O'Shea Partners LLP

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Trial Practice

Trial Practice Sean F. O'Shea is a highly skilled and aggressive trial lawyer in the areas of both civil and criminal litigation. He is widely regarded as an expert in cross-examination. Mr. O'Shea has tried cases ranging from sophisticated business fraud matters in the criminal context to representing business organizations and individuals seeking monetary damages in securities fraud and RICO cases in the commercial context. Mr. O'Shea has regularly represented clients in securities industry disputes before panels of the American Arbitration Association, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Mr. O'Shea is frequently retained as lead trial counsel by corporations and other law firms. He is also associated into cases going to trial as co-counsel to conduct trial presentations. He is regularly consulted regarding his expertise in cross-examination and trial preparation. Mr. O'Shea has tried more than forty-five federal jury trials in his career.

Mr. O'Shea was retained as trial counsel to Visa U.S.A., Inc. in the In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust case which was set for trial in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in May 2003. The plaintiffs sought over $100 billion in damages and challenged Visa's requirement of universal acceptance of its credit and debit cards as an illegal tying arrangement.

The Firm recently prevailed at trial in seeking return of funds seized by the government which claimed the company had structured its bank deposits to evade taxes. After waiving jury trial, the Firm employed a technical tax defense in a bench trial, aggressively cross-examining government investigators and agents. After trial and briefing, United States District Court Judge Brian Cogan, on August 15, 2011, ordered the forfeited funds returned and the legal fees of our client reimbursed.

The Firm also served as lead trial counsel for a large group of investor plaintiffs in a federal civil RICO trial in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York involving prominent financial institutions which had engaged in phony tax "straddle" trading with limited partnerships. The plaintiff group had collectively invested and lost millions of dollars. Mr. O'Shea was retained as lead trial counsel and handled all aspects of trial preparation. After the trial was underway, Mr. O'Shea successfully negotiated a very favorable confidential monetary settlement.

In 2005, the Firm won a multi-million dollar award for an executive who had conceived and introduced the Refco/Thomas H. Lee leveraged buyout. The trial, conducted almost entirely via cross-examination of adverse witnesses who denied Mr. O'Shea's client's critical role in the billion dollar deal, resulted in a judgment for Mr. O'Shea's client.

In another vigorously contested trial in 2003, the New York State Department of Health sought to revoke a physician's license for alleged abusive behavior toward patients. Mr. O'Shea obtained a verdict dismissing all charges brought against his client by impeaching the testimony of every witness testifying in the Department of Health's case.

Mr. O'Shea developed his skill as a trial lawyer during his tenure as the Chief of the Business/Securities Fraud Unit of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York. Mr. O'Shea tried over thirty-five federal jury trials during his time at the United States Attorney's Office, many of which received significant national and local media attention. One of the more prominent prosecutions headed by Mr. O'Shea was the trial of New York lawyer Harvey Myerson. Myerson was charged with systematically defrauding his clients and partners of over $3.5 million. The New York Law Journal's account of the trial stated that "the government's chief prosecutor, Sean O'Shea, was going to be a 'tough match' for Mr. Myerson." The article went on to describe Mr. O'Shea as delivering a "polished 50-minute opening [statement] spelling out in simple, but starkly memorable terms the government's case" and recounted how the opening statement "skillfully unfolded the story" of how Myerson turned a Park Avenue law firm into a RICO enterprise. The five week trial ended in a conviction of Myerson on multiple counts of fraud. New York Law Journal, 3/24/92.

Another trial conducted by Mr. O'Shea was recounted in the book, The Brass Wall. The author described Mr. O'Shea's cross-examination of the critical expert witness in the trial as a "carpet bombing" resulting in the witness's figurative "crawl[ing] behind one of his snazzy charts and rais[ing] a white flag." (Kocieniewski, D: The Brass Wall: The Betrayal of Undercover Detective #4126. Henry Holt & Company, 2003, p. 232)