skip to main content
Michael R. DiStefano

Overview

Michael R. DiStefano concentrates his practice in the areas of government investigations and criminal defense, including defending clients at trial and in pre-indictment government investigations.  He advises clients under investigation in a variety of forums outside of court, including government civil investigative proceedings, college and university disciplinary matters, and professional licensing board hearings. 

Mr. DiStefano’s notable case accomplishments include:

  • Resolving Department of Justice investigation of public official with no criminal charges brought against client
  • Prevailing at trial on behalf of a business owner accused of engaging in improper relationship with employee resulting in dismissal of employee's application for harassment prevention order
  • Obtaining a probationary sentence for a client charged with $3.3 million tax fraud
  • Obtaining dismissal of criminal charges against medical and financial professionals where convictions could have had negative consequences on professional licenses

Mr. DiStefano serves on the Criminal Justice Act Panel of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.

Prior to joining Todd & Weld, Mr. DiStefano was an Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts, where he prosecuted multi-jurisdictional criminal enterprises involving narcotics, firearms, and human trafficking.  He also conducted extensive white collar criminal investigations.

Before moving to the Office of Attorney General, Mr. DiStefano was an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office, where he conducted more than 30 jury trials.  As a Gang Unit Prosecutor, he was responsible for all aspects of prosecution, including grand jury investigations, charging decisions, suppression motions, pre-trial motions, plea bargaining, and search warrant review. 

Representative Results

Government Investigations

  • Represented national company in an investigation conducted by Health Care Division of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, which successfully resolved without any criminal charges or civil claims against company
  • Resolved Department of Justice investigation of public official with no criminal charges brought against client
  • Represented employees of company under federal grand jury investigation

Criminal Defense

  • Obtained a probationary sentence for a client charged with $3.3 million tax fraud
  • Following an emergency remote hearing, persuaded a Massachusetts Superior Court judge to release a pre-trial detainee due to concerns over potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus
  • Utilized forensic evidence to rebut allegations of criminal harassment resulting in prosecutor dismissing the criminal case
  • Obtained probationary sentence for client charged with participating in international bribery scheme
  • Resolved District Attorney's Office investigation of accounting professional with no criminal charges brought against client
  • Member of defense team that achieved jury acquittal of business executive charged with arson and insurance fraud
  • Resolved law enforcement investigation of higher education official with no criminal charges brought against client

College and University Investigations

  • Conducted an internal investigation into allegations of financial fraud on behalf of the Board of Trustees of a university
  • Represented a client in connection with an investigation of suspected misconduct within a university athletics department
  • Successfully represented college student in parallel criminal and Title IX matters 
  • Resolved investigation involving allegations of serious student misconduct with educational institution permitting client to graduate

 Professional Misconduct and Licensure Issues

  • Obtained dismissal of criminal charges against medical and financial professionals where convictions could have had negative consequences on professional licenses

Experience

  • Todd & Weld LLP, 2014-Present
  • Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General, 2014
  • Assistant District Attorney in the Office of the Suffolk County District Attorney, 2010-2014
  • Judicial Law Clerk to The Honorable Gary Hicks, New Hampshire Supreme Court, Fall 2009
  • Judicial Intern to The Honorable Robert Cordy, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Fall 2008
  • Judicial Intern to The Honorable David Lowy, Essex Superior Court, January-August 2008
  • Teacher, Advisor and Athletic Coach at Kingswood-Oxford School, West Hartford, CT, 2003-2006

Credentials

Education

  • New England Law | Boston (J.D., magna cum laude, 2009) Cali Award for Excellence: Evidence & Clinical Evidence, and Alternative Dispute Resolution; Comment and Note Editor, New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement
  • Colby College (B.A. in Government, cum laude, 2003) National Political Science Honor Society (2003); Verizon Academic All American Award (2002)

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts (2009)
  • U.S. District Court, Massachusetts (2014)
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit (2016)

Professional Activities

  • Member, Boston Bar Association's Recently Elected Partners Forum Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association, Criminal Justice Section Council Member (2016-2017)
  • Boston Bar Association
  • Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Publications/Presentations

  • Panelist, "Navigating Generational Dynamics: Law Firm Culture in a Post-COVID World," Boston Bar Association (April 2024)
  • "Guarding and Utilizing Mobile Phone Data: A Guide for White Collar Practitioners," The Champion (Sept.-Oct. 2023)
  • Presenter, "Beyond Email: Fact Development in the Digital Age," Boston Bar Association (April 2022)
  • "A Survey of Federal Proffer Agreements: The Shortcomings and Pitfalls in the Government's Promised Protections," The Champion (Sept.-Oct. 2020)
  • "Defining Substantial Burden under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act: The Third Circuit's Successful Clarification, New England Journal on Criminal and Civil Confinement, Vol. 35 (2009)

Honors and Awards

  • Named to Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch for Criminal Defense – General Practice; Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2022-2024
  • Named to Massachusetts Super Lawyers for Criminal Defense, 2023
  • Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, Excellence in the Law 2018, Up & Coming Lawyer