Bruce Cutler

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For the Utah politician, see Bruce R. Cutler.
Bruce Cutler
Born (1948-04-29) April 29, 1948 (age 68)
Nationality United States
Alma mater Brooklyn Law School
Hamilton College
Occupation Trial attorney
Known for Representing John Gotti and Phil Spector

Bruce Cutler (born April 29, 1948) is an American criminal defense lawyer best known for having defended John Gotti, and for media appearances as a legal commentator.

Life and career[edit]

His father, Murray Cutler, was a former New York City detective who later became a criminal defense attorney. While being interviewed on the radio program Conversations With Allan Wolper on WBGO 88.3 FM, Cutler said that he was inspired by his father's pro-labor, pro-union loyalties to a FDR-style Social Democratic position.[1]

Cutler—and his brother Rich, a federal prosecutor in San Jose, California before joining the law firm Dechert in 2007—grew up in Brooklyn and were good athletes. They spent many summers at Camp Ma-Ho-Ge in Bethel, New York.

Bruce Cutler graduated from Hamilton College where he was captain of the football and lacrosse teams, and graduated cum laude from Brooklyn Law School. He worked as an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County, New York (Brooklyn), and became its top homicide prosecutor.

Cutler gained notoriety in the 1980s when he won three acquittals for Gambino Crime Family boss John Gotti (including one where at least one juror accepted a bribe in return for voting to find Gotti not guilty).[2]

When Gotti was indicted in 1990 for the 1985 murder of Paul Castellano and several other crimes, presiding judge I. Leo Glasser disqualified Cutler and two associates from representing Gotti. Citing evidence from wiretaps at Gotti's Ravenite club, prosecutors contended that Cutler and his colleagues may have known about criminal activity. Since the attorney-client privilege doesn't apply in these circumstances, prosecutors argued that Cutler was "part of the evidence" and thus liable to be called as a witness. They also argued that Cutler had represented other potential witnesses and thus had a conflict of interest. Glasser sided with the prosecutors, contending that Cutler was the "in-house counsel" for the Gambino family.[3][4]

Cutler appeared in the Robert De Niro and Ed Burns film, 15 Minutes, playing himself. He also appeared on Court TV, with attorney Ed Hayes, discussing criminal cases and current events on Cutler and Hayes, and on the CW network has his own TV show, Jury Duty. He also made two guest star appearances in the episodes "Drawing Dead" and "Open Secrets" of the 4th season of the CBS show Blue Bloods. He is godfather to Hayes' daughter, Avery.[5]

Cutler's autobiography was published in 2003.

Cutler had served as the lead defense attorney for Phil Spector[6] until August 27, 2007, when he announced that he was leaving Spector's defense due to "a difference of opinion between Mr. Spector and me on strategy."

In January 2012, Cutler announced his partnership with attorney Timothy Parlatore. The new law firm is named Cutler & Parlatore, PLLC.

As of October 2014, Cutler works as Of Counsel with The Law Firm of Dmitriy Shakhnevich.[7]


External links[edit]