Rick Collins is a Founding Partner at Collins Gann McCloskey & Barry and a former Nassau County Assistant District Attorney. For nearly a decade, Mr. Collins has also been a legal trailblazer in advocating for a change in state law to allow for criminal record sealing in New York, and was instrumental in helping to make criminal record sealing a reality in New York.
Mr. Collins served as co-chairman of the New York State Bar Association Criminal Justice Section Sealing Committee and the co-author of the committee’s Report and Recommendations to conditionally seal certain low-level criminal convictions in New York. His committee’s report was adopted by the New York State Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association, and endorsed by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice. The bill which was passed by the Legislature in April 2017 evolved from the report, making history by changing the law on sealing criminal records in New York State. In addition, in March 2013 Mr. Collins was appointed by New York State Bar Association President Seymour W. James, Jr. to serve on a New York State Bar Association Special Committee created to address the issue of prisoner re-entry, examining problems that formerly incarcerated individuals face upon release from prison or jail and the kind of services needed to help them lead productive lives.
A director of the Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA) since 2011, Mr. Collins currently serves as the elected NCBA Vice-President. As an active member of the Nassau County Bar Association for more than 25 years who was honored with the NCBA’s 2001 President’s Award, he also is a member of the Advisory Board of the We Care Fund, part of the charitable arm of the Nassau County Bar Association. He is a past president of the Criminal Courts Bar Association of Nassau County and the Former Assistant District Attorneys of Nassau County, as well as an officer or member of numerous other state and national professional organizations including the New York State Bar Association, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New York State Defenders Association. In addition, he is an annual faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and is on the Adjunct Faculty of Hofstra University Law School.
Mr. Collins has been named to the list of New York Metro Super Lawyers, recognized by Long Island Business News as one of Long Island’s “50 Around 50” and was selected as a recipient of the 2013 “Leadership in Law” award. A sought-after resource on issues surrounding the sealing of and expungement of criminal records, as well as the issues facing formerly incarcerated individuals, he has been interviewed as a legal authority on criminal record sealing in publications throughout New York and nationwide, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Law Journal, Newsday, Long Island Business News, Syracuse Post Standard and the Queens Chronicle. He is also a blogger for the Huffington Post Crime section where he writes on a number of issues surrounding criminal law.
Awarded the highest accolades for legal abilities and ethical standards (AV-rating) from the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell directory of lawyers and listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, Mr. Collins practices in the area of performance-enhancing substances and criminal law and also spearheads the firm’s growing bi-coastal dietary supplements division. He received his law degree from Hofstra Law School, and served as an assistant district attorney for five years prior to co-founding his law firm in 1990.