Michael S. Zullo is a litigator and counselor with significant experience representing banks, broker dealers, financial advisors and other financial services firms. He has also represented companies and individuals in real estate matters, software disputes, intellectual property disputes, RICO claims and other commercial litigation matters. Mr. Zullo was mentored by the former general counsel of a large publicly traded bank and relies on this experience to provide practical legal strategies to meet client business needs and goals.
Mr. Zullo handles a wide variety of banking-related matters, including matters involving:
- Lender liability
- Internal Investigations
- The Bank Secrecy Act and related regulations
- Class Actions
- Asset Recovery
- Uniform Commercial Code
- Loan Defaults
- Real Estate/bank branches
- The Americans With Disabilities Act
Mr. Zullo also defends broker-dealer related disputed, including court and arbitration matters regarding investor claims.
Mr. Zullo is a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel, a 2003 cum laude graduate of the George Washington University Law School where he was the notes editor for the Public Contracts Journal and a magna cum laude graduate of Boston College where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
- Represented a multinational investment bank in obtaining a unanimous ruling from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) arbitration panel, which granted the client’s motion to dismiss and declared that the churning and suitability claims against the client were ineligible for submission to arbitration.
- Won a motion on behalf of TD Auto Finance in New York State Court (Queens County) completely dismissing Plaintiff's claims, including breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, conversion, negligence, fraudulent inducement and concealment of contract terms, deceptive trade practices, unconscionable malicious actions in violation of public policy, and punitive damages. The Court also denied Plaintiff's request for leave to amend.
Won summary judgment for a major bank in the Superior Court of New Jersey, in an action in which plaintiff alleged multimillion-dollar claims for breach of contract, implied covenant, and promissory estoppel over the bank's termination of a commercial lease, where Court found both factual and legal bases warranted dismissal with prejudice of all claims.
Won motion to dismiss for a major bank in Florida State Court in a dispute brought by investors in a South Florida real estate company alleging violation of Florida's Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organization Act.
Won motion to dismiss “with prejudice” for a major bank in the Supreme Court of New York in a dispute brought by a California based private equity firm concerning an $87.9 million transaction under a complex Stock Purchase Agreement with an Indemnity Escrow Fund Agreement
- Won motion to dismiss "with prejudice" for a major bank in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Morris County, in a dispute brought by a landlord over the bank's termination of a bank branch's lease over environmental issues.
Won summary judgment in rem for a major bank in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in contract and foreclosure action for two separately mortgaged properties totaling $1.3 million plus per diem interest.
- Obtained complete dismissal on summary judgment of fraud and breach of various warranty claims asserted against a Global Tier 1 enterprise software provider in a case involving the license and implementation of a proprietary software program.
- Obtained on behalf of a national bank in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, a dismissal of all lender liability claims with prejudice, setting a precedent for future lender liability claims in New York.
- Counsel banks in responding to law enforcement inquiries/subpoenas concerning customer account activity.
- Counseled a bank through OCC investigations and FINRA investigations.
- Defended a bank in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York against lender liability claims arising out of commercial loan relationships.
- Represent asset recovery departments on loan workouts/settlements and foreclosures to maximize recovery for the bank.
- Won dismissal of putative class action for national bank in U.S. District Court for the Southern District charging violations of New York’s Exempt Income Protection Act (EIPA) and New York common law.
- Obtained dismissal of class action suit against one of the 15 largest U.S. banks alleging it violated the federal Electronic Funds Transfer Act, which prohibits ATM transaction fees unless ATM operators post a notice of ATM fees on both the machine's screen and in a prominent and conspicuous location on or near the machine.
- Defending large brokerage firm in multiple arbitrations before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
- Defending large international pharmaceutical company against failure to warn claims brought by multiple plaintiffs in state and federal courts.
- Represented a wrongfully terminated distribution business in an international arbitration and obtained a multimillion-dollar award.
- Obtained multimillion-dollar settlement for franchisee against international franchisor for breach of franchise agreement.
- Part of a team that obtained seven-figure settlement on counterclaims for failed implementation of a software solution.
- Successfully prosecuted multiple parties for infringement of design patents.
- Defended the former owner of a professional sports franchise in a dispute with one of the largest concessions providers in the U.S.
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Spark: Philadelphia Advisory Board
- Chair, 2015-present
- Member, 2012-2014
- American Association of People with Disabilities
- Board Member
- St. Peter's Church, Philadelphia
- Co-leader: St. Peter's Youth Group
- Vestry Member
Honors and Awards
- Part of the Duane Morris team awarded the first TD Bank "U.S. Legal Champion" Award
Listed in Pennsylvania Rising Stars, 2013-2018
- Named one of The Legal Intelligencer's Lawyers on the Fast Track, 2013
- Co-author, "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Issues Disclosure-Focused Final Rule on Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," Duane Morris Alert, February 23, 2021
- Co-Author, "The Shifting Landscape of e-Discovery," e-Discovery Law and Strategy, July 2006
- Co-Author, "The Supreme Court's Review of Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc.: Time for Dr. Miles to 'Kick The Bucket'? or "I'm Not Dead Yet'," Distribution & Franchising Committee Newsletter
- Co-author, "High Court Gun Case Could Impact Proposed Philadelphia Regulations," The Legal Intelligencer, April 4, 2008
- Contributing author, ABA Franchise and Dealer Termination Handbook, 2nd Ed. (in process)
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Featured in "Giving Clients the Data They Need to Make Business Decisions," Legal Marketing Studio Podcast, November 14, 2016
- Presenter, "Know Your Customer Rules and Regulations," March 2016
- Presenter, "Preserving the Attorney-Client Privilege: Real-Life Examples and Practical Guidance," March 2016
- Co-presenter, "Early Case Assessment", October 30, 2014