Articles Posted in Blog

Michael Pezzulli presents Parallel Prosecution webinar for State Bar of Texas, March 2019Michael Pezzulli conducted a live webinar for the State Bar of Texas on a popular topic, “Criminal Law and Civil Litigators: A Review of Three Little Known Federal Statutes and Parallel Prosecution” in March 2019. Attorneys with civil audit cases with a potential risk of criminal prosecution need to be aware of the many challenges involved to prepare appropriate, balanced strategies for their clients.

The curriculum fulfills 1.50 hours toward Texas MCLE requirements (.75 ethics hours). Attorneys active in the State Bar of Texas can access the recorded webinar (MCLE No: 174038645) at the Texas Bar CLE website. With this topic in high demand, Pezzulli has made the presentation handout available for anyone to download here: Pezzulli SBOT Presentation March 2019

domestic violence victim stands up to attacker in landmark Dallas civil trial victory

by Michael F. Pezzulli

Recently I represented and tried a case on behalf of a young woman who had been the victim of a horrific attack by her ex-boyfriend. The facts of the case revealed that over the course of an attack that lasted hours, the ex-boyfriend violently raped her, inflicting knife wounds requiring nearly 500 stitches. The attack was so brutal that the blows to her face left many of the bones in her face broken. When the paramedics arrived, they believed she was dead. 

The problem is not isolated. It is so pervasive that the CDC, (Centers for Disease Control), actually has a division of Violence Prevention, and has studied the problem extensively. The CDC monitors the problem closely and recently updated its findings in its National Intimate Partner and Sexual violence Survey. 

patent lawsuit Gillette v. Dollar Shave Club by Michael Pezzulli

You don’t have to wait on the razor wars to end to have a sharp blade.

I’m sure most of you have seen the great ongoing patent litigation war between Gillette – of the consumer products giant Procter & Gamble – and the Dollar Shave Club. Gillette claims that the way Dollar Shave Club coats their blades with particular materials to keep them sharp violates a 2004 patent held by Gillette.

stacks of cash describing the Banking Secrecy Act
by Michael Pezzulli

The phrase “Cash is King” evokes warm feelings from most people in the business world. However, anyone engaged in business must understand that failing to follow the rules imposed by the U.S. federal government will create a situation where cash is definitely not king.

How you handle cash can define whether you are a law-abiding citizen or are guilty of a federal crime. Whether your money was earned honestly is irrelevant. What really matters is how you deposit or withdraw your money at your local bank.

bank vault attorney-client privilege
by Michael Pezzulli

When consulting with an attorney, how can a client feel secure from having sensitive and critical information falling into the wrong hands? When a business person is confronted with an array of technical advisors, consultants and outside experts, it may be worth its weight in gold to bring an attorney on board who can cloak the communications inside the veil of the attorney client privilege.

Ancient and Honorable

cowboy hat and gun
by Michael Pezzulli1

In the United States, one of the great defining aspects of this country is the constitutional right to a jury trial. Nearly all-civil jury trials and ninety percent of criminal jury trials on the planet take place in the United States.2

The most stunning and successful experiment in direct popular sovereignty in all history is the American jury. Properly constrained by its duty to follow the law, the requirement of jury unanimity, and evidentiary rules, the American jury has served the republic well for over two hundred years. It is the New England town meeting writ large. It is as American as rock ‘n’ roll.

Patent Trolls and the U.S. Innovation Act
by Michael Pezzulli1

In an earlier article, I discussed why Patent Trolling has been problematic for so many in the patent ecosystem. Fortunately, help may be on the horizon. Currently there is a bill in the U.S. Congress called the “Innovation Act.”2

The Innovation Act is significant in that it directs a party alleging patent infringement in a civil action to include in the court pleadings, if the information is reasonably accessible. It specifies details concerning:

patent trolls use Texas courtsby Michael Pezzulli 1

Trolls can be first seen in Norse folklore, focused mainly in the early Scandinavian countries that the Vikings had total control over—such as Norway and Sweden. The word “troll” actually evolved over time and wasn’t the first name of this type of creature. In the Scandinavian languages, the word is actually a root for just about everything mystical and magical. “Trolleri” was considered to be a type of magic that was intended to harm others and is probably the primary source for the term “troll” for these mythological creatures were considered to be particularly malignant, especially toward humans, in stories from folklore.2

Sadly, the Troll has crawled out from under the bridge and has firmly attached itself to Patent Litigation; however, it has never lost its malignant nature, especially towards humans and the innovation industry. This malignancy has continued to spread throughout the United States. “The number of patent lawsuits filed spiked by almost 30% in 2012 to over 5,000, with some of that increase attributed to the AIA’s ‘anti-joinder’ provision…. Patent infringement litigation shows no signs of cooling off, either as a means of generating revenue or of protecting competitive advantages.”3

By Michael F. Pezzulli and Charles J. FortunatoSpoliation of Evidence

2016 American Bar Association Annual Meeting, Tort & Insurance Section

Spoliation of evidence seems to be on the rise. But the emergence of case law on the subject has made it easier to identify and address the problem.

Parallel Prosecution
By Michael Pezzulli and Charles J. Fortunado

State Bar of Texas: Advanced Creditors’ Rights presentation – September, 1996

In the past ten years, the gulf between criminal practice and civil practice has narrowed considerably.There are several causes for this. One is the explosion of white collar criminal litigation. More pervasive use of forfeiture statutes in the pursuit of attorney’s fees has also served to bring civil litigators under the purview of criminal law. The savings and loan and drug crises have also done their part to bring civil litigators’ conduct under scrutiny of criminal statutes.

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