Firm Profile

Markus/Moss, PLLC
40 Northwest Third Street, Penthouse One
Miami, FL 33128
United States
(305) 379.6667

Firm Details

Markus/Moss PLLC is a nationally recognized trial and appellate boutique law firm that is known for taking on very difficult cases and winning.  Two of the firm's partners, David Oscar Markus and Mona E. Markus-- are honors graduates of Harvard Law School. 

Throughout his career, David Markus has zealously and successfully represented defendants in high-stakes litigation at the trial level all the way to the Supreme Court.    He takes part in all of the Firm's cases, which typically includes executives and professionals charged with white collar offenses such as criminal antitrust, tax fraud, OFAC, mortgage fraud, medicare fraud, RICO, and securities fraud. His contact information is on the speed dial of businessmen (and even filmmakers).

Named partner Margot Moss is a highly skilled and experienced lawyer who has achieved enormous success for her clients.  Margot has tried more than 100 cases to verdict and while at the public defender's office was tasked with training young lawyers.  A recent trial resulted in a not guilty across the board before Judge Adalberto Jordan in federal court.  She handles complex criminal matters in state and federal court.

Mona Markus handles most of the firm's writing, including large trial motions and appeals, where she has been successful in overturning a number of verdicts.  Before founding Markus/Moss in 2010, she was part of the trial and appellate team that obtained a billion dollar verdict against Exxon in federal court and made it stick before the United States Supreme Court. 

In addition, the firm is lucky to have associates Lauren Doyle and Todd Yoder, who are excellent young lawyers with a strong commitment to their clients.

The Firm handles a very small number of cases at any given time so that it can dedicate its full energy to each and every case it takes.   

Highlights of the Firm's founder -- David Oscar Markus: Magna cum laude from Harvard Law School Top 40 litigator under 40 years old (National Law Journal) Top Lawyer, White Collar Criminal Defense and non-White Collar Criminal Defense, Best Lawyers in America by U.S. News (2007-present) President, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Miami) 2006-07 President, Federal Bar Association (Miami Chapter) 2007-08 Top Law Firm (South Florida Legal Guide), 2006-present Top Miami Criminal Lawyer (South Florida Legal Guide), 2002-present SuperLawyer (Florida SuperLawyers), 2006-present; Top 100 SuperLawyer in Florida 2010-Present (and in Miami).  Best Lawyers 2011-present South Florida Business Journal Key Partners Award 2011 Instructor at the first White Collar Criminal Defense College at Stetson Law 2012 AV Rated (Martindale Hubbell) Top Lawyer (Chambers & Partners), 2007-present Finalist (one of only eight), Best White Collar Attorney in the United States 2010 and 2011 (Chambers & Partners) According to the 2011 Chambers & Partners, "David Markus comes highly recommended for his criminal defense work. 

Clients describe him as 'a charming man of genius intellect, who throws himself into his work to achieve the best results for his clients.'"  The 2010 Chambers & Partners had this to say:  "David Markus ... is 'the whole package,' according to market sources. 'A creative, courageous and tenacious courtoom advocate.' Peers cite as evidence of this the "stunning acquittal" he achieved in the Dr. Ali Shaygan case, which resulted in the dismissal of all 141 counts against his client and a court order to refund $600,000 in costs due to government misconduct." The 2012 Chambers recognized both David Markus and the Firm Markus & Markus for its outstanding work, saying this: "This compact firm enters the rankings this year having been highly recommended for its extensive expertise in white-collar criminal defense. It has doubled in size in the past year and now houses four lawyers, who handle extremely complex high-stakes criminal and white-collar litigation with ease.  David Markus received strong praise from peers and clients alike, who describe him as "a legal genius and brilliant strategist with a great demeanor." He is regarded as a criminal defense expert and has handled some high-profile matters."


Carmen Aguero
Office Manager

About Our Clients

Listed below is a small sample of  the firm's cases. These summaries are provided for informational purposes only and not as any promise as to the outcome of your case.  The facts and circumstances of your case may differ from the matters listed here.  The results of all cases handled by the firm are not provided and these cases are not necessarily representative of all results obtained by the firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the firm.  Every case is different, and each client's case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.  By viewing this page, you acknowledge that you have read and understand the above disclaimer and that you would like to view the information set forth below.   United States v. Rodrigo Hidalgo. In a total victory for our client, David Oscar Markus along with Mona Markus and Robin Kaplan successfully obtained the dismissal of two indictments against the Vice President of an airline. The charges involved allegations of federal criminal antitrust laws violations by conspiring to fix fuel surcharge prices on air cargo shipments to and from the U.S. The team obtained a dismissal of the first indictment after demonstrating their client's lack of particiption in the conspiratorial meeting. With regard to the second indictment, the team filed a unique motion demonstrating that the VP was simultaneously an employee of another airline which meant that he was covered under the grant of immunity in that airline's plea agreement. The DOJ fought hard against the motion, filing 9 pleadings in opposition and calling multiple witnesses to testify in support of their position. After a two day evidentiary hearing, the Magistrate Judge wrote a 49-page order granting the motion to dismiss, and the District Court affirmed. United States v. Dr. Ali Shaygan. One of the Firm's signature cases, David Oscar Markus led the defense team to another first of its kind victory -- not guilty verdicts across the board on 141 counts against a doctor charged in federal court with selling pain medications.  After a month long trial, the jury acquitted on all counts in less than a half a day, and after they announced the verdict, the jury hugged the lawyers and client.  (Here's the Sun-Sentinel article and the Herald article).  In addition to the acquittal, Markus uncovered prosecutorial misconduct and the federal judge heard two days of testimony from prosecutors and agents, after which the court ordered the government to pay Dr. Shaygan and his lawyers over $600,000. (Here's the AP article). The Eleventh Circuit reversed the fee award, with several dissenting opinions. We are currently seeking certiorari review in the U.S. Supreme Court, as discussed in this National Law Journal article.  Second chairing Markus at trial was Robin Kaplan, an associate at the firm, and Marc Seitles. Since this case, the Firm is regularly consulted on cases involving doctors and pharmacists charged with cases involving pain medication.  Both state authorities and the federal government have cast way too wide a net in the prosecution of doctors and pharmacists who are engaged in legitimate medical practice, and the Firm takes great pride in defending these cases.    United States v. Yuby Ramirez.  David Markus fought this case for 8 years, and Robin Kaplan joined the case when she started at the firm.  Yuby was sentenced to life and lost her appeal.  That's when Markus came into the case to represent her on her habeas petition.  After 4 appeals and numerous evidentiary hearings, Markus was successful in obtaining her release from federal prison.  Her life sentence was vacated.  There was a lot of media coverage regarding the case, some of which is detailed here and here.  This case demonstrates the never-give-up philosophy of the firm, which fought and fought and fought until Yuby was released. Manuel Soltero v. Swire Development Sales, et al. David Oscar Markus was brought in on the eve of trial to represent one of the defendants in this federal civil RICO and fraud case. David successfully defended the RICO count against his client, obtaining a verdict of no liability. Although the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff on the fraud count, David and his co-counsel persuaded the district judge to enter judgment as a matter of law for the defendants and to dismiss the case. David and Mona Markus handled the appeal in the Eleventh Circuit, which resulted in a quick unanimous opinion upholding the dismissal, and a total victory for the client. United States v. Michael Samuda.  Robin Kaplan was the lead attorney in this federal mortgage fraud trial. Our client was a title attorney accused of creating double HUDs to obtain more money than was needed from lenders. The government charged at least 8 individuals in three separate indictments. All of the attorney's codefendants and two of his employees cooperated with the government and testified against him. After a two week trial, the jury found him not guilty on four wire fraud counts and hung on the remaining three counts. Ms. Kaplan successfully persuaded the government to dismiss the remaining counts after trial. State v. Rene Pedrayes.  This case involved allegations that Wackenhut executives were involved in a scheme to overbill the county on the Metrorail contract.  The charges included over 800 RICO acts.  Shortly after David Markus and Margot Moss filed this motion, the case was dismissed.  Here's the Herald article discussing the dismissal and below is a picture of David and Margot taken by the Daily Business Review for its Most Effective Lawyers banquet, where they were honored for their work on this case. United States v. Francesco Scaglia. This federal criminal antitrust trial involved over a million documents and numerous cooperating witnesses from around the world. Although the trial took 4 weeks, the jury found Mr. Scaglia not guilty in less than 2 hours. Below is a picture of David and the winning trial team after the not guilty verdict.     United States v. Edwin Rivera. This case involved 288 counts of RICO, Medicaid fraud, mail and wire fraud, and over 500 boxes of discovery. The trial of these 10 defendants lasted 6 weeks. Mr. Markus' client was found not guilty on all counts. This was the largest prosecution ever in the Southern District of Georgia. State of Florida v. Gale Fontaine. In the first case of its kind to proceed to trial in the State of Florida, Mr. Markus obtained a not guilty verdict in the trial of a business woman, Gale Fontaine, who had been charged with running a gambling house. The State had charged Ms. Fontaine and a number of other operators of "senior arcades", places where senior citizens could play machines for low stakes (8 cents). The other operators cut deals, but Mr. Markus obtained the first not guilty verdict in this area after a one week trial that was vigorously prosecuted by the State of Florida and covered daily by the local media. Here is the article covering the verdict, which was on the front page of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, and here is a segment from NPR interviewing Mr. Markus about the case.  Since this case, Markus has been the go-to lawyer for advice on how to legally operate arcades in Florida. Below is the picture from the Sentinel which was prominently placed above the fold on the front page. 

Firm Practice Areas

  • Appellate
  • Criminal Defense: General Practice
  • Criminal Defense: White-Collar

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