Harlan Levy

Partner, Co-Chair, State Attorney General Investigations practice - New York

Harlan Levy

Contact Information



hlevy@foleyhoag.com Download vCard

Harlan Levy is a nationally recognized litigation partner and trial lawyer in Foley Hoag's New York office. He co-chairs the firm's State Attorney General practice. The former Dean of Columbia Law School describes Harlan as “at the top of his legal generation for integrity, intellectual rigor, and wise analysis of complex issues,” and a former NY Attorney General has called him one of the “best legal minds in the state.”

Harlan has successfully represented a wide range of high-profile clients. He led Kentucky’s trial team in securing a historic price gouging settlement from a Fortune 50 corporation in Kentucky state court, defended the chief fundraiser for the Mayor of New York City in a highly publicized year-long federal criminal investigation of the Mayor and the fundraiser, represented the estate of a former President of the United States in an appeal to the Second Circuit, and litigated on behalf of survivors of World War II slave labor camps in a federal court action against German industrial corporations.

Harlan Chairs the Board of Directors of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and served for almost five years as Chief Deputy Attorney General of the State of New York (second in charge of that office). He also served as President of the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court.

Harlan was a moving force inside and outside the courtroom in the most important development in criminal justice of our time -- the use of genetic evidence to identify the guilty and exonerate the innocent. He is the author of a popular non-fiction book chronicling the history of DNA in the courtroom (And the Blood Cried Out, HarperCollins), which was reviewed as “superb” by the Wall Street Journal and “riveting” by Publishers Weekly. As a commentator on civil and criminal trials, Harlan has appeared over 100 times on national television, including CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, Fox, CNBC, MSNBC, and Court TV.  


  • Columbia University School of Law, J.D., Charles Evans Hughes Fellow, Executive Editor, Columbia Human Rights Law Review, 1980
  • Amherst College, B.A., magna cum laude, "First Citizen of the College Prize,” Class Day Speaker, Commencement, 1977

Representative Experience

  • Leading Kentucky’s trial team in a price gouging case against Marathon Petroleum and Speedway in Kentucky state court, securing a historic settlement on the eve of trial.
  • Defense of the chief political fundraiser for the Mayor of the City of New York in a year-long, highly publicized, federal criminal public corruption investigation of the chief fundraiser and the Mayor, resolved with no charges against the fundraiser or the Mayor.
  • Defending against New York City’s action to obtain a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction shutting down five New York City hotels under New York State’s “Airbnb law"—no TRO, preliminary injunction, or injunction granted.

Professional Experience

  • Chief Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General of New York (January 1, 2011 – October, 2015)
  • Assistant District Attorney, Major Offense/Career Criminal Bureau, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office (1987-1995)
  • Law Clerk, Judge Leonard P. Moore, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1980-1981)


  • Consistently listed in: Lawdragon 500 Leading Lawyers in America, City & State New York Law Power 100
  • John J. McCloy Award, Fund for Modern Courts (2016)
  • Public Service Award, Citizens Union (2016)


  • Chair, Board of Directors, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2021-2022)
  • President, Federal Bar Council Inn of Court (2017-2018)
  • Chair, Council on Criminal Justice, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (2008-2011)
  • Responding to State Attorneys General Investigations, General Counsel Forum, Columbia Law School (2018)
  • The Martin Act: A Tool for Reform or an Abuse of Power, NYU School of Law Center on the Administration of Criminal Justice (2018)
  • Key Issues in White Collar Criminal Defense, New York State Bar Association (2015)
  • Governmental Investigations and Litigation, New York City Bar Association Litigation Summit (2014)
  • Standards for Prosecuting Corporate Fraud, New York City Bar Association (2009)
  • Examination and Cross-Examination of Expert Witnesses, Federal Bar Council (2007)
  • Keynote Speaker, National Institutes of Health and Tuck School of Business, Conference on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of the Human Genome Project, Hanover, NH (2006)
  • National Commission on the Future of DNA Evidence, Dallas, TX (1999).
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Bar Admissions

  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York