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Toni Messina has been working as a criminal defense attorney in State and Federal Court  since 1990 first as a Public Defender for the Legal Aid Society, NYC, then starting her own firm in 2004.  She has been on the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel (CJA) of the Southern District of New York and has been an active member of the 18B panel since 2005. 


During law school (Northeastern University School of Law), she clerked for the Massachusetts Superior Court, and interned at the Committee for Public Counsel Services,  Palmer and Dodge, and the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office.

In addition to being a seasoned litigator, Toni is also a professional writer. Prior to law school, Toni worked as a journalist covering news of international interest from Rome, Italy, for CBS News and National Public Radio. She was the first reporter on the scene when Pope John Paul the Second was shot at Vatican Square, and covered the subsequent trial of his would-be assassin.

New York Criminal Defense Attorney

She has lectured on American Jurisprudence in Paris, France and in Universities in the U.S. and has mentored dozens of students.  Having traveled and lived throughout the world she understands the problems immigrants face navigating the legal systems of foreign countries and is eager to help them.


She has three children and is an avid arts lover, who, in her spare time, teaches Flamenco dance and plays keyboard with a Brazilian Bossa Nova group, the Bossa5.

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