Carmela T. Romeo is an experienced first-chair litigator, who represents major pharmaceutical, retail, insurance, private equity, and technology companies in a wide variety of complex commercial disputes and internal investigations, including those involving the conduct of clinical trials and other life sciences matters, alleged tortious conduct, breach of contract, deceptive business practices, and allegations of financial fraud and money laundering. She routinely advises clients on anti-corruption and supply chain compliance issues.
Ms. Romeo has handled all aspects of civil litigation at the trial and appellate level in federal and state courts, as well as in arbitrations. She has delivered opening and closing statements, conducted direct and cross-examinations of fact and expert witnesses, argued motions, taken and defended depositions, managed complex and foreign-language discovery matters, and worked with experts to develop reports and present hearing testimony. Ms. Romeo also has extensive trial and appellate brief writing experience.
Ms. Romeo has secured successful liability and damages verdicts for her clients, as well as positive outcomes for her corporate and individual clients with domestic and international governmental agencies. In a case in which plaintiff sought more than $600 million in damages for misappropriation of an idea, Ms. Romeo handled the damages aspect of the case and the jury returned a verdict of only $956,000. In a AAA arbitration concerning a contractual milestone dispute between a major pharmaceutical company and a biotechnology investment firm, Ms. Romeo was a key member of the trial team that secured a declaratory judgment in favor of the pharmaceutical company that it did not owe milestone payments in excess of $100 million under the contract. Ms. Romeo has also successfully achieved no-action results for her individual and corporate clients in inquiries and investigations conducted by various governmental agencies, including the New York State Attorney General’s office, the United States Attorney’s office, the Securities & Exchange Commission, and the Department of Justice.
Ms. Romeo maintains an active pro bono practice focusing on immigration and criminal justice matters, including asylum applications, Board of Immigration appeals, FOIA requests, obtaining protective orders in domestic violence cases, and criminal defense motion practice.
- Representing medical supply company in action against international pharmaceutical distributor alleging that distributor breached distribution agreement and engaged in deceptive business practices concerning the purchase of COVID-19 rapid test kits.
- Representing major insurance company in breach of contract action involving alleged directors and officers (“D&O”) policy coverage for defense costs incurred in connection with an appraisal action.
- Representing major pharmaceutical company in connection with congressional and New York State Attorney General investigations concerning the manufacturing of certain clinical products.
- Representing major insurance company in breach of contract action concerning policy coverage for settlement, involving issues of the reasonableness of the settlement and insurability of punitive damages.
- Counseling major pharmaceutical company on payment dispute under Rebate and Administrative Fee Agreement with pharmacy benefit manager (PBM).
- Representing major pharmaceutical company in connection with a civil investigative demand (CID) related to off-label promotion activities and speaker programs.
- Counseling major pharmaceutical company in connection with supply distribution agreement dispute due to COVID-19 pandemic.
- Representing major art auction house in multiple related litigations involving allegations of fraud with respect to the purchase and sale of numerous art masterpieces.
- Represented commercial real estate developer in connection with tenant-in-common (TIC) partition rights and enforcement in New York.
- Represented major pharmaceutical company in putative antitrust class action alleging that defendants entered into reverse payment settlement of patent litigation.
- Represented major pharmaceutical company in AAA arbitration involving breach of contract by biotechnology investment firm as to the conduct of certain clinical trials, and obtained declaratory judgment that the pharmaceutical company did not owe milestone payments in excess of $100 million under the contract.
- Conducted enterprise-wide compliance risk assessment for major retailer and advised on enhancements to its compliance program.
- Represented Executive Team member/Global President of global healthcare company in connection with SEC and DOJ investigation involving FCPA and revenue recognition matters. Obtained successful outcome for client.
- Successfully represented major technology company in inquiry conducted by the New York State Attorney General involving claims of deceptive business practices with regard to mobile health application.
- Member of defense trial team in civil trial involving claims for misappropriation of an idea, unfair competition, and breach of a mutual non-disclosure agreement before the Eastern District of New York on behalf of major software company. Obtained a successful damages verdict.
- Member of trial team in successful six-week civil trial under the Anti-Terrorism Act before the Southern District of New York on behalf of several American families.
- Represented major retailer in connection with embezzlement of millions of dollars in merchandise by former executive. Coordinated with law enforcement in investigation and prosecution, leading to arrest of former employee, followed by guilty plea and agreement to pay restitution to client.
- Advised CEO in investigation by the United States Attorney's Office of the Southern District of New York concerning the CEO's use of SEC Rule 10b-5 trading plans. Coordinated with law enforcement, leading to the issuance of an investigation completion letter by the SEC recommending no enforcement action.
- Represented federal agency in litigation of claim objection based on novel federal statute in Lehman Bankruptcy, leading to a successful settlement.
- Member of trial team in case before the Southern District of New York between an insurance company and a Michigan bank concerning the bank's approval of home equity loans behind approximately $1 billion in mortgage-backed securities.
- Represented beneficial owner of $10 million in notes in contract case against the issuer and the trustee of the notes to compel payment of principal and past-due interest.
- Advised satellite manufacturer in connection with its obligations under certain government contracts, as well as potential restructuring of those obligations.
- Represented company in tortious interference, fraud, and unjust enrichment case pertaining to acquisition of shares that would have given the company a controlling stake in an international sporting organization.
"Ones to Watch" — Commercial Litigation (NY) (2024)
- J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 2011, summa cum laude
- B.A., Boston University, 2007, magna cum laude
- New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, The Honorable Henry Pitman
- Member, Entertainment Committee, New York City Bar Association
- Member, New York American Inn of Court