Joan K. Illuzzi-Orbon

Of Counsel

Joan Illuzzi-Orbon is an accomplished and seasoned attorney with more than three decades of experience leading complex, sensitive, and high-stakes investigations and prosecutions in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office.

ABOUT

Joan brings thirty-three years of experience and insight serving and—most recently as the Executive ADA and Chief of the Trial Division—leading the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she oversaw exhaustive investigations and high-stakes prosecutions, including securing the conviction of former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and guilty pleas from celebrities such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, and Ja-Rule. She successfully tried scores of criminal cases, including the high-profile Scores nightclub double murder, the murder of “Realtor to the Stars” Linda Stein, and the kidnapping and murder of six-year-old Etan Patz more than thirty years after his disappearance. At the Manhattan DA’s Office, Joan also designed response protocols for terrorist attacks, mass casualty crimes, and attacks on critical infrastructure, and served as the Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit prior to becoming the Chief of the Trial Division.

Joan’s ferocity and deftness in prosecuting criminals and pursuing justice is only matched by her compassion for and dedication to survivors of violent crimes and sexual assault. She approaches survivors and their families with attentiveness, thoughtfulness, and empathy. According to colleagues, it is not uncommon for crime victims to keep in touch with her years later, “not simply because she did her job well, but because it was clear she cared deeply,” and that she “goes well above and beyond” representing victims and survivors in court, such as also helping them obtain security systems and bodyguards when they felt unsafe. Sexual assault cases continue to be a large part of Joan’s practice, and given her high-caliber expertise, perspective, and judgment, she is also an invaluable asset to the firm’s trials and investigations practice.

Joan, who graduated from New York University and St. John’s University School of Law, later served as an adjunct lecturer for the graduate program on homeland security and criminal justice at St. John’s University. Widely recognized by her peers in the legal community, she has been invited to speak before numerous New York State judges and at Columbia Law School and Fordham Law School. She is a Fellow at the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Manhattan Institute, and a recipient of the New York County Lawyers Association Public Service Award.

EDUCATION

St. John’s University School of Law (J.D., 1988)

New York University (B.A., Political Science and Broadcast Journalism, 1984)

GOVERNMENT SERVICE

Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Executive Assistant District Attorney, Chief of the Trial Division, and Chief of the Hate Crimes Unit (1988-2022)

CLERKSHIP
AWARDS & RECOGNITION

New York County Lawyers Association Public Service Award (2010)

BAR & COURT ADMISSIONS

New York

BOARD SERVICE
PUBLICATIONS & MEDIA