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Standing up to the government and advocating for the accused is what Jacob V. Hudnut (Jake) loves most about his work. Prior to joining Spar & Bernstein, Jake managed his own criminal defense practice for six years and represented over 500 persons charged with felony crimes. He successfully tried many cases to verdict in front of juries with excellent results for his clients – saving many from prison sentences of twenty years or longer. During that time he also served as a Jersey City public defender, counseling countless individuals charged with misdemeanors and motor vehicle offenses.

At Spar Bernstein, not only does Jake aggressively defend people accused of crimes on both sides of the Hudson River, but he leads the firm’s “crimmigration” practice – a blend between the immigration and criminal areas of law. This requires Jake to coordinate with the firm’s immigration sector to investigate and move for post-conviction relief for non-citizen clients with prior criminal convictions pursuant to the landmark Supreme Court opinion of Padilla v. Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010).

Jake’s career began as a Special Assistant to a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, working alongside regional leaders in business and government. After earning his law degree from Seton Hall Law, he was appointed law clerk to the Honorable Peter J. Vazquez, the Presiding Judge of New Jersey’s largest criminal division.

Compassion and persistence are among an effective criminal defense attorney’s most important characteristics. Jake credits his parents for instilling these qualities in him at a young age.

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  • B.A., cum laude, Political Science, Montclair State University (Student Body President)
  • J.D., Seton Hall Law School


  • State of New York
  • State of New Jersey
  • United States District Court of New Jersey
  • United States Southern District Court of New York
  • United States Eastern District Court of New York

AFFILIATIONS & Community Involvement

  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey
  • Hudson County Bar Association, Trustee
  • New York County Lawyers Association
  • Jersey City Employment and Training Program, Broad Member
  • Harsimus Cove Association, President


  • Op-ed: “Hudson County Jail A Death Sentence for Too Many,” The Jersey Journal, Jan. 29, 2018
  • “Guns and the Law,” New Jersey Office of the Public Defender Statewide Training, March 2016
  • “My Solo Adventure,” New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, June 2012


  • Acquittal by jury trial of client who accepted three kilograms of cocaine by U.S. mail under police surveillance (arguing mistake)
  • Acquittal by jury trial of client charged with kidnapping based on video surveillance evidence (arguing consent)
  • Dismissal by suppression motion for client charged with weapon and drug possession (arguing coercive police conduct)
  • Dismissal for client charged with armed robbery (arguing double jeopardy)
  • Probation for client charged with weapon possession despite presumption of imprisonment (arguing defense of others) – a first in Hudson County and upheld on appeal