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Michael E. Dutko, Jr.
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Michael E. Dutko, Jr.

Counsel

Fort Lauderdale, FL
 
 
 

How Michael Helps Clients

Michael focuses his practice on complex commercial litigation, securities litigation, white collar criminal defense, and class action defense. With significant government experience, he has prosecuted to verdict more than 75 jury trials, and he uses that knowledge to inform and strategize for clients facing complex civil litigation matters. 

Previously, Michael served as Assistant State Attorney with the Palm Beach State Attorney’s Office. During his time in the State Attorney’s office, he gained notable trial experience, handling more than 60 cases, including multiple homicide cases, to jury trial verdict. Additionally, he was quickly promoted to the Public Corruption Unit, a specialized prosecution division that handled the investigation and prosecution of politicians, police officers, and public employees. Michael led Palm Beach County’s first successful prosecution to trial verdict of violations of Florida’s Sunshine Law, involving a city commission’s attempt to secretly authorize unlawful payments to a city manager.

In addition to complex commercial litigation, Michael has experience in matters related to government relations and public policy, procurement and government contracts, zoning, land use and development, as well as, real property litigation.

Michael also previously served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Delray Beach. In his role, he was the city’s chief litigator in lawsuits arising during his tenure. Additionally, he worked closely with the city’s planning and zoning department, and he was the primary attorney responsible for the preparation of contracts, review and drafting of solicitations for competitive procurements, ethics and Sunshine Law consultation, and labor and collective bargaining negotiations.

Michael has been named a Best Lawyers of America Ones to Watch since 2021. He also has been recognized as a “Top Up and Comer” in the South Florida Legal Guide in 2020 and 2021; an “Up and Comer” in South Florida Business and Wealth in 2021; and an “Up and Comer” in Florida Trend’s Legal Elite in 2021. He was named Top Lawyer in Government Relations and Land Use and Zoning Law by Fort Lauderdale Magazine in 2021. In 2019, Daily Business Review named him among the honorees of the Florida Legal Awards in the category of On the Rise. He was also named “Superstar” by Attorney at Law Magazine in 2018.

What Clients Can Expect

Michael is an analytical, energetic, and detail-oriented attorney with broad and deep experience in complex litigation matters. The uncertainty of litigation is a stressful factor for clients, and Michael assuages those fears by being as diligent with issues in the case and communicative with the client as possible.

Outside the Office

Michael spends most of his free time with his wife, Dana, and their two children, Ethan and Hope. He is an avid sports fan, and he enjoys playing golf and scuba diving.

Proof Points

  • Representation of the former president and CEO of a publicly traded company against several, simultaneous actions related to a securities purchase agreement, including four shareholder derivative suits in multiple jurisdictions, two federal securities fraud actions, two bankruptcy adversary proceedings, a state receivership, and multiple other state court actions.  
  • Supervised a team of six detectives from various police agencies in all aspects of the investigation and prosecution of public officials, from initial complaint intake, to investigative issues, to charging, and finally to trial.
  • Representation of a group of disenfranchised voters in the successful ballot challenge of a write-in candidate who had effectively closed what would have otherwise been an open South Florida primary election.
  • Representation of a current U.S. Senator in a general election recount, ensuring all legal aspects of the recount process were appropriately followed.