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George J. Cotsirilos
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George J Cotsirilos, Jr. has been a criminal defense lawyer for over thirty years and has taught Criminal Trial Practice at Berkeley Law for twelve years. He also has lectured on criminal law related subjects in a variety of other forums and, from 2000-2006, he was the chairperson of the Federal Criminal Justice Act Panel for the United States District Court, Northern District of California.
Mr. Cotsirilos began his career in 1978 as a deputy public defender in Contra Costa County, California, where he tried a complete range of state criminal cases, from misdemeanors to murder. Thereafter, Mr. Cotsirilos entered private practice in San Francisco, handling both federal and state matters throughout the nation at the trial and appellate levels. During the 1990's savings and loan scandal he successfully defended an attorney in charge of the bond program at the Lincoln Savings and Loan Association. He has since continued to handle a wide variety of criminal matters, trying dozens of criminal cases, from homicide to complex white collar matters. Among the scores of other cases he has litigated at the trial level, Mr. Cotsirilos successfully defended the first death eligible homicide case to be qualified by the United States Attorney General for federal capital prosecution in the Northern District of California, he successfully tried what was quantitatively the largest cocaine importation conspiracy case in the history of the Northern District of California, he gained acquittal on all charges in a high profile prosecution lodged against a Bay Area college professor accused of defrauding the United States Government, and he successfully defended a former vice president of a major energy company in the first known prosecution under the Federal Commodities Exchange Act.
At the appellate level, Mr. Cotsirilos has briefed and argued numerous cases before the state and federal appellate courts, including several which are cited as precedent for important principles of criminal law. Cotsirilos has repeatedly been acknowledged in The Best Lawyers In America and Chambers USA, as well as in Northern California Super Lawyers Magazine.
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