About gary a. modafferi


Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts

Seton Hall University

Past Employment Positions:

Criminal Division of the United States Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts, Legal Intern

Branch Chief, Narcotics Division, Prosecuting Attorney, Honolulu, Hawaii.


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Las Vegas, NV 89101
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Gary A. Modafferi is a veteran criminal trial and appellate attorney.

Mr. Modafferi graduated with honors from Seton Hall University and received his Juris Doctorate from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, Massachusetts.

While a law student, Mr. Modafferi served as a legal intern for the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney, Boston, Massachusetts. Mr. Modafferi assisted with political corruption and organized crime prosecutions. His supervisor was Robert Mueller, the former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

After graduation from law school, Mr. Modafferi was hired as a Deputy District Attorney, for the City and County of Honolulu, Hawaii. Mr. Modafferi prosecuted dozens of high profile murder, organized crime, and narcotics cases during his eleven year tenure as a prosecutor. Mr. Modafferi became the Chief of the Narcotics Division and a founding member of the Trial Review Board. The Trial Review Board received and assessed trial strategy for every significant case prosecuted by the Department of the Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu. Mr. Modafferi assisted in the successful prosecution of the murder of Honolulu police officer Troy Barboza. As a prosecutor, Mr. Modafferi’s supervisor was the Honorable Peter Carlisle, the former Mayor of Honolulu.

Mr. Modafferi taught trial strategy, witness preparation, and search and seizure law to police, prosecutors, and defense attorneys. Mr. Modafferi also taught criminal law, constitutional law, and public policy courses at the Hawaii Pacific University and Chaminade University. In 1994, Mr. Modafferi founded his own law firm. One of his first cases as a criminal defense attorney involved the defense of the first Japanese citizen extradited to the United States for the crime of murder. The case of Raita Fukusaku received international attention. Mr. Modafferi also defended Robbie Sylva in what police described as Hawaii’s biggest methamphetamine prosecution.

Mr. Modafferi received training from the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He has sat on panels and conducted seminars concerning money laundering, financial crimes, asset forfeiture, forensics science application, and complex case investigation.

While working for Dominic Gentile Esq., Mr. Modafferi assisted in the defense of former Las Vegas City Councilman Lance Malone for public corruption charges. This case involved the first domestic application of the Patriot Act. Mr. Modafferi also assisted in the successful defense of Marshall Sylver, accused of financial fraud, in the Millionaires Club prosecution.

While working for the law firm of Cristalli and Saggese, Mr. Modafferi provided trial strategy, legal research and expert witness preparation in the successful murder defense of Sandra Murphy. Ms. Murphy was acquitted of the murder of casino mogul Ted Binion in one of Las Vegas’ most highly publicized murder trials. Mr. Modafferi also assisted with the defense of famed body builders Craig Titus and Kelly Ryan in another nationally publicized murder prosecution. His appellate research in that case redefined the right to chosen counsel in Nevada. Mr. Modafferi has assisted in the successful defense of several death penalty prosecutions.

Mr. Modafferi currently practices in Las Vegas, Nevada and Honolulu, Hawaii. He has acted of counsel to the prestigious firm of Turco & Draskovitch, LLP, assisting them in their concentration of defense against sexual assault allegations. Mr. Modafferi recently joined forces with Mr. Draskovich in obtaining the acquittal of a man wrongfully accused of multiple sex assault allegations. Mr. Modafferi’s recent appellate work has challenged the retroactive application of sex offender supervision laws in Nevada. Mr. Modafferi has also been instrumental in challenging the constitutionality of Nevada’s medicinal marijuana laws. Mr. Modafferi maintains an active legal practice both in Nevada and Hawaii. Mr. Modafferi recently argued before the Nevada Supreme Court regarding the constitutionality of Nevada’s old medical marijuana law.

Serving The Hawaiian Community In Las Vegas

Focused in narcotic-related offenses and organized crime in Hawaii, Mr. Modafferi has transferred his skills and knowledge to his new criminal practice in Las Vegas. Now, much of his practice in Las Vegas involves representation for Hawaiians. While based in Las Vegas, Mr. Modafferi still handles complex criminal cases in Hawaii.

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