Christian E. Picone

Christian E. Picone


San Jose Office 408-286-5800 Vcard Email

Areas of Focus:

Mr. Picone represents individuals and businesses in both civil and criminal litigation at the state and federal levels, with a focus on intellectual property disputes, complex commercial and tax litigation, criminal defense, and environmental defense. In addition, Mr. Picone has successfully represented custom automotive companies in the increasingly criminalized area of environmental law.

Prior to joining Berliner Cohen, Mr. Picone worked as a lead felony prosecutor. Mr. Picone has conducted thirty-six jury trials to verdict.

Representative 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

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


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