People

Michael Pauzé defends clients in high-stakes government investigations, enforcement proceedings and parallel civil litigation. A former federal prosecutor, Michael regularly represents accounting and financial services firms, life sciences companies, and their boards and professionals in sensitive investigations and hotly disputed trials. Michael recently was selected by national legal periodicals as among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America and MVP of the Year for white-collar criminal defense, recognizing him as among an "the best in breed for the coveted and in-demand, yet increasingly rare, art of trial law" with "hard-earned success in high-stakes litigation.”

Michael's practice focuses on regulatory and financial investigations by U.S. law enforcement agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Attorneys' Offices, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service; U.S. regulatory agencies, including the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Food & Drug Administration, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission; as well as congressional subcommittees.

Michael has considerable experience representing accounting firms in regulatory and congressional investigations, as well as securities litigation. He has represented firms on three continents in U.S. and cross-border regulatory investigations, quietly resolving more than two dozen SEC, PCAOB and CFTC investigations with no enforcement action.

Michael also represents life science companies in investigations of anti-kickback, off-label promotion and false claims matters. He served as lead trial counsel for Vascular Solutions, Inc., a publicly traded medical device company, in a groundbreaking federal criminal trial involving off-label promotion charges. After a five-year investigation and a three-week trial, the Texas jury acquitted the company and its CEO of all charges. The CEO observed that Michael “personally shouldered the stakes and injustice with tireless grace.”

Michael is a trial lawyer, having served as lead counsel in trials across the country. For 2018 and 2019, Benchmark Litigation ranked Michael as among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America, an “elite group of practitioners” who  “were recognized as the best in breed for the coveted and in-demand, yet increasingly rare, art of trial law based upon peer and client review as well as these attorneys' lead role in spearheading some of the most high-stakes and high-profile cases to make their way to the trial level.”  Michael brings to bear over two decades of experience, including a dozen years trying cases for the Justice Department. As a Deputy Chief and Assistant U.S. Attorney, and trial attorney with the Enron Task Force, he supervised and personally conducted hundreds of investigations, and served as lead trial counsel in 16 federal jury trials involving regulatory, tax, financial and other offenses.

Full Bio

Credentials

J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law, Order of the Coif

B.S., Indiana University, high distinction

District of Columbia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Instructor, IRS Criminal Investigation Training Academy

Lecturer, Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center

Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America


Benchmark Litigation 2018

Among “elite trial strategists” in the field


Benchmark Litigation 2018

MVP of the Year: White-Collar Criminal Defense


Law360

Among an “elite slate of attorneys” with "hard-earned success in high-stakes litigation.”


Law360

White-Collar Criminal Defense


Legal 500

Trial defense was “quite simply, a master class in defense work.”


Above the Law

Director’s Award — For superior performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney


Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys

Assistant Attorney General’s Award — For safeguarding confidence in the American marketplace


Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General

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Recognition

Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America


Benchmark Litigation 2018

Among “elite trial strategists” in the field


Benchmark Litigation 2018

MVP of the Year: White-Collar Criminal Defense


Law360

Among an “elite slate of attorneys” with "hard-earned success in high-stakes litigation.”


Law360

White-Collar Criminal Defense


Legal 500

Trial defense was “quite simply, a master class in defense work.”


Above the Law

Director’s Award — For superior performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney


Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys

Assistant Attorney General’s Award — For safeguarding confidence in the American marketplace


Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General

Matters

Secured across-the-board acquittal for Vascular Solutions, Inc. in enterprise-threatening off-label-promotion charges in a federal criminal trial in Texas.

Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers in a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding tax strategy by Fortune 50 manufacturing icon Caterpillar, Inc.

Co-lead counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers Brazil in the Petrobras Securities Litigation, securing dismissal of securities fraud claims against auditor stemming from allegations of billions of dollars in corrupt payments for contacts with the Brazilian energy giant.

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Matters

Secured across-the-board acquittal for Vascular Solutions, Inc. in enterprise-threatening off-label-promotion charges in a federal criminal trial in Texas.

Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers in a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding tax strategy by Fortune 50 manufacturing icon Caterpillar, Inc.

Co-lead counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers Brazil in the Petrobras Securities Litigation, securing dismissal of securities fraud claims against auditor stemming from allegations of billions of dollars in corrupt payments for contacts with the Brazilian energy giant.

Represented global financial institution Credit Suisse AG in one of the most significant criminal tax investigations ever conducted by the DOJ.

Matters

Secured across-the-board acquittal for Vascular Solutions, Inc. in enterprise-threatening off-label-promotion charges in a federal criminal trial in Texas.

Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers in a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding tax strategy by Fortune 50 manufacturing icon Caterpillar, Inc.

Co-lead counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers Brazil in the Petrobras Securities Litigation, securing dismissal of securities fraud claims against auditor stemming from allegations of billions of dollars in corrupt payments for contacts with the Brazilian energy giant.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Secured across-the-board acquittal for Vascular Solutions, Inc. in enterprise-threatening off-label-promotion charges in a federal criminal trial in Texas.

Represented PricewaterhouseCoopers in a hearing by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations regarding tax strategy by Fortune 50 manufacturing icon Caterpillar, Inc.

Co-lead counsel for PricewaterhouseCoopers Brazil in the Petrobras Securities Litigation, securing dismissal of securities fraud claims against auditor stemming from allegations of billions of dollars in corrupt payments for contacts with the Brazilian energy giant.

Represented global financial institution Credit Suisse AG in one of the most significant criminal tax investigations ever conducted by the DOJ.

Credentials

J.D., Vanderbilt University School of Law, Order of the Coif

B.S., Indiana University, high distinction

District of Columbia

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Instructor, IRS Criminal Investigation Training Academy

Lecturer, Justice Department’s National Advocacy Center

Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America


Benchmark Litigation 2018

Among “elite trial strategists” in the field


Benchmark Litigation 2018

MVP of the Year: White-Collar Criminal Defense


Law360

Among an “elite slate of attorneys” with "hard-earned success in high-stakes litigation.”


Law360

White-Collar Criminal Defense


Legal 500

Trial defense was “quite simply, a master class in defense work.”


Above the Law

Director’s Award — For superior performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney


Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys

Assistant Attorney General’s Award — For safeguarding confidence in the American marketplace


Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General

Icon close

Close

Recognition

Top 100 Trial Lawyers in America


Benchmark Litigation 2018

Among “elite trial strategists” in the field


Benchmark Litigation 2018

MVP of the Year: White-Collar Criminal Defense


Law360

Among an “elite slate of attorneys” with "hard-earned success in high-stakes litigation.”


Law360

White-Collar Criminal Defense


Legal 500

Trial defense was “quite simply, a master class in defense work.”


Above the Law

Director’s Award — For superior performance as an Assistant U.S. Attorney


Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys

Assistant Attorney General’s Award — For safeguarding confidence in the American marketplace


Criminal Division Assistant Attorney General