Arthur Aidala, an A-listener attorney, is one of the most respected litigation attorneys in the country.
Aidala can often be found on the pages of New York tabloids commenting on recent high profile lawsuits. He can also be found in East Quogue. His father was also a legendary criminal defense attorney who also inspired Arthur’s love for the East End and the law.
“My father set a good example,” he says. “The example of hard work, the example of not taking short cuts, not cheating, upholding the highest moral and ethical standards, and putting yourself above all others in terms of accountability. Seeing him dressing in a suit every day, going to the subway and making sure he can make a living still inspires me. “
Arthur’s earliest memories in the Hamptons begin with a fishing trip with his father, who is now 82 years old. In August 1974, they escaped the hustle and bustle of the city for a day on the water in Hampton Bays. Aidala, then 6 years old, vividly remembers the trip.
“Of all the men on the boat, my father was the only one who caught anything essential – and it was a big mako shark,” he recalls. “We had it installed and hung on the wall, where it remains to this day. It’s been there for 46 years and I’m going to take it to my house in the Hamptons because it belongs there. “
He attended the State University of New York at Purchase for an acting degree and switched course en route to a law degree. He then completed his doctorate in law in 1992 from the law school of the City University of New York. That year he was admitted to the bar in New York, New Jersey, and the US District Court in New Jersey. He began his legal career as a district attorney with the Kings County District Attorney, where Aidala tried dozens of crime cases.
“I really started practicing when Rudy Giuliani took office,” he says. “The process of policing has changed based on modern technology. There have been so many arrests and not enough prosecutors to look into the cases. I remember the prosecutor telling me it was in my DNA to be in the courtroom and soon after that I was able to try cases earlier than many in my class. “
He adds, “I would get out of bed in the morning because I loved what I was doing.”
In 1997, he left the King’s County Attorney’s Office to run for New York City Council. The heated elections ended when Aidala fell short of 108 votes in a three-way race.
“The original polls showed that at 3% I was practically unknown,” he says. “On election day after I hit 37% it was a great experience and it definitely helped me start my law firm and get better known in the community.”
Aidala started his law firm a month after losing that election and used 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 attorney whose awards and recognitions are only surpassed by acquittals for his clients. His success, he says, is based on passion.
“Whether in the public prosecutor’s office or in a private practice, I was able to determine which cases were suitable for trial,” he says. “Once you’ve made that commitment and determined that this is a case for a jury to decide, you need to believe in this case and have the passion, energy and enthusiasm to do everything possible to get the best result for your client to achieve.”
Outside the courtroom, Aidala enjoyed success on television and radio. Aidala has been a frequent guest on national cable news since 1999, providing legal analysis of cases on the news, including live analysis of The News with Shepard Smith. Aidala is also a frequent guest on nationally syndicated radio shows.
“Being on TV and radio is a lot less stressful than being in the courtroom,” he says. “If I make a mistake on TV or on the radio, I’m the only person who gets into trouble. We don’t have the same luxury in the courtroom. “
Aidala was recently appointed President of the prestigious Friar’s Club. After his death in 2020, he will succeed TV icon Larry King.
“The Friar’s Club is rooted 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 followed in the footsteps of the great Larry King to guide my confreres through the new iteration is an honor I would never have believed imaginable. “
Aidala has owned a home in East Quogue since 2005 and has enjoyed more since the pandemic
of what the Hamptons have to offer.
“I love the winter out here, I light my two fireplaces, stay warm and throw something to eat in the oven, open a bottle of red wine, turn on the football game and enjoy the relaxation and tranquility of the East End,” he says. “I’m one of those guys out for Tumbleweed Tuesday after Labor Day weekend.”
Aidala, his wife and legal partner Marianne Bertuna, and their two children now spend time enjoying the Hamptons the same way Aidala did with his own father in 1974.
“A lot of time was spent at Ponquogue Beach in Hampton Bays, where I often swim in the winter months,” he says. “After I’ve whetted my appetite, I like to retire to the Centro Restaurant or go to Salvatore for a great pizza. I enjoy giving love to Hampton Bays. For those special, romantic nights like our upcoming wedding anniversary, we will dine at the Stone Creek Inn. “
He concludes: “My general philosophy of life has always been to find the silver lining and to find the glass half full. During the pandemic, that half-full glass was the time to spend in the East End. While I always knew how much I was enjoying being out here, the past year cemented my commitment to staying here for the rest of my life. To that end, I began looking for office space to open additional law firms for my firm to serve the East End community. “
Todd Shapiro is an award-winning publicist and co-editor of Dan’s Papers.