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Michael S. Pasano



Michael Pasano focuses his practice primarily on complex criminal and civil litigation in both federal and state court, including the handling of appeals. Michael's areas of concentration include the defense of a wide variety of white collar matters, including fraud and money-laundering; forfeitures; tax issues; FDA, FTC and SEC cases; and antitrust and environmental issues. He has represented a wide array of professionals in the corporate arena, including attorneys, doctors, accountants, and executives.

Michael worked for seven years in the U.S. attorney's office in Washington, D.C., and the Southern District of Florida, where he was a member of the major crimes, public corruption, and fraud units, and where he served as chief of the Broward and West Palm Beach satellite offices. In March 1983, he became chief of the Miami Fraud Section and, in October of that year, was named chief of the U.S. attorney's Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach offices.

Michael is former chair of the ABA Criminal Justice Section and remains active in the ABA, which has published a book he authored on trial practice. He is a frequent lecturer and has received numerous awards and commendations for his legal work. One commenter remarked in Chambers USA, a leading guide to the legal profession, that "he is one of the best white-collar defense lawyers down here. He's just got great, great judgment and has seen everything — he has that experience and really represents his clients well."

Michael Pasano is an experienced white-collar criminal defense attorney with a luminous reputation in the Florida market. He is an outstanding trial lawyer with experience of cases involving allegations of money laundering, healthcare fraud and securities fraud, among other matters. Market observers affirm that Pasano is a "terrific lawyer" and "a leader in the field."



  • AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2003–2024)
  • Chambers USA (2010–2018, 2021–2023)
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Super Lawyers Magazine (2008–2023)
  • Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence - Corporates (2022)
  • Top Lawyers, South Florida Legal Guide (2006–2010, 2014–2015)
  • “Local Litigation Star” in Florida, Antitrust, Appellate, Commercial Litigation, and Products Liability, Benchmark Litigation (2012–2013)
  • Key Partners Award, White Collar Crime, South Florida Business Journal (2009)
  • Florida Legal Elite, Florida Trend Magazine (2005–2008)
  • Charles R. English Award, ABA Criminal Justice Section

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Former Chair, Criminal Justice Section
    • Former Chair, Defense Function Committee
    • Former Chair, White Collar Crime Committee, Florida Regional Subcommittee
    • White Collar Crime Committee
    • Executive Committee
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • The Florida Bar
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Eleventh Circuit Lawyer Disciplinary Committee
  • Eleventh Circuit Federal Public Defender Committee
  • Southern District Criminal Justice Act Panel Committee

Speaking Engagements

  • "Answering Your Civil and Criminal Offshore Disclosure Questions," ABA Webinar (February 24, 2015)
  • “Top Ten Blunders to Avoid in Front of a Jury,” ABA Section of Litigation Annual CLE Conference, Miami Beach, FL (April 13–16, 2011)
  • "Sentencing Advocacy, Practice and Reform Institute,” ABA Criminal Justice Section Fall Conference, Washington, D.C. (October 24, 2008)



  • Yale Law School (J.D., 1976)
  • Georgetown University (B.A., summa cum laude, 1973)

Bar Admissions

Court Admissions


  • Partner, Zuckerman Spaeder, LLP, Miami, FL
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia and the Southern District of Florida


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