Arthur Aidala, a legal advocate for the A-listers, is among the nation’s most well-respected trial attorneys.
Aidala can often be found on the pages of the New York City tabloids commenting on recent high-profile lawsuits. He can also be found in East Quogue. His father was a legendary criminal defense attorney, too, who also inspired Arthur’s love of the East End and the law.
“My father led by example,” he says. “The example of hard work, the example of not taking shortcuts, not cheating, holding the highest moral and ethical standards and holding yourself above all others in terms of accountability. Watching him get dressed in a suit each day, walk to the subway and make sure he was able to earn a living, still inspires me.”
Arthur’s earliest memories in the Hamptons begin on a fishing trip with his father, who is now 82. They escaped the hustle-and-bustle of the city for a day on the water in Hampton Bays, in August of 1974. Aidala, 6 at the time, remembers the trip vividly.
“Of all the men on the boat, my father was the only one to catch anything substantial—and it was a large Mako shark,” he recalls. “We had it mounted and hung it on the wall, where it remains to this day. It’s been there for 46 years, and I’m going to bring it to my house in the Hamptons, because that’s where it belongs.”
He attended the State University of New York at Purchase, to pursue a degree in acting, changing course along the way to pursue a degree in law. He then graduated in 1992 with his Juris Doctorate from City University of New York School of Law. He was admitted to the NY State Bar, the NJ State Bar and the U.S. District Court, NJ, that year. He launched his career in law as a prosecutor, with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where Aidala tried dozens of felony cases.
“I started really practicing at the same time that Rudy Giuliani came into office,” he says. “The process of policing changed based on modern technology. There were so many arrests and not enough prosecutors to try the cases. I remember being told by the district attorney that it ‘was in my DNA to be in the courtroom,’ and soon thereafter, I was able to start trying cases earlier than many in my class.”
He adds, “I would trip getting out of bed in the morning because I enjoyed what I did so much.”
In 1997, he left the King’s County District Attorney’s Office to run for New York City council. The heated election ended when Aidala came up 108 votes short in a three-way race.
“The original polls showed me as a virtual unknown at 3%,” he says. “On Election Day, after coming in at 37%, it was a great experience and it definitely helped me launch my law firm and become more well known in the community.”
Aidala launched his law firm a month after losing that election, using some of the momentum built during the race to build a client base. Now, in 2021, he is the managing partner of Aidala Bertuna & Kamins, PC, and has tried cases in federal and NYS courts. He is a critically acclaimed legal practitioner, with awards and recognitions only outnumbered by acquittals secured for his clients. His success, he says, is based on passion.
“Whether it was when I was in the district attorney’s office or in private practice, I was able to identify which cases were appropriate to go to trial,” he says. “Once you make that commitment and determine ‘this is a case that a jury needs to decide,’ you need to believe in that case and have the passion, energy and enthusiasm to do everything possible to get the best result for your client.”
Outside of the courtroom, Aidala has been successful in TV and radio. Since 1999, Aidala has been a frequent guest on national cable news broadcasting, providing legal analysis on cases in the news, including live analysis on The News with Shepard Smith. Aidala is also a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio broadcasts.
“Being on television and radio is much less stressful than being in the courtroom,” he says. “If I make a mistake on television or radio, the only person that will get in trouble is me. In the courtroom, we don’t have that same luxury.”
Aidala has recently been appointed president of the renowned Friar’s Club. He’ll be succeeding TV icon Larry King at the post, after his 2020 death.
“The Friar’s Club is engrained in the fabric of New York City,” he says. “It has been celebrating the entertainment business since 1904. We need it now more than ever. Having been in the footsteps of the great Larry King to lead my fellow Friars through its new iteration is an honor I never thought imaginable.”
Aidala has owned a home in East Quogue since 2005, and since the pandemic, he’s been able to enjoy more
of what the Hamptons has to offer.
“I love the winter out here, I spark up my two fireplaces, stay warm and throw some food in the oven, open a bottle of red wine, turn on the football game enjoying the relaxation and peace of the East End,” he says. “I’m one of those people who celebrate ‘Tumbleweed Tuesday’ after Labor Day weekend.”
Aidala, his wife and law partner, Marianne Bertuna, and his two kids now spend time enjoying the Hamptons in much the same way Aidala did with his own father in 1974.
“There has been a lot of time spent at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays, where I often like to swim even in the winter months,” he says. “After working up an appetite, I like to retire to Centro Restaurant or, for a great pizza, I’ll go to Salvatore’s. I enjoy giving Hampton Bays a lot of love. For the special, romantic nights, like our upcoming wedding anniversary, we will dine at the Stone Creek Inn.”
He concludes by saying: “My overall philosophy on life has always been to find the silver linings and find the glass half full. During the pandemic, that glass half-full was the time able to spend on the East End. While I always knew how much I enjoyed being out here, this past year cemented my commitment to maintain a residence here for the rest of my life. And, to that end, I have begun to look for office space to open an additional law office space for my firm to serve the community of the East End.”
Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and associate publisher of Dan’s Papers.