About Keith Dayton: Experience and Dedication in Legal Practice


Learn More About Keith's Legal Practice - Cortland NY

Keith is a lawyer specializing in criminal defense, recognized for his proven track record of successful case outcomes and commitment to justice. Respected by both peers and clients, his practical approach ensures effective legal representation for those facing complex criminal matters.

Drawing on his comprehensive knowledge of the legal system, he navigates each case diligently, striving for favorable results. His compassionate and approachable demeanor fosters trust and confidence, providing clients with unwavering support throughout their legal journey. With expertise in criminal law and a genuine dedication to his clients' best interests, Keith is a trusted legal advocate in Cortland, NY, and beyond.

Who is Keith Dayton?

Keith Dayton Attorney at Law - Cortland New York

Keith D. Dayton is a distinguished attorney, educator and economist known for his expertise in criminal law, student defense, public affairs and economics. With a strong academic background and a wealth of practical experience, he has made a significant impact in both the legal field and academia.

Education: Keith pursued an impressive academic journey, beginning with a Ph.D. in Economics from the prestigious Syracuse University Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. His research focused on public finance and law & economics, demonstrating his passion for understanding the intersection of economic principles and legal systems. He also holds a Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from Syracuse University College of Law, with concentrations in Criminal Law and Law & Economics. Complementing his legal expertise, Keith earned a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Economics from Syracuse University, concentrating on Applied Economics. He obtained his Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Business Management and Applied Economics from Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with a focus on Public Affairs Management.

Expert Lawyer for College Students - Cortland State, Cornell, Syracuse Universirty, Ithaca College, TC3

Legal Experience: Since June 1993, Keith has been the driving force behind the successful Dayton Law Office, where he operates as an Attorney at Law. As a sole practitioner, he has consistently delivered outstanding results in various criminal defense cases, handling everything from violent felonies, drug-related offenses, and sex offenses to homicides, DWIs, and more. Keith's expertise covers all phases of the criminal justice system, including plea negotiations, motions, trials, and appeals. Beyond criminal law, he also represents clients in Family Court, Support Court, and Supreme Court matters, demonstrating his versatility and commitment to his clients' needs. Moreover, Keith has extensive experience in representing both buyers and sellers in real estate transactions.

From October 2000 to February 2012, and later from January 2014 to June 2023, Keith served as the Chief Public Defender for the Cortland County Public Defender's Office. In this influential role, he administered the office with an annual budget exceeding $1.5 million. Supervising a team of fourteen staff members, including attorneys, paralegals, an investigator, and support personnel, Keith provided essential legal representation to indigent clients in criminal and family courts. He played an integral part in the Cortland Drug Treatment Court Program and delivered educational lectures on constitutional rights in various settings. Furthermore, Keith has been actively involved in nurturing young legal minds, supervising numerous law, criminology, and paralegal interns from various institutions.

City of Cortland also had the privilege of benefiting from Keith's expertise when he served as the Assistant Corporation Counsel in 2012. He represented the City in prosecuting City Code violations and contributed to various special projects assigned by the Corporation Counsel.

Teaching Experience: Keith's passion for education is evident in his extensive teaching career. Since August 1997, he has been an esteemed Instructor at SUNY College at Cortland, teaching a diverse range of courses such as Principles of Microeconomics, Business Law, Macroeconomic Theory, and Political Economy and Social Thought. He has also played a vital role as an instructor for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles' Impaired Driver Program for individuals convicted of driving while intoxicated or impaired by drugs.

Expert Lawyer for College Students - Cortland State, Cornell, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, TC3

SUNY Cortland

Previously, Keith held a teaching position at Syracuse University, where he passionately shared his knowledge in Law and Economics, Introductory and Intermediate Microeconomics, and more. He also made a significant impact as an Instructor at Elmira College, teaching Principles of Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, and Environmental Economics.

Licenses, Certifications, and Memberships: Keith's dedication to professional growth is evident through his numerous licenses, certifications, and active memberships in prominent legal and defense associations. He is a licensed attorney with the New York State Bar and holds specialized certifications such as the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA), Public Defender Trial Advocacy Program and Adult Drug Court Planning Initiative, among others. Keith is a proud member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), Cortland County Bar Association,New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NYSACDL) and National College for DUI Defense (NCDD).

In summary, Keith D. Dayton stands as a seasoned legal professional, an esteemed educator, and a distinguished economist who has left a remarkable mark in both the legal realm and the academic community. His commitment to excellence, passion for education, and dedication to serving others have made him a true asset to the legal profession and a respected figure in the field of economics.

Lawyer for Student Rights at School and in Criminal Court

Expert Lawyer for College Students - Cortland State, Cornell, Syracuse University, Ithaca College, TC3

Protecting Students' Rights: Advocacy and Defense in Educational Institutions

Student rights and defense lawyers advocate for students' legal rights and interests, defending against disciplinary actions and legal challenges in educational institutions. They provide guidance and representation for cases involving academic misconduct, hearings, discrimination, harassment, expulsion, and other student-related issues, ensuring fair treatment and due process to preserve educational opportunities.



Hey, just wanted to say a huge thank you for taking my case and getting me that not guilty verdict in County Court. You're an awesome lawyer, seriously! I couldn't have asked for anything more from you. You're the best!

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I thought my case was a lost cause, but Keith turned it around like a boss. His legal skills are top-notch, and I'm beyond grateful.

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Thanks Keith. When I got in trouble with my felonies and didn't have the money to hire my own attorney, I got scared because of what people say about public defenders. Little did I know that I probably had the best lawyer in Cortland.

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Thanks for going to bat for me! It meant the world to have someone on my side who believed in me and didn't treat me like a criminal just because I made a mistake. You really boosted my confidence, and I feel way better about everything since I talked to you. You've been a true lifeline. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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Keith was my drug charges lawyer. He fought hard for me, man. He really cared, and I understood what he was sayin'. He made me feel less stressed, you know? He's legit! 100%

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Keith deserves our heartfelt appreciation for the exceptional professionalism and gentlemanly demeanor he exhibited during my son's trial. As a Cortland SUNY student, my son had a lot on the line. We were absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed by the outcome, and words cannot express our gratitude. As a family, we extend our warmest thanks and wish Keith and his loved ones a Merry Christmas and a joyous, healthy New Year. His dedication and support meant everything to us.

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Thanks for helping me out with this assault charge. You really kicked a**. You were all in, man, fighting for my rights like crazy. You made sense, you know, not all fancy lawyer talk. If anyone's got an assault charge mess, better get Keith. He's the real deal, no doubt!

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I just have to say that if your college kid gets in trouble while in college and you are all the way down in Long Island, Keith's the lawyer that you can trust with the defense of your child. He came highly recomended and straightened out the mess my kid got himself into and saved him from criminal charges that he was innocent of.

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The charges I was arrested for were embarrasing even though they were untrue. A lot of lawyers wouldn't take my case. Keith heard my side and then helped to prove without a doubt that I was innocent with plain undeniable facts. Thanks for not judging me before you learned the facts

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Facing criminal charges was scary, but your legal work really made me feel safe. You really helped me get a fair trial.

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