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Jesse Panuccio will be representing schools in a long-running legal fight over pregame prayer.


Personnel note: Jesse Panuccio joins David Boies’ law firm

The Florida attorney previously led state Department of Economic Opportunity.

A former top lawyer to then-Gov. Rick Scott and head of the Department of Economic Opportunity has joined prominent law firm Boies Schiller Flexner.

Jesse Panuccio joined the firm as a partner and will work in both Florida and Washington, D.C., offices for the firm. He is licensed to practice law in both jurisdictions.

“Having spent the majority of my career navigating high-stakes legal matters, I am delighted to be joining Boies Schiller Flexner, which is well known for its work on bet-the-company issues,” Panuccio said. “I’m thrilled to join this team of all-star litigators and crisis managers, and I look forward to helping the firm grow its federal and Florida practices.’”

The firm celebrated the high-profile hire.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jesse to the firm and excited for our clients to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and expertise working in the highest levels of federal and state governments,” said David Boies, who founded the firm in 1997. It now has 15 offices throughout the United States and in London.

“Jesse’s unique background in high-stakes litigation, appeals, and crisis management will complement our firm’s leading practice in these areas. He is an exceptional litigator and we are excited to add him to our teams in Washington and Florida.”

Boies famously represented Vice President Al Gore’s presidential campaign during the Florida recount in 2000. He also helped the U.S. government beat Microsoft in an antitrust case.

Panuccio, a 2006 graduate of Harvard Law School, most recently worked in the U.S. Justice Department. He resigned his post as Acting Associate Attorney General, effectively the No. 3 post in the agency, earlier this year.

In the Justice Department, Panuccio oversaw the civil and criminal work of the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Environment and Natural Resources and Tax Divisions.

He also helped roll back certain Obama-era guidelines and regulations and chaired the Regulatory Reform Task Force.

Panuccio, who started at Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, ultimately left the Justice Department after Attorney General William Barr arrived and began assembling his own team.

In Florida, Panuccio for a time served as general counsel for Scott, now a U.S. Senator. There, Panuccio managed major litigation for the state and advised the governor on judicial nominations.

Panuccio previously served as a partner at Foley & Lardner in Miami. He also has served as an adjunct professor at Florida State University College of Law, where he taught advanced constitutional law and separation of powers.

Most recently, he gave a speech in Tallahassee for The Federalist Society’s Tallahassee Lawyers Chapter, arguing that states were acting improperly to legalize medical and recreational pot since it is still illegal under federal law.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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