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Christian E. Picone

Christian E. Picone


San Jose Office 408.286.5800 Vcard Email

Areas of Focus:

Mr. Picone is a seasoned trial attorney.  He represents individuals and businesses in civil and criminal litigation at the state and federal levels, with a focus on white-collar criminal defense, financial fraud, healthcare fraud, complex commercial, and tax litigation, regulatory investigations, and environmental crimes. Mr. Picone has conducted forty-seven jury trials to verdict.

Prior to joining Berliner Cohen, Mr. Picone worked as a lead felony prosecutor.

Representative Cases

  • Retained to represent an internationally renowned dentist whose practice in recent years focused on immigrants who lacked proper dental care in their country of origin.  The Santa Clara District Attorney’s Insurance Fraud Unit and Bureau of Investigation served a search warrant on the dentist’s office and later identified 177 claims of insurance fraud spanning over six years.  A conviction for insurance fraud of this magnitude and scope would likely have resulted in the dentist losing his license. Mr. Picone began an aggressive discovery practice and with his retained expert begin a systematic evaluation of the 177 claims by using updated dental technology.  They establish that of the 177 allegations 176 had in fact been performed and one claim was the result assigning a procedure to the wrong chart. The result was that the criminal complaint against the dentist was dismissed.   This is another example of Mr. Picone’s approach of involving experts early in the case to develop expert reports that force prosecutors to reevaluate and dismiss cases. 
  • Represented an executive charged with a conspiracy to defraud the United States through duplicate Small Business Innovation Research grants with the National Science Foundation and NASA; obtained a diversion of prosecution agreement after an aggressive discovery practice and the unconventional decision to negotiate directly with management at the United States Attorney’s Office by explaining the defense strategy for acquittal
  • Successfully defended an executive of a financial services company in a federal felony jury trial against charges of conspiracy to commit immigration fraud; obtained a hung jury resulting in a no-jail misdemeanor offer from the prosecution
  • Successfully represented a startup biomedical company and its founder in a U.S. Attorney and SEC prosecution for securities fraud; obtained a deferred prosecution agreement with a dismissal of the federal indictment and resolved the SEC civil complaint with a minor financial penalty
  • Successfully defended a circuit-board maker in a state environmental disposal investigation resulting in no charges
  • In two successive litigations brought by the California Air Resources Board, negotiated favorable settlements for two premier custom motorcycle manufacturers in the United States
  • Successfully defended owners of a premier South Bay developer in an IRS dispute regarding the validity of long-term union loans collateralized with life insurance proceeds; published opinion from the United States Tax Court (Pinn v. C.I.R. (T.C. 2013) 105 T.C.M. (CCH) 1291); as a result of the defense verdict the IRS changed its method of prosecution of these loans
  • Defended a multi-national corporation against claims of misappropriation of trade secrets contained in Java source code and misappropriation of corporate opportunities; obtained a favorable settlement after aggressive technical discovery and motion practices
  • Obtained an unconditional dismissal of a federal indictment on eve of trial related to a mortgage application after a detailed defense investigation and the timely employment of expert witnesses
  • Obtained dismissal of a state environmental complaint in which the District Attorney sought hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties and fines, for a Civil Compromise after an aggressive discovery practice
  • Represented executive of Japanese DRAM manufacturer, and avoided a criminal indictment in connection with industry wide price-fixing investigation by United States Department of Justice Antitrust

Note: This list of Representative Cases is not intended to imply any guarantees, warranties, or predictions regarding the result of any current or future representation.


  • Born in Concord, New Hampshire
  • Interests include mountain biking and reading

Professional Admissions

  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Colorado
  • State Bar of Illinois
  • United States District Courts, California, Colorado, Illinois

Activities / Memberships

  • Santa Clara Bar Association
  • Pacific Autism Center for Education, Inc., Member, Former Board of Directors
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
  • Guest legal analyst for NBC Bay Area Channel 11 and other San Jose based television news stations


  • Drake University Law School, J.D.
  • University of Rhode Island, B.A., double major in Philosophy & Political Science