Peter Prieto received a Bachelor’s Degree, summa cum laude, from St. Thomas University, and his Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Miami School of Law. While in law school, he served as a member of the Moot Court Board and as an articles and comments editor for the Law Review. Peter is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers.
For more than twenty-five years, Peter has focused his practice on complex commercial litigation, including class actions, and white collar criminal defense. He has represented clients—both plaintiffs and defendants—in a wide array of civil litigation, including business disputes, healthcare, antitrust, products liability, RICO, legal and accounting malpractice, and class action litigation. Over the last several years, Peter has focused his defense practice on defending law and accounting firms from claims of professional malpractice. Peter has also represented clients in criminal investigations and prosecutions involving public corruption, business, banking and healthcare fraud, aviation, environmental violations, antitrust and money laundering.
Some of Peter’s most significant engagements in his civil litigation practice have involved 1) successfully representing – at trial and at summary judgment – former executives of a pharmaceutical company who brought claims for securities fraud after the company’s merger; 2) as Chair Lead Counsel, successfully representing and obtaining settlements in excess of over $1.5 billion on behalf of classes of millions of vehicle owners who purchased vehicles with defective Takata airbags; 3) obtaining dismissal of claims of malicious prosecution and abuse of process on behalf of national law firm; 4) successfully obtaining summary judgment on behalf of an international athletic and footwear company against claims that the company had stolen the “idea” of using a famous singer as its spokesperson.
Peter also has significant white collar criminal engagements have included 1) conducting internal investigation for, and subsequently representing, a public company in connection with possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”); 2) representing a cargo airline and its principals in a criminal investigation involving allegations that airline had falsified maintenance records; and 3) conducting internal investigation for Fortune 100 company in connection with allegations of price-fixing.
Peter also has significant experience in multidistrict litigation proceedings (“MDL”). He currently serves as Plaintiffs’ Chair Lead Counsel overseeing both class actions and personal injury actions in In Re: Takata Airbags Product Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2599, which is considered the largest product defect case in United States history. He also serves as the only Florida Lawyer on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In Re: General Motors LLC Ignition Switch Litigation MDL No. 2543. Through the firm, he currently serves on the Plaintiffs’ Executive Committee in In Re: Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, MDL No. 2036. He is also Chair of the Experts Committee in In Re: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation, MDL No. 2406.
During his career, including his several years as a federal prosecutor, Peter has obtained substantial trial and appellate experience. He has tried 30 criminal and civil cases and has argued over a dozen appeals before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. For his litigation skills, he has been recognized as one of the “Top Lawyers in South Florida,” according to the South Florida Legal Guide, and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Florida’s Legal Elite, and Chambers USA, which has praised Peter for being “extremely strategic and thoughtful”, as well as “highly skilled, practical, timely and terrific in court.” In 2018, Peter was recognized as one of three “Attorney of the Year” finalists by the Daily Business Review.
Peter was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1985, and is also a member of various other Bars, including the Supreme Court of the United States, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Trial Bar, the Dade County Bar, the American Bar Association and the Cuban-American Bar Association.
Peter recently served as the Eleventh Circuit’s representative on the America Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary, the committee responsible for assessing the professional qualifications of all federal judicial nominees. Additionally, from 2006-2014, he was a member of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the Third District Court of Appeal, and previously served, pursuant to appointments by Governors Lawton Chiles and Jeb Bush, as a Commissioner on Florida’s Commission on Ethics. He serves on the Advisory Board of the University of Miami School of Law’s Center for Ethics & Public Service and on the Alumni Advisory Board of the University of Miami Law Review. Peter is also a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Thomas University.
Prior to joining the firm, Peter was a federal prosecutor, first with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, and later with the Office of Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C. where he worked on the criminal investigation of the late Secretary of Commerce Ronald H. Brown. For over a decade, he was also a partner and trial lawyer with the firm of Holland & Knight LLP, where he served as Executive Partner of the firm’s Miami office, and as the Chair of the firm’s 400-lawyer litigation section.