Tor Ekeland PLLC

Computer Law, Intellectual Property, and Criminal Defense


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About Us

We’re experienced trial, appellate, and business lawyers with a nationally recognized computer law, intellectual property, and criminal defense practice.

These days lots of law firms claim they practice computer or “cyber” law. They tack the word cyber in front of everything and claim to be “cyber” experts. It’s cyber this and cyber that. Every law firm wants to join the cyber law parade. But when you ask one of these “cyber” law firms the difference between a MAC Address and an IP Address you get a blank stare. And you probably get that blank stare in the form of an unencrypted email sent from that law firm’s unsecured server. We’re not that law firm.

In 2012, we were the first law firm in the country to accept BitCoin as payment. It wasn’t a big deal to us then and we aren’t dazzled now by all the hype around virtual currencies. We’ve been on the cutting edge of computer law for the last six years and we’re not stopping.

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When Wired Magazine listed the most controversial Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) hacking cases of the last decade, three of them were ours. When the United States Department of Justice issued Grand Jury supoenas in the Guccifer 2.0 investigation, we got a call. We made sure that our clients’ part in that investigation ended with the Grand Jury testimony. When a client in Texas called because he’d been indicted for 44 felony counts of computer crime we took a look at the evidence and negotiated the indictment down to a single misdemeanor plea deal. Our expertise doesn’t derive from tacking the word “cyber” in front of our marketing copy. It comes from our experience at the negotiating table, at trial, and on appeal.

Our clients turn to us for solutions that aren’t taught in law school, found on the internet, or looked up in a treatise. Our clients have unique needs that can’t be met by “Big Law” and general practices that lack our in depth, practical, and hard earned experience in the fields of Computer Law, Intellectual Property, and Criminal Defense.

Just like you won’t settle for just any lawyer, we don’t take just any client. We choose our clients as carefully as they choose us, evaluating, among other factors, the merits and significance of their case, positional conflicts, our current case load, and our ability to deliver work product on a timely basis. There are lots of law firms and “off the shelf” legal services. But if you’re looking for lawyers and counselors in the fields of computer law, intellectual property, or criminal defense, you should schedule a consultation. Because we’re on the cutting edge of all three.

Here's how we can help:

Computer Fraud & Abuse Act (CFAA)

The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press, among others, have recognized us as “computer law experts.” The national and international media routinely turn to us for our unique insights and experience in the field of computer law. Wired magazine included three of our Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) cases as among the “most controversial hacking cases of the last decade.”

We know the perils and pitfalls of the CFAA and United States Computer law, and both in the criminal and civil context. Our in depth experience in this area is why clients turn to us both for litigation and counseling when it comes to the CFAA and the morass of federal and state computer laws and regulations.

Companies and individuals turn to us for consulting services because our experience has taught us that common practices and mistakes underlie almost all the computer cases we’ve worked on. We identify these common mistakes and weaknesses for our clients and help correct them.

Criminal Defense

We provide federal criminal defense and federal white collar defense for defendants nationally. Being investigated or arrested by the federal government is frightening, confusing, and harrowing. We just don’t defend you, we counsel you on your options and chances in a system where statistically the odds are against you. Our federal criminal defense experience encompasses all aspects of the federal criminal process, from clients who are targets of investigations, to grand jury proceedings, arrest and arraignment, extradition, pre-trial proceedings, proffers and reverse proffers, discovery, computer forensics, jury trials, and appeals.

For clients charged in New York State we provide criminal defense in New York State Supreme Court.

Trials and Appeals

For select clients we provide trial and appellate services in Federal, New York State, and California State courts.


Trademark & Copyright Law

Intellectual property is a consideration in nearly everything a modern business does, including forming new partnerships, attracting financing, hiring employees and vendors, developing products, establishing an online presence, and negotiating a merger or acquisition. We provide counseling at each of these stages, helping our clients to manage, license, and enforce their rights, and to anticipate issues and opportunities.

Our international trademark registration and maintenance services ensure that your rights are secured everywhere you do business. But an effective brand goes beyond registration and enforcement; we counsel our clients on business practices and policies to establish and strengthen their position in the market.

Intellectual Property Litigation

We’re experienced Intellectual Property litigators, and we represent clients in actions to enforce copyrights and trademarks and defend infringement claims, as well as in trademark opposition proceedings and domain name disputes.

Online services face unique copyright compliance issues. We help clients take advantage of the DMCA safe harbor for user-generated content, understand and assert their fair use rights to third-party content, and respond to cease and desist letters concerning IP infringement, domain name disputes, and rights of publicity.

Startups & Creative Professionals

We support our clients in building successful businesses, from formation forward. Our startup clients rely on us for advice on structuring their businesses, closing deals, and dealing with investors. We negotiate and draft shareholder, membership, and partnership agreements, as well as the gamut of deal documents from the simplest contract to complex private placements. Throughout the process we counsel our clients on regulatory compliance, whether under the federal securities laws or the alphabet soup of federal regulatory agencies, as well as at the state level.

When our clients launch new products, we advise them on securing and licensing their intellectual property and establishing agreements with vendors, investors,customers. We design policies and programs for complying with government regulations, and we guide clients through the regulatory maze all start ups face.

We also help businesses manage their workforce. We draft employment and independent contractor agreements and counsel companies on employment issues. And we represent both employers and employees in employment disputes.


Meet the Attorneys

Tor Ekeland

Tor heads the Firm’s Computer Law and Trial practices. He is best known for representing hackers and white collar defendants in federal criminal court and on appeal. Tor also counsels businesses and individuals under investigation by the United States Department of Justice, and those seeking counseling on compliance with U.S. computer laws.

Prior to starting the Firm, Tor was a litigator with the New York City office of Sidley Austin, LLP where he gained experience with U.S. securities laws and regulations and Complex Commercial litigation. Businesses often turn to Tor for counseling on virtual currencies such as BitCoin, ICO’s, and the intersection of U.S. securities and computer laws.

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Tor has represented hackers and white collar defendants in federal courts in Kentucky, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and California. His experience encompasses all aspects of the federal criminal process, from target letters, grand jury testimony, pre-trial proceedings, trial, and appeal. The national and international press regularly turn to him for commentary on the computer law issues of the moment. Many of his cases revolve around the notorious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a civil and criminal federal statute at the heart of most computer law litigation in the United States. Other significant cases of his involve national security issues and government surveillance. He regularly deals with the Department of Justice, the FBI, the U.S. Marshalls, the U.S. Probation Office and the Bureau of Prisons across the country.

Tor is admitted in New York State, as well as the Federal District Courts for the: Eastern District of New York; Southern District of New York; Northern District of New York; Southern District of Texas; and the Eastern District of Texas. He is admitted to the Federal Appeals Courts for the: Second Circuit; Third Circuit; Fifth Circuit; and Ninth Circuit. Additionally, he has been admitted pro hac vice on various matters in the Federal District Courts for the: Eastern District of California; Eastern District of Kentucky; District of New Jersey; District of Massachusetts; District of Minnesota; Middle District of Tennesee; Northern District of Texas; and the Eastern District of Virginia.

He is an avid runner.

Mark Jaffe

Mark focuses on the needs of start-up businesses and creative professionals, from the inception of their companies and throughout each phase of their development.

He advises clients regarding their copyrights, trademarks, right of publicity, advertising, brand protection, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, regulatory compliance, labor law, and service contracts. Mark also litigates on behalf of his clients when the need arises.

Mark is licensed in New York and California.

Fred Jennings

In addition to his work as a trial lawyer in federal and state courts, Frederic heads the firm’s information technology and e-discovery management programs. He has advised and represented clients in a wide variety of practice areas, including computer crime defense, intellectual property, corporate and commercial law, and state and federal criminal defense.

Fred is licensed in New York.

For media inquiries, please email [email protected]


©2018 Tor Ekeland Law PLLC   •   718-737-7264

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