Paul Calli is a trial lawyer who handles complex commercial litigation and white collar matters. He regularly represents law firms, lawyers, judges, elected and appointed national, state and local government officials, corporations and corporate executives, news media organizations and journalists, physicians, professional athletes, sports agents, recording artists, and recording industry executives in sensitive civil and regulatory matters. He has tried over 150 cases to verdict in federal and state courts throughout the United States during the past 30 years, and has won a series of acquittals in high-profile trials since 2008, including eight trials where a jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty on all counts, or the court or the department of justice dismissed all counts during or immediately prior to trial.
Mr. Calli served as lead counsel for a national news media organization in responding to searches by federal law enforcement which encroach upon the First Amendment.
In 2018, Mr. Calli and his Partner defended at trial a Senior Captain for a major commercial airline company, accused in Florida state court of crimes related to the protection of his property. Five persons claimed the client discharged a firearm at them. The jury acquitted Mr. Calli’s client after 34 minutes of deliberation.
From 2013 to 2017, Paul Calli defended prominent South Florida lawyers against multiple unfounded Civil RICO lawsuits brought by their former client, the Miccosukee Indian Tribe in both federal and state courts, and won every case at or before summary judgment. Appellate courts affirmed each victory. The courts imposed multi-million dollar sanctions on the opposing party and their lawyers for their frivolous and bad faith campaign of litigation against Mr. Calli’s clients.
In 2012, The Miami Daily Business Review named Paul Calli the Most Successful Lawyer in Criminal Justice for South Florida. In 2009, the National Law Journal selected Mr. Calli as one of 12 “Winning” trial attorneys in the United States.
In 2011, Mr. Calli defended at trial the founder and former CEO of a publicly traded company that manufactured military and law enforcement body armor, including outfitting the U.S. Marine Corps, in the largest Foreign Corrupt Practices Act prosecution in history, DOJ’s landmark “Africa Sting” case. Mr. Calli’s client was the first person acquitted of 22 indicted persons, following a three-month trial in Washington, D.C. In 2011, Paul Calli represented the former General Director of Haiti Teleco in DOJ’s FCPA prosecution.
In 2010, Mr . Calli defended at trial an individual indicted in “Operation Short Change,” a three and one-half year prosecution that the DOJ touted as leading to at least 15 Federal Trade Commission cases, 44 law enforcement actions by DOJ, and actions by at least 13 states and the District of Columbia. Following a two-week trial, an evenly divided jury deadlocked, and DOJ dismissed all charges against Mr. Calli’s client.
In 2009, Mr. Calli and his partner defended an attorney who served as legal advisor, senior administration official and former campaign director for the then-sitting Governor of Puerto Rico. The client was indicted in two separate indictments alleging public corruption and tax fraud. After a seven-week trial in San Juan, the jury deliberated for only three hours before it acquitted the client of all criminal charges in both indictments.
In 2008, Mr. Calli defended at trial an individual employed by a Milan, Italy-based marine hose manufacturer accused in a Global antitrust bid rigging conspiracy that purportedly spanned more than a decade . Following a four-week trial, the jury deliberated for only one hour before it acquitted the client of all charges. In between these trials, Mr. Calli earned acquittals in State Court in two separate trials for individuals accused of violations of state laws.
In 2005, Mr. Calli represented two United States Air Marshals who fatally wounded a passenger who claimed to have a bomb aboard a flight, the only instance of a Federal Air Marshal discharging a firearm in the line of duty.
In addition to his trial work, Mr. Calli has conducted internal investigations for publicly traded companies or their Boards of Directors or audit or special review committees, in the insurance, regulated utilities, health care, and transportation industries, and for labor unions. He represents companies and executives in defense of allegations of fraud in matters involving Department of Defense contracts, health care, tax, environmental crimes, antitrust, securities and election law cases.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act – Representation of the former General Director for Telecommunications at Haiti Teleco. Retained after the client was indicted by the United States Department of Justice.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Acquittal at trial – Representation of individual involved in the military and law enforcement body armor and products industry, indicted with 21 other persons as part of a massive government “sting” operation for purportedly agreeing to pay a bribe to the Minister of Defense of Gabon, Africa. After a 3 month jury trial in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia, the presiding district judge granted our motion for a dismissal of charges and the client was acquitted of all allegations against him. Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer called the prosecution the Justice Department’s “Flagship FCPA prosecution” and touted the case as “the first large-scale use of undercover law enforcement techniques in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation, and the largest action ever undertaken by the Justice Department against individuals in an FCPA matter.”
Conspiracy to Commit Mail and Wire Fraud – Dismissal of Federal Indictment With Prejudice: Defended at trial an individual indicted in “Operation Short Change,” a three and one-half year nationwide investigation and prosecution that the United States Department of Justice touted as leading to at least 15 Federal Trade Commission cases, 44 law enforcement actions by the Department of Justice, and actions by at least 13 states and the District of Columbia. Hired after the client was indicted, a mistrial was declared after an evenly divided federal jury failed to convict on any count following a two week trial. The Department of Justice moved to dismiss the indictment and all criminal charges were dismissed with prejudice.
Tax Evasion – Dismissal of Federal Indictment With Prejudice and closure of second Grand Jury investigation with no charges filed: Defended a business owner indicted for two counts of tax evasion and under investigation for separate alleged tax violations. Hired after the client was indicted and the second grand jury investigation opened, Mr. Calli challenged the government which resulted in the Court granting the Department of Justice’s motion to dismiss the indictment and dismissing the indictment with prejudice. No criminal or civil charges were levied regarding the second grand jury investigation.
Honest Services Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, Tax Fraud, Campaign Finance violations, Public Corruption – Acquittal on two separate indictments: Defended an attorney who served as a legal advisor, senior administration official and former campaign director for the then-sitting Governor of Puerto Rico. The client was indicted by the United States Department of Justice in two separate indictments following a three year investigation. After a seven week federal trial, the jury deliberated for only three hours before it acquitted the client of all criminal charges in both indictments.
Internal Investigation – Retained as independent outside counsel by the parent company of Florida’s largest regulated utility, to conduct an independent internal investigation in response to the company’s receipt of anonymous letters containing anonymous allegations of financial irregularity.
Internal Investigation – Retained as independent outside counsel to represent the Special Review Committee of the board of directors of a publicly traded company in the insurance industry, and to conduct an independent internal investigation in response to a shareholder derivative demand letter. The company, one of the largest insurance brokerages in the country, was purportedly engaged in the payment of undisclosed contingent commissions for sales of insurance products.
Antitrust Acquittal – Defended at trial an individual employed by a Milan, Italy based marine hose manufacturer in 18 month investigation and prosecution by the United States Department of Justice. Following a four week federal trial, the jury deliberated for only one hour before it acquitted the client of any involvement or participation in a federal criminal conspiracy charge relating to alleged violations of The Sherman Act that occurred in the U.S. and throughout the world, from 1999 forward.
Public Corruption – Defended an individual involved in campaign and administration of indicted Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Witness Representation – Represented a former Major League Baseball player and record holder, eligible for Hall of Fame consideration, as a witness in connection with a federal criminal investigation and prosecution of his former business partner for federal criminal offenses.
State Felony Charges – Acquittal: Defended at trial an individual charged with felony criminal offenses punishable by a 15-year minimum mandatory sentence upon conviction. The jury acquitted the client of all criminal charges in less than one hour.
State Charges – Acquittal: Defended at trial a business owner charged with crimes of violence punishable by incarceration upon conviction. The jury acquitted the client of all criminal charges in 19 minutes, following a full day trial.
No Charges Filed – Defended two United Stated Federal Air Marshals who fatally wounded a passenger who claimed to have a bomb aboard a commercial airline flight at Miami International Airport (the only instance of a U.S. Federal Air Marshal Publications discharging a firearm in the line of duty).
Dismissal of charges – Defended two senior airline pilots employed by an airline owned and operated by a foreign sovereign. The clients were charged with offenses punishable by life in prison.
No Charges filed – Defended senior executive employed by national grocery chain, targeted by the Department of Justice in an environmental Lacey Act investigation and prosecution, alleging international importation of illegal seafood.
No Charges Filed – Represented a practicing attorney threatened with indictment in one of the nation’s largest drug conspiracy indictments. Representation included advocating directly with the United States Attorney for the District in which the attorney practiced, and to the highest level of the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice.
Appellate Victory – Prosecuted the extraordinary legal remedy of a Writ of Prohibition before Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, resulting in the removal of the presiding trial judge. Alan Siegel v. State of Florida, 861 So. 2d 90 (Fla. 4th DCA 2003).
Reversal on Appeal – Challenged a seven-figure restitution award, before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Sentencing order and restitution amount vacated. United States of America v. Steven Calman Siegel, 153 F. 3d 1256 (11th Cir. 1998).
- AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Listed in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Business Lawyers (2013-2021)
- Named the Most Successful Lawyer in Criminal Justice for South Florida by The Miami Daily Business Review (2012).
- Selected for inclusion in National “Top Rated Attorneys: White Collar Criminal Defense” by The National Law Journal, American Lawyer, and Corporate Counsel (2012)
- Selected as 1 of 12 “Winning” trial attorneys in the United States by The National Law Journal (June 2009)
- Listed in the Top 100 in South Florida by the South Florida Legal Guide (2009)
- Listed in Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite (2005, 2006, and 2008)
- Listed in Up and Comer’s, South Florida Legal Guide (2004)
- Best of the Bar, South Florida Business Journal (2003)
Professional and Civic Activities
- Board of Directors, Doctors Charter School of Miami Shores (June 2015 – September 2016)
- Head Coach and Program Founder, Doctors Charter School Middle School Baseball (2015); Doctors Charter Varsity Baseball (2017)
- Chair, the Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee 11-I (2012-2015)
- The Florida Bar’s Grievance Committee 11-B (2003-2006)
- American Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL)
- Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL) – Miami Chapter, Board of Directors (2002-2011)
- Dade County Bar Association
- Miami Light Project, Board of Directors (2006-2007)
- YWCA Criminal Court Care Program, Board of Directors (2007-2008)
- Varsity Hockey, University of Connecticut (1986, 1988)
- Lacrosse, University of Connecticut (1987)
- Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, PA, Miami, FL, Shareholder (2008-2015)
- Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, Miami, FL, Of Counsel (2000-2008)
- Assistant Federal Public Defender, Southern District of Florida (1997-2000)
- Assistant Public Defender, Miami-Dade County Public Defender’s Office (1993-1997)