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Jo Ann Palchak

Director, Class of 2018

Jo Ann Palchak is an experienced litigator who represents individuals and companies in criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as in complex civil litigation. In her significant state and federal court practice, Ms. Palchak represents clients in misdemeanor and felony proceedings. She also counsels clients seeking appellate or post-conviction relief. Ms. Palchak's defense of "emerging adults" encompasses matters on and off school campuses and she is often called upon by the courts to assist in an ad-litem capacity.

Ms. Palchak has represented clients in criminal and civil enforcement cases involving allegations of financial fraud, violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act, and false and deceptive trade practices in both state and federal court. Her experience in complex business disputes includes matters involving breach of contract, civil theft, misappropriation of trade secrets and trademark infringement, replevin, and conversion actions, as well as injunctive relief. She has represented several high-profile clients, helping to resolve their legal challenges under intense public scrutiny. She has also conducted internal investigations for companies in industries ranging from health care to publishing.

Ms. Palchak is a recipient of numerous awards for pro bono service having been recognized in 2012 by the Hillsborough County Bar Association Criminal Law Section with the Marcelano "Bubba" Huerta Award for "tireless commitment to pro bono service and the pursuit of equal justice for all." She also received the award for outstanding pro bono service by a lawyer for the 13th Judicial Circuit that same year. Ms. Palchak has also been recognized by Florida Superlawyers and was also named to Florida Trend's Legal Elite.

Ms. Palchak’s legal experience is drawn both from public service and the private sector. Before founding The Law Office of Jo Ann Palchak, P.A., she worked for several years at the white collar firm of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP. Prior to that she clerked for the Hon. Darryl C. Casanueva of the Second District Court of Appeal in Florida. Prior to that, Ms. Palchak worked as a public defender in Hillsborough County, FL where she first-chaired numerous trials for clients charged with serious criminal allegations.

As a student at Stetson University College of Law, Ms. Palchak received both the Dean's Award and the Student of the Year Award. While in law school, she published in the area of gender crime jurisprudence and international criminal and donated her research to the International Criminal Tribunals of Rwanda and Yugoslavia. Ms. Palchak’s private sector experience includes working as a principal software engineer at Oracle Corporation in the bug diagnostic and escalation division. Ms. Palchak's extensive corporate experience and background as a software engineer give her unique insight and skill to conduct internal investigations and data searches.

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