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In 1998, Mark Shapiro joined the Firm after nearly a decade of high-level trial work and criminal investigations as a prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. In addition to heading up the first-of-its-kind construction fraud task force following Hurricane Andrew, Mr. Shapiro obtained numerous convictions which cemented his reputation as an aggressive and highly successful trial attorney. Mr. Shapiro concluded his career at the State Attorney’s Office as one of Miami’s top prosecutors with nearly 100 jury trials under his belt.
Mr. Shapiro uses the vast experience and expertise he gained in prosecuting criminal cases to now defend our clients. Representing our clients as both lead counsel and co-counsel to Roy Black, Mr. Shapiro’s impressive and long resume of in-court victories and pre-trial resolutions continue to serve our clients well. Mr. Shapiro has been partner with the Firm since 2001.
Some of Mr. Shapiro’s most notable client representations include:
- Rush Limbaugh - Radio talk show host. Charged with multiple counts of felony Doctor Shopping. All charges were ultimately dismissed following defense efforts in successfully diverting the matter out of the criminal justice system.
Joe Francis - Girls Gone Wild founder and CEO. Charged in Panama City, Florida with various counts of sexual misconduct involving minors. Though prosecutors demanded prison time for Mr. Francis, the case ultimately resolved with no prison time given to the client.
Romero Britto – Internationally-renowned Artist. Charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Mr. Britto received no jail time after the pretrial resolution of his case.
Jay Levin - “The Boca Shooter,” charged with manslaughter after shooting a 16-year-old boy thought to be perpetrating a home invasion into Levin’s house. Although a witness claimed that Levin shot the boy when he was several yards away, an extensive forensic analysis and defense investigation proved Levin’s account of the incident was accurate. The emotionally charged prosecution resulted in a probationary sanction after negotiation. The Florida State Legislature subsequently enacted Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” self-defense law, in what many believe was a direct result of the legal defense asserted.
Represented a client charged with First Degree Murder. The client retained Mr. Shapiro as new counsel following his conviction years earlier. Appellate court granted a new trial and, after the client spent years in prison, Mr. Shapiro won an acquittal after proving that police botched their investigation, and that another man was the actual killer.
Represented Palm Beach County philanthropist and businessman charged with Domestic Battery. Mr. Shapiro won an acquittal after a jury trial by demonstrating through scientific evidence that the client’s accuser lied.
Andy Pargh - Known as “The Gadget Guru” on NBC’s Today Show, charged with Trafficking in Cocaine. Facing thirty years in prison, Mr. Shapiro’s attack on the prosecution case resulted in a probationary term which included no jail time.
Eller Media Company (now Clearchannel Outdoor) - Unprecedented state-court prosecution of a corporation for Manslaughter in the alleged electrocution death of a 12-year-old boy. As co-counsel to Roy Black, the defense proved that the actual cause of death was due to a lightning strike, and the jury acquitted the corporation.
Represented the father of an infant child who was under threat of imminent arrest and the removal of his infant son and young daughter to DCF custody. Client, father of a nine-month-old who sustained a severe brain injury, appeared in our office for urgent help. The father said the injury occurred when the child fell backwards off of his parents' bed and onto a hardwood floor. Police detectives and treating physicians did not believe our client's explanation and pressed the State Attorney for an arrest and charges. Given only two weeks by the prosecutor to convince her that charges should not be filed, attorneys Roy Black and Mark Shapiro tapped every available resource, pulling together the country's leading engineering and medical experts on "short fall" injuries. Meeting the two- week deadline, the prosecutor was presented not only with detailed written opinions from our consultants, but with a full PowerPoint presentation given by one of the medical experts. No charges were filed.
Working alongside partners Roy Black, Scott Kornspan and Maria Neyra, in addition to outside co-counsel, in a criminal investigation of one of the world's largest corporations and employers in an investigation conducted by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office, the State of Florida declined to prosecute this corporate client after approximately 5 months of legal work.
Successfully represented Gary Czajkowski, owner of Chaz Equipment Company, against charges of unlawful compensation of a public official, which was seen as one of the largest in Palm Beach in recent history. The jury returned a "not guilty" verdict in just over two hours.
Represented Karlie Tomica, a young college student, charged with DUI manslaughter. Despite the ugly facts of the case, after months of investigation and work on the case, a very favorable plea resolution was negotiated, just 4 days before her 21st birthday, where she could be sanctioned as a Youthful Offender. Had she turned 21 before the deal was secured, Karlie would have been ineligible to receive the benefit of pleading as a youthful offender. See newpaper accounts of the case here.
- Working with Firm Partner Howard Srebnick, they successfully resolved the case of a 24-year-old Chinese national who was charged with attempted first degree murder, after attacking another young woman while both were in attendance at the Art Basel Exhibition in Miami Beach. After becoming obvious that the young woman was suffering from a severe mental health disorder, Mr. Shapiro and Mr. Shapiro arranged for her to undergo mental health treatment with a legal strategy to prove that she was not legally responsible for the attack and to get her back home with her parents in Beijing. The coordinated effort was highly successful. After a lengthy evidentiary hearing before a criminal court judge, she was declared not legally responsible for her actions at the time of the incident and she was permitted to leave the United States and return home to China. See newspaper accounts of the case here.
For seven years before joining the Firm, Mr. Shapiro served as an Assistant State Attorney under Janet Reno and Katherine Fernandez Rundle. His final assignment was in the Economic Crimes Unit of the Special Prosecutions Division.
Awards and Recognition
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- "Super Lawyer," Florida Super Lawyers, 2013-2016
- The Top 100 Trial Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, 2012
- Florida, 1991
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2013
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, 1995
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1992
- Miami-Dade County Bar Association
AV® Preeminent™ and BV® Distinguished™ are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.