Jason I. Ser


Jason Ser is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer with more than twenty years of experience in the areas of criminal defense, appellate advocacy, and habeas litigation.  He has spent his career representing trial level clients in matters that included capital murder, Hobbs Act robbery, kidnapping, racketeering, firearms offenses, bank and wire fraud, money laundering, sex trafficking, production of child pornography, and drug trafficking.  He has served as lead trial counsel in dozens of criminal trials before federal courts in California and New York.  He has secured acquittals for clients facing a variety of federal criminal charges, including offenses carrying decades-long mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment.  Mr. Ser’s creative trial strategies have employed a variety of creative defenses ranging from official authority for a client abandoned by his DEA handlers to diminished capacity for clients suffering from mental illness.

Mr. Ser has also represented clients on appeal and has argued before the federal Courts of Appeal for the Second and Ninth Circuits.  As appellate counsel, he successfully obtained post-trial and post-sentencing relief for his clients, including a case where he persuaded a unanimous panel of Ninth Circuit judges to vacate a client’s conviction for assault on a federal officer due to the trial court committing legal error.

In addition to his criminal practice, Mr. Ser has litigated hundreds of federal habeas corpus petitions on behalf of immigrant detainees known as “lifers,” who languished in immigration custody because their native countries would not accept their returns.  He also has litigated federal habeas corpus petitions on behalf of clients serving state prison terms.

Mr. Ser regularly lectures at national seminars for federal public defenders and criminal defense lawyers.  He also teaches at trial advocacy programs organized by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Defender Services Office Training Division, which furthers the right to effective assistance of counsel by providing training and other resources to attorneys appointed under the Criminal Justice Act.


J.D., Cardozo School of Law

B.A., Tufts University


New York

Federal Courts:
Southern District of California
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

US Supreme Court

Southern District of New York
Eastern District of New York
Second Circuit Court of Appeals

Prior Experience

Jason Ser began his legal career as a federal public defender at Federal Defenders of San Diego in 1998, upon graduating from Cardozo School of Law in New York.  Jason became a trial team leader and supervisory attorney at that office, where he remained until 2013.  He then worked as a federal public defender at Federal Defenders of New York for the Southern District of New York until joining Meister Seelig and Fein in April 2022.