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Jesse Panuccio, Former Executive Director of Florida DEO, Joins Foley

22 June 2016

Foley & Lardner LLP announced today that Jesse Panuccio has joined the firm as a partner in the Miami, Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee offices. Panuccio is the former executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO), and previously served as general counsel to Governor Rick Scott. Most recently, Panuccio served as counsel to the delegate team on the Cruz for President campaign.

"After five years of public service, I’m excited to return to private practice to focus on high-stakes litigation, appeals and regulatory issues,” Panuccio said. “Foley’s national reputation for excellence, combined with its growing and dynamic presence across Florida, made the firm a perfect fit."

As head of the Florida DEO for three years, Panuccio led the state agency responsible for labor policies and programs, labor-market statistics, business development, growth management and land planning. During his tenure, the agency streamlined the state’s business incentive process, implemented an award-winning fraud detection program in the state’s unemployment insurance system and launched the Competitive Florida Partnership to help rural and small communities coordinate economic and community development projects. As a key advisor to the governor on economic policy, Panuccio advocated for policies and programs that fostered a significant economic expansion in Florida. As general counsel to Governor Scott, Panuccio represented the governor in his official capacity in several high-profile cases, managed the legal affairs and legal staff of the Governor’s office, advised the governor regarding potential legislation and veto power, drafted executive orders, helped direct and coordinate litigation and legal policy across state agencies, served as chief ethics officer and advised the governor on judicial appointments. Prior to government service, Panuccio was in private practice in Washington D.C., where he focused on complex commercial litigation, high-profile constitutional cases and appeals in the United States Supreme Court.

“Jesse is an influential, intelligent litigator with a proven track record of success in private practice and public service. Our clients will benefit from his unique experience blending high-stakes litigation, executive management, and public policy advocacy,” said William Davis, managing partner of Foley’s Miami office.

At Foley, Panuccio will focus on high-stakes litigation and will be actively involved with Foley’s national appellate and Supreme Court efforts. In addition, he will call upon his experience in government to work closely with the firm’s practices in political law, public policy, labor and employment law, land use and cybersecurity. Based on his work in, and understanding of, economic development in Florida, Panuccio will also help advise businesses as they grow in Florida and nationally.

"Throughout his career, Jesse has taken on high-profile and difficult cases for his clients, and he has also served as a trusted advisor to influential decision makers in the public arena,” said Jonathan Kilman, co-chair of Foley’s Florida Government & Public Policy practice. “Having also been an executive himself, he understands the complex factors a client must consider when making legal decisions, and he is someone both our public- and private-sector clients can trust as they navigate issues at the intersection of business, law, and public policy. We are thrilled to have him on our team."

Panuccio joins a team at Foley that, in counseling clients, calls upon a breadth and depth of Florida government experience. The team includes: Karen Bowling, former chief administrative officer for the City of Jacksonville; Robert Hosay, former secretary of the Department of Management Services under Governor Jeb Bush; Joe Jacquot, former deputy attorney general of Florida; Jonathan Kilman, who has represented the Florida House of Representatives in redistricting litigation and multiple executive branch agencies, as outside counsel; Christopher Kise, former Florida solicitor general and general counsel to Governor Scott’s transition team; Paul Lowell, who oversaw health policy for Governor Bush; and Herschel Vinyard, former secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection under Governor Scott.

Panuccio will be based in Foley’s Miami office and will maintain a regular presence in the Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee, Fla. offices.