"Not a very competent lawyer": Ex-Trump attorney says he "tried to warn" him about Joe Tacopina

He "hasn’t tried a case in over 10 years coming in cold and barely cross-examining a witness," Tim Parlatore says

By Tatyana Tandanpolie

Staff Writer

Published January 17, 2024 10:34AM (EST)

Attorney Joe Tacopina (Allison Dinner-Pool/Getty Images)
Attorney Joe Tacopina (Allison Dinner-Pool/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's former attorney Tim Parlatore excoriated another ex-lawyer of the former president, Joe Tacopina, after the latter withdrew on Monday from two of Trump's cases. Tacopina did not explain why he exited the former president's New York criminal case, which alleges Trump lied on business records to hide hush money payments, and ongoing defamation case brought by writer E. Jean Carroll, whom jurors awarded $5 million last year after finding Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation. Parlatore, however, offered that Tacopina just wasn't cut out for the job.

“He’s essentially been on the shelf ever since he screwed up the first Jean Carroll case,” Parlatore told MSNBC host Ari Melber during "The Beat" Tuesday. “He’s very good at self-publicity, but not actually very good in the courtroom, and I think that that’s something that we all saw during the Jean Carroll case. It’s something that I warned them repeatedly – do not bring this guy in at all.”

Parlatore explained that he advised Boris Epshteyn against bringing Tacopina onto the 2023 E. Jean Carroll case and criticized his performance during the trial. "[H]ere’s a guy that probably hasn’t tried a case in over 10 years coming in cold and barely cross-examining a witness," Parlatore said. 

Melber then asked why he believed Tacopina performed so poorly.

"Look, it’s something that a lot of people in New York – certainly myself – have believed about him for a very long time, that he’s not a very competent lawyer, that he is somebody who’s more into publicizing his acumen than actually demonstrating it," Parlatore replied. The ex-Trump lawyer previously swiped at Alina Habba last week on CNN, saying the team in Trump's civil fraud trial, given her prominent role, appears to be "un-led."