youngest and only female attorney representing Senator Vincent Fumo, long regarded as the most powerful politician in Pennsylvania, during his five-month high profile political corruption white collar federal trial.


NiaLena's federal criminal defense practice is primarily focused in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (including Philadelphia and the surrounding counties) but also includes the Middle District of Pennsylvania, the District of New Jersey, and multiple jurisdictions in the United States. The depth of her experience includes the defense of cases under investigation by various government agencies, such as:


•  U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS);
•  United States Secret Service;
•  Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI);
•  Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA);
•  Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF);
•  Office of Inspector General (OIG);
•  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE);
•  Internal Revenue Service (IRS); 
•  United States Postal Inspection Service.


NiaLena's efforts to never leave a stone unturned have been publicly recognized by federal judges, the press, her colleagues, and her former clients.  In this regard, NiaLena invites all readers to visit her website for a more comprehensive discussion on her career.


A frequent guest speaker at The Wharton School regarding the ethics of white collar crime, NiaLena credits much of her success to her beloved mentor and former law partner, F. Emmett Fitzpatrick. NiaLena also very much appreciates the wonderful reviews posted by her clients and also by fellow lawyers on Avvo.com, SuperLawyers.com, and Google.


 

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Languages spoken: Greek, English

Photos and videos

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Practice areas

Licensed

  1. White Collar Crime: 40%
  2. Federal Crime: 40%
  3. Criminal Defense: 20%

Payment

Fees:

Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check

Attorney endorsements

12 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Steven Fisher Fairlie

    NiaLena is the consummate professional. She is a tireless advocate for her clients. She understands them and brings a passion to helping them that is unrivaled. She is also very good at assessing a situation and figuring out the best move to make. I know this because I have collaborated with her on cases and she always comes up with the right step for the client to take next. You can't go wrong calling NiaLena for federal criminal defense matters.

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    Steven Fairlie Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

  • Mark E Schamel

    I endorse this lawyer's work. I had a client in trouble in Philadelphia on significant charges (rape) and was referred to NiaLena through a former professor we both had many years ago. I worked with her closely on the matter and she was fantastic. My client loved her, his family loved her and I found her to be top notch. The added bonus is that she is a people person who is a great communicator. The perfect mix in a defense attorney. A woman who is at the top of her game and can communicate to all those involved, all the while putting the client first. Exceptional client centered attorney who is going to get regular calls from me for work in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas. As for the case, all charges were dismissed pre-Indictment. Excellent job.

    More 

    Mark Schamel White collar crime Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact info

Law Office Of NiaLena Caravasos, LLC

Public Ledger Bldg, Suite 926
150 S. Independence Mall West, 620 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19106-3409

Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
PAActive199404/02/2016
MAInactive199308/28/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Awards
Award nameGrantorDate granted
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2016
Top 3 Criminal Defense Lawyers in PhiladelphiaThree Best Rated®2016
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2016
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2016
Top 100 Criminal Defense LawyersAmerican Society of Legal Advocates2016
"10 Best" Attorneys in PennsylvaniaAmerican Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys2016
Criminal Defense Law Firm of the Year in PennsylvaniaCorporate INTL2016
Global Awards ("PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year")Corporate INTL2016
“Best Attorneys Of America” Lifetime Charter MemberRue Ratings2016
Selected to become a "Fellow"Litigation Counsel of America2016
"Top 50 Women Super Lawyers"Philadelphia Magazine2016
"Top 50 Women Super Lawyers"SuperLawyers2016
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2016
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuperLawyers2016
America's Most Honored ProfessionalsAmerican Registry2016
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2015
"Top 50 Women Super Lawyers"SuperLawyers2015
"Top-Rated Legal Leaders"Martindale-Hubbell2015
Top 100 Criminal Defense LawyersAmerican Society of Legal Advocates2015
Criminal Defense Law Firm of the Year in PennsylvaniaCorporate INTL2015
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2015
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2015
"10 Best" Attorneys in PennsylvaniaAmerican Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys2015
"10 Best" Law Firms in PennsylvaniaAmerican Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys2015
“Best Attorneys Of America” Lifetime Charter MemberRue Ratings2015
"Top 10" Criminal Defense AttorneyThe National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys (NACDA)2015
America's Most Honored ProfessionalsAmerican Registry2015
"Top 50 Women Super Lawyers"Philadelphia Magazine2015
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2015
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuperLawyers2015
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2014
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2014
Top 100 Criminal Defense LawyersAmerican Society of Legal Advocates2014
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuperLawyers2014
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2014
"10 Best" Attorneys in PennsylvaniaAmerican Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys2014
"Top-Rated Legal Leaders"Martindale-Hubbell2014
“Best Attorneys Of America” Lifetime Charter MemberRue Ratings2014
Global AwardM&A International2013
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuper Lawyers2013
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2013
Spotlighted in Feature Article Entitled "Fierce"Super Lawyers2013
Featured on "Super Lawyers" CoverPhiladelphia Magazine2013
Law Award - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the YearLawyers World2013
“Top Rated Lawyer in White Collar - Criminal Defense”American Lawyer Media2013
“Top Rated Lawyer in White Collar - Criminal Defense”Martindale-Hubbell2013
"Clients' Choice" Award for "White Collar Crime"Avvo2013
Business Edition (White Collar Criminal Defense)Super Lawyers2013
"Top-Rated Legal Leaders"Martindale-Hubbell2013
Top 100 Criminal Defense LawyersAmerican Society of Legal Advocates2013
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2013
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2013
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2013
"Clients' Choice" Award for "Federal Crime"Avvo2013
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2012
Top 100 Trial LawyersThe National Trial Lawyers2012
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuper Lawyers2012
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2012
"Clients' Choice" Award for "White Collar Crime"Avvo2012
Leading Lawyer Award - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the YearLawyers World2012
Law Award - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the YearLawyers World2012
"Clients' Choice" Award for "Federal Crime"Avvo2012
“Top Rated Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White Collar”Corporate Counsel2012
“Top Rated Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White Collar”American Lawyer2012
Global Awards ("PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year")Corporate INTL2012
Global Awards ("PA White Collar Crime Attorney of the Year")Corporate INTL2012
Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™Martindale-Hubbell2011
Recognized as a "Top Northeast Lawyer" for Criminal DefenseAvvo (Featured in Arrive Magazine)2011
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuper Lawyers2011
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2011
Global Awards ("PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year")Corporate INTL2011
Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers™Martindale-Hubbell2011
Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers™Martindale-Hubbell2010
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2010
Pennsylvania Law Firm Of The Year in White Collar CrimeCorporate INTL2010
Pennsylvania Law Firm Of The Year in Criminal LawCorporate INTL2010
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2009
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuper Lawyers2009
Profiled in "Top Lawyers" editionMain Line Today Magazine2009
Influential Philadelphia Area LawyersSuper Lawyers2009
"Influential Philadelphia Area Lawyers"Super Lawyers (profile in Philadelphia Magazine)2009
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2009
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2008
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2008
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense"Super Lawyers2008
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2007
"Pennsylvania Rising Star Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2006
"Pennsylvania Rising Star Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuper Lawyers2006
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2006
"Pennsylvania Rising Star Super Lawyer" in Criminal DefenseSuper Lawyers2005
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2005
"Pennsylvania Rising Star Super Lawyer in Criminal DefensePhiladelphia Magazine2005
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2004
Spoltlight: Closing Argument in U.S. v. MerlinoCenter For Criminal Justice Advocacy2003
AV® Preeminent™ 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2003
Commencement Speaker to the FacultyBoston University School of Law1993
Edward F. Hennessey ScholarBoston University School of Law1993
Commencement Award (BNA Law Student Award)Boston University School of Law1993
American Jurisprudence Award (Criminal Trial Practice)Boston University School of Law1993
Graduated with Honors (Cum Laude)The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania1988
SelectedWho's Who In American LawN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
OwnerLaw Office Of NiaLena Caravasos, LLC2009 - Present
PartnerFitzpatrick & Caravasos, PC1997 - 2008
Law ClerkHonorable Lisa Aversa Richette1995 - 1997
Associations
Association namePosition nameDuration
Massachusetts Bar AssociationMemberN/A
American Institute of Criminal Law AttorneysMember (by invitation only)N/A
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia; Section on Medicine, Ethics & the LawMember (by invitation only)N/A
The National Trial Lawyers, Criminal Trial Lawyers' AssociationMember (by invitation only)N/A
The National Trial LawyersMember (by invitation only)N/A
Association of Federal Defense Attorneys (AFDA)MemberN/A
The Wharton Alumni Club of PhiladelphiaMemberN/A
American Hellenic Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMemberN/A
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMemberN/A
Federal Criminal Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Philadelphia Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Pennsylvania Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Alumni Interview Program, University of PennsylvaniaAmbassador, Wharton School CommitteeN/A
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
U.S. v. F.C.(See below)
Multiple Federal Criminal Cases(See below)
Law Firm Dispute(See below)
See all legal cases 
Publications
Publication nameTitleDate
Oxford University PressThe Evolution of Forensic Psychiatry: History, Current Developments, Future Directions2015
Super Lawyers"Fierce"2013
Aspatore Book publication (Thomson Reuters)Inside the Minds: Jury Selection in Criminal Cases2013
The Richmond Journal of Law and the Public InterestIneffective Assistance of Counsel2000
The ForumIneffective Assistance of Counsel1999
The Philadelphia LawyerIneffective Assistance of Counsel1999
Education
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Boston University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1993
University of PennsylvaniaEconomics (Dual Major in Multinational Management and Marketing)BS - Bachelor of Science1988
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Forensic Psychiatry Fellowship Training ProgramForensic Psychiatry and Federal Criminal Defense2013
National Youth Rights Association, University of Pennsylvania"Know Your Rights"2012
"Leadership In The Business World," The Wharton SchoolChanging Perception of White Collar Crime and Ethical Leadership2009
Management 100, The Wharton SchoolPublic Speaking and Client Presentations2007
"Leadership In The Business World," The Wharton SchoolEthical Issues In Criminal Defense2007
Management 100, The Wharton SchoolCollecting Evidence in Consulting Projects2006
"Leadership In The Business World," The Wharton SchoolCriminal Defense and the Defense of White Collar Crime2006
Management 100, The Wharton SchoolCultivating Client Relationships in Consulting2005
"Leadership In The Business World," The Wharton SchoolViolent Crime versus White Collar Crime2005
Management 100, The Wharton SchoolLeadership Issues and Group Dynamics2004
"Leadership In The Business World," The Wharton SchoolDefense of Corporate Executives Charged with White Collar Crime2004
17th Annual Criminal Law Symposium"A Game of Hide and Seek? Discovery in Criminal Law Cases"2000
"Leadership In The Business World," The Wharton SchoolDefense of Corporate Executives Charged with White Collar Crime1999