PRINT PAGEMark ShapiroAdministrative Partner
Mark Shapiro defends clients who are facing the greatest personal crisis of their lives. Whether his clients are involved in pre-indictment threats of prosecution or an actual charged criminal case, the consequences will often impact their careers, personal reputations and family relationships. Representing such clients both as lead counsel and co-counsel to Roy Black, Mark’s undeniably impressive track record of in-court victories and pre-trial resolutions have resulted in consistently favorable outcomes.
The hallmark of Mark’s practice is a dedication to meticulous case analysis, comprehensive preparation, and thorough investigation in order to mount the most effective defense possible. Rather than relying on police reports and prosecutors’ claims, Mark assembles his team of professionals and conducts his own case investigations. Mark’s investigative techniques and decades of building his network of resources, including expert witnesses, consultants, professionals and former law enforcement, give clients the advantage they need to defend against charges or to negotiate favorable case resolutions.
Prior to entering the private sector, Mark served as an Assistant State Attorney under Janet Reno and her successor, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle. Over his eight-year tenure, Mark rose to become one of Miami’s top prosecutors. Mark’s extensive experience as a prosecutor gives him unique insight into the culture of prosecution agencies and the various factors which often drive the decision-making processes of those agencies. The benefit of this insight to Mark’s clients cannot be overstated.
What makes Mark a truly formidable litigator is that he goes to any length to be more prepared than his opponent. He is diligent, agile and personally committed to doing whatever it takes to obtain the best possible result. With a roster of representations that includes a “who’s who” across the United States, Mark’s clients have enjoyed the benefits of his experience in crisis management and utilizing the news media when to his client’s advantage.
Notably, Mark takes on only a handful of clients each year in order to devote to each the necessary time that is required to providing the very best defense. Notes Mark,
“There is no way to effectively defend my clients if my larger concern was to bring in as many cases as possible. My singular focus is on producing the best outcome for each client which, in my view, can only be done by giving those few clients that I take in each year... my full attention.”
In addition to representing his clients, Mark is also the Administrative Partner of the Firm.
Some of Mr. Shapiro’s most notable client representations include:
- Shakur Stevenson: Olympic Silver Medalist and professional boxer. Represented Stevenson on a felony charge stemming from an altercation with three other persons. While the client was facing incarceration for his part in the incident, Mark was able to convince prosecutors that his client's culpability was not as originally believed. Mark then negotiated a very favorable resolution of only one year of probation and no criminal conviction.
- 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 was ultimately resolved with no prison time for 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.
Karlie Tomica, the so-called “Party Princess”: young college student, charged with DUI manslaughter. Despite the horrific facts of the case, after months of investigation and work, a favorable plea resolution was negotiated, permitting Ms. Tomica to be sentenced as a Youthful Offender and serving minimal time in jail. See newpaper accounts of the case here.
Jay Levin, the so-called “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 and no longer representing a threat, an extensive forensic analysis and defense investigation proved Levin’s account that the would-be intruder was less than two feet away at the time he was shot. 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.
Gary Czajkowski, owner of Chaz Equipment Company: Successfully argued at trial against charges of unlawful compensation of a public official. Czajkowski’s case was widely viewed as one of the largest in Palm Beach County. The jury returned a "not guilty" verdict in just over two hours.
Darrian Mark Lawrence, charged with First Degree Murder: the client’s family retained Mark as new counsel following his conviction years earlier. The appellate court granted a new trial and, after the client spent years in prison, Mark won an acquittal after proving that police botched their investigation and that another man was the actual killer.
Represented a Palm Beach County philanthropist and businessman charged with Domestic Battery. Mark won an acquittal after a jury trial by demonstrating, through scientific evidence, that the client’s accuser lied and fabricated evidence of physical abuse.
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 (“Shaken baby” syndrome) who was under threat of imminent arrest and the removal of his infant son and young daughter to DCF custody. Our client, father of a nine-month-old who sustained a severe brain injury, needed 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, Mark 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 also with a full audio/visual presentation given by one of the medical experts. No charges were filed.
Mark worked alongside partners Roy Black, Scott Kornspan and Maria Neyra in a criminal investigation of one of the world's largest private security corporations. Following a five month investigation into the allegations, the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute this corporate client over the objection of the investigating police agencies.
Working with Firm Partner Howard Srebnick, he successfully resolved the case of a 24-year-old Chinese national who was charged with attempted first degree murder for attacking another young woman at the Art Basel Exhibition in Miami Beach. Mark and Howard arranged for her to be released on bail and undergo mental health treatment, which established that she was suffering from a severe mental disorder that would support an insanity defense. After a lengthy evidentiary hearing, the criminal court judge accepted a disposition that permitted her to remain free and immediately return home to China to receive mental health treatment. See newspaper accounts of the case here.
Andy Pargh (known as “The Gadget Guru” on NBC’s Today Show): charged with Trafficking in Cocaine and facing thirty years in prison, Mark’s attack on the prosecution’s case resulted in a probationary term that included no jail time.
For almost eight years before joining the firm, Mark served as an Assistant State Attorney under Janet Reno and Katherine Fernandez Rundle. Mark was involved in 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, Mark obtained numerous convictions, cementing his reputation as an aggressive and highly successful trial attorney. 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
- "Best Lawyers," U.S. News Best Lawyers: Criminal Defense: General Practice, 2018-2019
- "Super Lawyer," Florida Super Lawyers, 2013-2019
- 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, 1996
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, 1992
- Miami-Dade County Bar Association