Derek is an experienced litigator who has handled a wide-variety of civil cases across the State of New York on both the plaintiff’s and defense-side of courtroom. In addition to civil litigation, Derek has ample experience as a criminal defense attorney. Derek fell in love with the courtroom while practicing criminal defense for a firm in Syracuse with a state-wide impact. There he learned how to represent real people facing real issues who need a true advocate. A guiding principle to Derek’s practice is the concept that, while he handles multiple disputes, each of those cases represent an individual person who feels his or her case is a priority.
Derek is responsible for Phelan, Phelan and Danek’s criminal defense practice. He has spent a significant portion of his career learning the complexities of New York criminal law and cultivating a passion for using that knowledge to help those who need it most. From assaults to white collar crime and from simple traffic infractions to the most serious of impaired driving cases, Derek is dedicated to the pursuit of the best possible result for clients facing the dire consequences of a criminal record. To him, it doesn’t matter whether his client is guilty because there is always a story to tell and a chance to do good in someone’s life. After handling hundreds of DWI/DUI and criminal cases, Derek is confident in his skills as a criminal defense attorney, whether it be negotiating with the District Attorney’s Office and judge for the most favorable result or taking a case to hearings and trial.
Derek found that his experiences growing up in a military family and moving from state-to-state on a regular basis molded him into a flexible and approachable attorney whom anyone can trust. When not active in the courtroom, Derek spends his time with his girlfriend Stefanie and their two rescued dogs, Lucy and Jimi. He is also an avid runner with an eye towards his first marathon in the near future.
Bar and Court Admissions
Derek is admitted to practice in New York state courts (2013) and the Northern District of the United State District Court for the State of New York (2013).
New York State Bar Association
Albany County Bar Association
New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyer’s Rising Stars in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
2016 – Client Counseling and Criminal Defense Negotiations at Syracuse University College of Law legal clinic seminar class
2016 – The Effects of DWI at a STOP DWI and Driver Safety Night held at Manlius Pebble Hill School
2015 – The Importance of Pro Bono Work in the Community at a Reception for National Celebrate Pro Bono Week held at Syracuse University College of Law
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