Background & Experience

James Valentino joined Clayman & Rosenberg as a Partner in February 2018. James began his career at Cahill, Gordon & Reindel, LLP before moving on to the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. After his work as a prosecutor, James returned to private practice where he litigates complex, high-stakes criminal and civil matters, counsels individuals and companies on a broad range of business disputes and represents senior executives in negotiations regarding terms of employment, compensation and severance packages.

As a former prosecutor, James understands each criminal matter he litigates from the perspective of both law enforcement and the defense. He has handled hundreds of cases as either a prosecutor or defense attorney, tried numerous cases to verdict as lead counsel and conducted pre-trial and post-conviction hearings. James defends individuals facing a wide variety of federal and state criminal charges including: fraud, tax evasion, larceny, forgery, assault, driving while intoxicated, sale and possession of narcotics, weapons possession, homicide and sex offenses.

James’s employment practice focuses on representing officers, directors, partners, executives and other senior-level employees across a multitude of industries in contract and severance negotiations. He also engages in litigation and dispute resolution on behalf of individuals and companies involving claims such as: failure to pay bonuses, commissions and wages, breach of contract, discrimination, retaliation and breach of non-competition, non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements.

James has proven successful on many occasions in helping his clients avoid lengthy, expensive and potentially damaging civil litigation, but sometimes litigation is unavoidable. Having spent more than half of his career litigating civil matters, James’s experience spans from business disputes to violations of civil rights. He represents individuals and companies in civil litigations in state and federal court and in arbitrations before FINRA, AAA and JAMS.


--Secured dismissals in a number of criminal cases including those with allegations of assault, criminal mischief, possession of narcotics, promoting prostitution and public lewdness.

--Negotiated a settlement which avoided the arrest and prosecution of a former police officer in a matter involving allegations of insurance fraud and grand larceny.

--Obtained a non-criminal disposition for an individual indicted for a hate crime in Brooklyn.

--Represented a former FDNY captain in a federal trial against members of the NYPD and deputy sheriffs alleging claims of false arrest and excessive force.

--Represented a stock broker in an arbitration demanding indemnification against his former employer, a Fortune 500 Company.

--Negotiated a substantial financial package for an equity partner withdrawing from a global law firm.

--Secured a favorable pre-litigation settlement for an investment professional with claims of sexual harassment against a multinational financial services corporation.

--Assisted a C-Level executive of a global mass media company in renegotiating her contract.

--Achieved a favorable pre-litigation settlement on behalf of telecommunications sales executives who were deprived of earned sales commissions.

--Represented a registered financial advisor in negotiations with his former employer regarding the disclosure of his resignation to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”).

--Negotiated a settlement after commencing an arbitration on behalf of an investment banker who was terminated without receiving an annual bonus.


Super Lawyers named James a Rising Star in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He also serves on the Board of Directors and is the former Treasurer of the New York Criminal Bar Association, a non-profit organization aimed at protecting and preserving the rights of the criminally accused. He is also member of the Poly Prep Country Day School Board of Governors, an alumni association which assists the reputable Brooklyn high school with fundraising, networking and event planning.


James is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.


James is admitted to practice in New York State and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.