Martin H. Tankleff, Special Counsel at Barket Epstein Kearon Aldea & LoTurco, a boutique litigation firm with locations in Garden City, Huntington, and Manhattan.
Prof. Tankleff is the current Peter P. Mullen Distinguished Visiting Professor at Georgetown University (previous recipients include Ron Klaine, Seth Waxman, Paul Clement, Maureen Mahoney, and others) and now an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School. At Georgetown, Marty teaches a class alongside his childhood friend, Professor Marc M. Howard, called Making an Exoneree. It is an undergraduate class where students reinvestigate potential wrongful conviction cases. In the past five years, Marty and Marc have walked four innocent men out of prison . Through the work at Georgetown, Marty and Marc are either co-counsel or advisory team members on cases in several different states. At Georgetown Law School, Marc and Marty will teach The Prison Reform Project: Making an Exoneree.
Marty’s zealous advocacy for those who have been wrongly convicted stems from his own personal experience.
Marty was wrongfully convicted on June 28, 1990, for the murder of his parents, Seymour and Arlene, two years earlier. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Tankleff was a 17-year-old student, embarking on his Senior year of High School. In the blink of an eye, his life changed. After being sentenced to two consecutive terms of 25 years to life, Mr. Tankleff filed a 2003 appeal with new evidence from almost two dozen witnesses.
Represented by Bruce Barket, Stephen Braga, Jennifer O’Connor, Brent Gurney, Barry Pollack, Dawn Murphy-Johnson, Roberto Gonzalez, Sheila Kadaguther, Micah Meyers, Courtney Gilligan-Saleski, Mark Pomerantz, Warren Feldman, Scott Splittgerber, and many others, his conviction was overturned, and Marty was released after nearly 17½ years in prison on December 27, 2007. He is a nationally recognized exoneree and is on the National Registry of Exonerees.
After Marty was exonerated, he was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2020. Since Marty’s admission, he has obtained favorable results on behalf of his clients.
New York State Bar, 2020
Eastern District of New York, 2021
Southern District of New York, 2021
District of Columbia, 2021 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, 2021
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, 2021
Touro Law School
– Adjunct Professor of Law August 2018
– Taught a class on Wrongful Convictions
– Peter P. Mullen January 2022-Present
– Distinguished Visiting Professor
– Adjunct Professor of Government January 2018-2022
Teaches a class with Prof. Marc Howard called Making an Exoneree, where undergraduate students reinvestigate cases of incarcerated men/women who claim to be innocent where the students create documentaries and social media campaigns based on their investigation.
Teaches Making an Exoneree (www.MakinganExoneree.com) for past 5 years, an undergraduate five-credit course focusing on wrongful convictions. A full-length award-winning documentary about the 2018 class. (www.MakinganExonereeTheFilm.com)
Publications Books Burton-Rose, Pens and Wright, “The Celling of America An Inside Look at the US Prison Industry,” Common Courage Press (Monroe, Maine 1998) – contributing section on Televisions in Prisons
Journal/News Publications Lying to Suspects Must Stop Now, Newsday, March 19, 2021
I Spent 17 Years Wrongfully Incarcerated, Here’s Why I’m Worried About COVID-19 in Prisons – There is no way to “social distance” in prison. Published, April 1, 2020.
Amanda Knox Interviews Exoneree Wrongfully Convicted of Killing His Parents By Amanda Knox with Christopher Robinson – May 10, 2020
Preserve and protect discovery reform, NY Daily News, March 15, 2020
Adnan Syed deserves a new, and fair, trial, 42 wrongly convicted men and women say, Baltimore Sun, April 18, 2019
Not all teens who confess are guilty, CNN, June 12, 2018 Prison Legal News, Vol. 5, Issue #9, September 1994, “Prison TV: Luxury or Management Tool?”
Presentations and Invited Lectures Marty regularly speaks at colleges, universities, and high schools. He has lectured at the NYPD training academy and spoke at former Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer’s criminal justice college classes. He was the keynote speaker at the Nassau County Bar Association, the New York State Defenders Association and have spoken at Cardozo Law School, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Georgetown University, Boston University School of Law, Nassau Community College, Touro Law School, Williams College, University of Buffalo School of Law, and several others. The following are a sampling of some of his speaking engagements and presentations:
A true story about false confessions – A discussion with Marty Tankleff, exoneree, lawyer and former client of DLA Piper partner Courtney Saleski – March 2021
Spoke to 1L’s at Touro Law School, Central Islip, NY – August 2017
“Ensuring Accurate Convictions,” NYPD Executive Development Section, March 2013
“Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau Community College, 2013
“Wrongful Convictions,” St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY, 2013
“Wrongful Convictions,” Hofstra University, 2011
Lawline, The Martin Tankleff Case, April 2010
“Wrongful Convictions,” Symposium on Wrongful Convictions and the Tankleff Case Touro Law Center, 2009
“Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau Community College, 2009
“Wrongful Convictions,” John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2009
“Wrongful Convictions,” Williams College, 2009
“Conducting Investigations into Wrongful Convictions,” New York State Bar Association, 2009
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers – CLE Video, Washington, DC – February 2009 Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Convictions for Juveniles, Chicago, IL – October 2009
Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, Washington, DC – July 2009
Ropes & Gray, Pro Bono Presentation, New York, 2009 and 2010
Miller & Chevalier, Pro Bono Presentation, Washington, DC – July 2009
“Conducting Investigations into Wrongful Convictions,” New York State Senate, 2008
“Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau County Bar Association, 2008
“Wrongful Convictions,” Nassau Community College, Garden City, NY November 2008
John Jay College of Criminal Justice – Professor Saul Kassin’s graduate Classes, New York, NY 2008 – present
Williams College – Professor Saul Kassin’s Undergraduate Class, 2008 – 2015
Keynote Speaker, New York State Defenders Association, Saratoga Springs, NY – July 2008
The Leonard Lopate Show, New York, NY – July 2008
New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, Huntington, NY – September 2008
North Shore Hebrew Academy, Tolerance Center, New York, NY – 2008
The Innocence Project, New York, NY – 2008 – present
The Vanguard High School, New York, NY – 2008
Professional Affiliations New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers American Bar Association New York State Defenders Association