NiaLena Caravasos

NiaLena Caravasos

ON SUPER LAWYERS COVER IN PHILADELPHIA MAGAZINE & DESCRIBED AS FIERCE
  • Criminal Law, White Collar Crime
  • Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, U.S. District Ct, Eastern District of PA
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Summary

A driving cornerstone of NiaLena's success is her passionate advocacy and her belief in traveling "the road less traveled by" made so famous by the poet, Robert Frost. Recently spotlighted by Super Lawyers in a feature article entitled "Fierce" and honored repeatedly as one of the "Top 50 Women" in Pennsylvania, NiaLena is the only criminal defense lawyer ever featured on the Super Lawyers cover in Philadelphia Magazine. Differing from most of her colleagues, NiaLena has tremendous compassion and focuses first on her clients as people. She utilizes a unique all-encompassing approach in an effort to help them during their representation because she realizes that clients who have been caught in the crosshairs of a criminal investigation are typically also dealing with a variety of other serious issues that transcend the confines of their specific legal case. Differing again from most other criminal lawyers, NiaLena is a graduate from the renowned Wharton School and also has work experience in the international business world. Consequently, she is also able to identify with many of the challenges facing white collar crime defendants in a manner that her colleagues cannot. Often setting her own course, NiaLena is known for always putting her clients' interests first: that reputation was initially earned when she was the youngest and only female attorney representing a high-ranking organized crime figure in the federal RICO trial of U.S. v. Joseph Merlino and yet did not hesitate to separate her client, Frank Gambino, and go against the old-boys network of other criminal lawyers representing mafia co-defendants. Her client who emerged from the trial victorious through his acquittals of attempted murder and racketeering charges was the beneficiary of NiaLena's individual courage, relentlessness, and strategic creativity. NiaLena was also the youngest and only female attorney representing Senator Vincent Fumo, long regarded as the most powerful politician in PA.

Practice Areas
  • Criminal Law
  • White Collar Crime
Additional Practice Area
  • Federal Criminal Defense
Fees
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    Fees are specific to every case.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
Massachusetts
Pennsylvania
U.S. District Ct, Eastern District of PA
3rd Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Greek: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Owner
Law Office Of NiaLena Caravasos, LLC
- Current
Philadelphia Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer
Education
Boston University School of Law
J.D. / Law, Juris Doctor
-
Honors: (1) Commencement Award (BNA Law Student Award); (2) American Jurisprudence Award (Criminal Trial Practice); (3) Edward F. Hennessey Scholar; and (4) Commencement Speaker to the Faculty)
University of Pennsylvania
B.S. / Multinational Management and Marketing
-
Honors: The Wharton School (Graduated cum laude; Bachelor of Science degree in Economics)
Awards
Client Distinction Award
Martindale-Hubbell
"Top 100 Trial Lawyers"
The National Trial Lawyers
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
"Top 50 Women Super Lawyers"
Super Lawyers
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
“Best Attorneys Of America” Lifetime Charter Member
Rue Ratings
Selected to become a "Fellow"
Litigation Counsel of America
Pennsylvania Law Firm Of The Year in Criminal Law
Corporate INTL
Global Awards Winner -- "PA Criminal Defense & White Collar Crime Attorney of the Year"
Corporate INTL
"10 Best" Attorneys in Pennsylvania
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
"Top 3 Criminal Defense Lawyers" in Philadelphia
Three Best Rated®
"America's Most Honored Professionals"
American Registry
Lifetime Achievement Membership
America’s Top 100 Attorneys®
"Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers"
American Society of Legal Advocates
Named as a "Top 10" Criminal Defense Attorney in Pennsylvania
The National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
"Criminal Defense Law Firm of the Year in Pennsylvania"
Corporate INTL
Client Distinction Award
Martindale-Hubbell
"Top 100 Trial Lawyers"
The National Trial Lawyers
"Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers"
American Society of Legal Advocates
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
"10 Best" Attorneys in Pennsylvania
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
"Top 50 Women Super Lawyers"
Super Lawyers
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
America's Most Honored Professionals
American Registry
"10 Best" Law Firms in Pennsylvania
American Institute of Criminal Lawyers
"Best Attorneys Of America" Lifetime Charter Member
Rue Ratings
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
"Top 100 Trial Lawyers"
The National Trial Lawyers
"Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers"
American Society of Legal Advocates
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
"Top-Rated Legal Leaders"
Martindale-Hubbell
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Best Attorneys Of America" Lifetime Charter Member
Rue Ratings
"10 Best" Attorneys in Pennsylvania
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
"Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyers"
American Society of Legal Advocates
Membership is extended to only the top 2% of lawyers "who combine stellar legal credentials with proven commitment to community engagement, leadership, and the highest professional standards."
"Clients' Choice - White Collar Crime"
Avvo
"Clients' Choice - Federal Crime"
Avvo
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
"2013 Top Rated Lawyer in White Collar - Criminal Defense"
American Lawyer Media
"2013 Top Rated Lawyer in White Collar - Criminal Defense"
Martindale-Hubbell
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
Only Female Lawyer in Private Practice in Philadelphia Listed in Super Lawyer Field of "Criminal Defense"
Featured on 2013 "Super Lawyers" Cover in "Philadelphia Magazine"
Super Lawyers
Spotlighted in Feature Article Entitled "Fierce" (PA Super Lawyers, 2013)
Super Lawyers
"Law Award - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year"
Lawyers World
"Top-Rated Legal Leaders"
Martindale-Hubbell
Global Award
M&A International
The M&A International Global Award is an honor that is bestowed upon "firms that are truly leaders within their chosen areas of specialization." The M&A International Annual Awards programs accumulate votes from over 163 countries globally and "provide a benchmark of the very best of the best industry leaders, exemplary teams and distinguished organizations, based on the simple principles of veracity, accuracy and insight."
"Top 100 Trial Lawyers"
The National Trial Lawyers
Membership obtained by special invitation and extended only to "top 100 trial lawyers" in every state who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature & profile.
"Law Award - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year"
Lawyers World
"Leading Lawyer Award - PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year"
Lawyers World
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
"Clients' Choice - Federal Crime"
Avvo
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
Only Female Lawyer in Private Practice in Philadelphia Listed in Super Lawyer Field of "Criminal Defense"
Global Awards Winner -- "PA Criminal Defense & White Collar Crime Attorney of the Year"
Corporate INTL
"Top Rated Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White Collar"
Corporate Counsel
"Top Rated Lawyers in Criminal Defense: White Collar"
The American Lawyer
"Top 100 Trial Lawyers"
The National Trial Lawyers
Membership obtained by special invitation and extended only to "top 100 trial lawyers" in every state who exemplify superior qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, stature & profile.
"Client Distinction Award"
Martindale-Hubbell
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Top Northeast Lawyer"
Avvo
Featured in Nov./Dec. 2011 edition of Avvo's Arrive Magazine
Global Awards Winner -- "PA Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year"
Corporate INTL
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
Only Female Lawyer in Private Practice in Philadelphia Listed in Super Lawyer Field of "Criminal Defense"
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell
Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
Pennsylvania Law Firm Of The Year in Criminal Law
Corporate Int'l
Pennsylvania Law Firm Of The Year in White Collar Crime
Corporate Int'l
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
Superb rating (10.0 out of 10)
Avvo
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
Only Female Lawyer in Private Practice in Philadelphia Listed in Super Lawyer Field of "Criminal Defense"
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" in Criminal Defense
Super Lawyers
Only Female Lawyer in Private Practice in Philadelphia Listed in Super Lawyer Field of "Criminal Defense"
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Pennsylvania Rising Star" in Criminal Defense
Superlawyers
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
"Pennsylvania Rising Star" in Criminal Defense
Superlawyers
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
Highest professional rating (AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review Rated)
Martindale-Hubbell
Closing argument on behalf of Frank Gambino in four-month organized crime racketeering federal criminal trial of United States v. Joseph Merlino was subsequently selected among nationwide submissions and spotlighted as featured defense advocate
Center for Criminal Justice Advocacy
Professional Associations
American Society of Legal Advocates
Member (by invitation only)
Current
The College of Physicians of Philadelphia; Section on Medicine, Ethics & the Law
Member (by invitation only)
Current
American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys
Member (by invitation only)
Current
Federal Bar Association, Criminal Law Committee
Member
Current
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member
Current
Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Member
Current
The National Trial Lawyers
Member (by invitation only)
Current
Association of Federal Defense Attorneys (AFDA)
Member
Current
The National Trial Lawyers, Criminal Trial Lawyers' Association
Member (by invitation only)
Current
Philadelphia Bar Association
Member
Current
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Member
Current
Publications
Articles & Publications
"Ineffective Assistance of Counsel"
The Philadelphia Lawyer
"Ineffective Assistance of Counsel"
The Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest
Frequent guest speaker over the past decade on white collar crime as well as ethics in Leadership programs
Management Department at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
Lecturer in multiple CLE seminars
Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) Criminal Law Symposium
Teaching Forensic Psychiatry (Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)
The Evolution of Forensic Psychiatry: History, Current Developments, Future Directions
Oxford University Press
"Inside the Minds: Jury Selection in Criminal Cases"
Aspatore Book, Thomson Reuters
Speaking Engagements
White Collar Crime & Business Ethics, Leadership Programs, Management Department
The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania
The Growing Intersection Between Forensic Psychiatry And Federal Criminal Defense, Forensic Psychiatric Fellowship Training Program
Department of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Civil Rights And How To Best Exercise Those Rights, National Youth Rights Association
University of Pennsylvania
Criminal Defense
Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) Criminal Law Symposium
Certifications
Admitted to Practice
Massachusetts State Bar
Admitted to Practice
Pennsylvania State Bar
Admitted to Practice
3rd Circuit Court of Appeals
Admitted to Practice
US District Court, Eastern District of PA
Admitted to Practice
US Supreme Court
Websites & Blogs
Website
Law Office Of NiaLena Caravasos, LLC
Legal Answers
6 Questions Answered

Q. We have DNA evidence. How do we connect with a criminal lawyer who isn't afraid. Please advise.
A: There are many online forums, including Justia, where you can research the top criminal defense attorneys in Pennsylvania and then make your decision regarding who you wish to contact. Don't be afraid to reach out. If the person whom you contact is not the right one for this particular case, she/he will hopefully refer you to someone who is.
Q. Is delaying prosecution investigative misconduct
A: Your question is too vague to even begin answering it. You really should discuss this issue with a federal criminal defense attorney regarding the particular prosecution that concerns you and the investigation.
Q. Is the AUSA responsible for any request made by the federal goverment
A: Not necessarily. There is no simple answer to your question and everything is fact specific and case specific. You really should discuss your particular circumstances privately and in detail with a federal criminal defense attorney.
Q. The AUSA for the fed. gov. agrees to sit down and show the def. all the evidence they are going to present is it good/ba
A: This meeting that you describe is called a reverse proffer. It can be helpful for a defendant to understand the scope of the government's case. Keep in mind, however, that there is usually (but not always) additional discovery provided as you get closer to trial that would not be shown to you now, barring some special arrangement with the US Attorney's Office. You should discuss your situation with a highly qualified federal criminal defense attorney before deciding how to proceed.
Q. If you are staying in a hotel can law enforcement spy on you visually while in the room and record your conversations
A: Law enforcement would have to have a warrant in order to run surveillance and tap your conversations. They can only get such a warrant if they have convinced a court that there is probable cause of criminal activity by you and/or someone else in the room. If your question is more than just a hypothetical, I strongly suggest that you reach out to a criminal lawyer in Pennsylvania in order to further discuss your situation.
Q. How do i find out about a federal inmate court date if the his lawyer or p/o have no idea about it
A: You can register with Pacer (https://www.pacer.gov), which is the federal court database. That way, you can look up the federal defendant and read his/her court docket.
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Social Media
Contact & Map
Law Office Of NiaLena Caravasos, LLC
620 Chestnut Street, 926 Public Ledger Building, 150 S. Independence Mall West
Philadelphia, PA 19106
USA
Telephone: (215) 925-5200