Scott Kessler is the bureau chief of the domestic violence bureau at the Queens County District Attorney's Office.
Under his leadership, the domestic violence bureau has earned a national reputation as one of the best in the country based on its high conviction rate and its successful prosecution of thousands of cases without the victim's cooperation. Kessler has collaborated with the NYPD to develop a system of early investigation and case enhancement that enables his prosecutors to proceed with "evidence-based prosecution." This system includes an integrated database of digital photographs of domestic violence victims, digital delivery of 911 calls, e-mails to communicate with and transmit orders of protection to victims, 24-hour "on-call" prosecutors who respond to major domestic violence incidents, and questionnaires for police officers to record excited utterances made by victims at crime scenes and hospitals. The U.S. Department of Justice has studied the approach applied by Kessler in the domestic violence bureau and has selected it as a standard for other jurisdictions to emulate.
Since 1988, Kessler has been an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, prosecuting a wide range of felonies from investigation to trial, including murder, robbery, rape, sexual abuse, and assault, among others. In 2005, he received the Dewey Award for Most Outstanding Prosecutor from the New York City Bar Association.
Kessler has been an adjunct professor at St. John's University School of Law since 1996 and has taught other prosecutors his techniques on "evidence-based prosecution" both nationally and internationally. He was named the 2005 Adjunct Professor of the Year by St. John's Law School, and in 2006, 2007, and 2008 he was named Clinical Professor of the Year.