Lev Dassin

  • Lecturer in Law

Lev L. Dassin is a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton.

He focuses on complex commercial litigation and white-collar defense matters. Before joining the firm, Dassin served as acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from December 2008 through August 2009.

In that capacity, he was responsible for all criminal and civil litigation in the district on behalf of the U.S., and supervised more than 220 assistant U.S. attorneys. He oversaw a number of high profile matters, including the prosecutions of Bernard Madoff and Marc Dreier, and the representation of the U.S. interest in the Chrysler and General Motors bankruptcy proceedings. In addition, he oversaw national security and terrorism cases. Dassin also served as deputy United States attorney—the second in command of the office—from January through November 2008, and was chief of the criminal division of the U.S. attorney’s Office from September 2005 through January 2008.

Before rejoining the U.S. Attorney’s Office in September 2005, he was in private practice, where he represented corporations and individuals in complex commercial litigation. He worked on trial in federal and state court, and in investigations conducted by the Department of Justice, various U.S. Attorney's Offices, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and other regulatory bodies. Mr. Dassin served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1992 to 1998, where he prosecuted a wide range of cases involving terrorist acts, racketeering violations, narcotics trafficking, money laundering and white-collar crimes.

Dassin was a lead prosecutor in the investigation and prosecution of Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center. In recognition of his work on that case, he was honored with the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service. Dassin also received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for his role in the investigation and prosecution of four other defendants for their participation in the 1993 bombing.

Dassin received his J.D. from New York University School of Law in 1990 and his B.A. from Cornell University in 1987.