Michael J. Marinello is a partner with Kagan Stern. He is an experienced litigator at both the trial and appellate levels, focusing on business and commercial litigation, as well as other complex civil litigation matters. In addition, he routinely serves as outside general counsel for numerous small to mid-size companies, including advice and assistance on business transactions, employment matters, corporate governance, investigations and compliance, and government contracts. Mr. Marinello also handles military and veteran matters, including military criminal defense. Mr. Marinello has repeatedly earned recognition by his peers as a Rising Star in business litigation in Maryland Super Lawyers and as a Leading Lawyer in What’s Up? Annapolis magazine for military law.
As a litigator, Mr. Marinello has extensive experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants before state and Federal courts (trial and appellate) and government agencies, commercial arbitrators, and neutral mediators. He routinely litigates all facets of business disputes, including direct claims and derivative suits for breach of contract, tortious interference with contracts or prospective business, business disparagement, fraud, successor liability, labor and wage claims, IP and trade secret disputes, breach of fiduciary duties, violation of covenants not to compete/solicit, and other business torts. As these matters frequently arise on an emergency basis, Mr. Marinello often assists his clients in obtaining or defending temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, followed by permanent injunctions, as well as obtaining and defending against confessed judgments.
As outside general counsel, Mr. Marinello routinely advises and assists small to mid-size companies with all aspects of business and corporate law, including the creation, organization, and financing of new companies, employment/consulting/contractor agreements, non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, confidentiality agreements, loan agreements and promissory notes, guarantees, and commercial business transactions such as teaming agreements, joint ventures, asset sales and purchase agreements, license agreements, and other business deals. Mr. Marinello also has substantial experience with compliance and investigation matters, whether undertaken by outside government agencies or internally by company management.
Prior to joining Kagan Stern, Mr. Marinello served 13.5 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy, most recently with the Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) Corps for just under seven years. As a judge advocate, Mr. Marinello gained extensive litigation and general counsel experience, in addition to serving as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the District of Maryland and Eastern District of Virginia. As a prosecutor, he prosecuted dozens of criminal cases, including numerous contested felony trials for rape, aggravated assault, and other violent crimes, as well as larceny, fraud, child pornography, and distribution of narcotics. In his capacity as a civil litigation attorney with the Navy’s General Litigation Division, Mr. Marinello represented and defended the Navy and its officials in a wide range of civil litigation matters, including wrongful discharge claims, military pay claims, disability and discrimination suits, constitutional torts, and Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act matters. He routinely worked side-by-side with Assistant U.S. Attorneys and other Department of Justice attorneys in U.S. District Courts and Courts of Appeals throughout the country, as well as the Court of Federal Claims.
Mr. Marinello also gained significant experience counseling clients during his time as a JAG. He served as Deputy General Counsel to the Admiral responsible for the Navy’s Mid-Atlantic Region (covering all naval bases from Virginia to Maine) and General Counsel to the commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk, the Navy’s largest naval base. Most recently, Mr. Marinello served as General Counsel to the Commandant of Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he advised the Commandant and his staff on various complex matters, including criminal investigations and courts-martial, Midshipmen discipline and discharge proceedings, civil litigation matters, government ethics, Congressional inquiries, public relations, and claims against the government.
Prior to becoming a judge advocate, Mr. Marinello served in the Navy as a Surface Warfare Officer in various positions onboard two warships in San Diego, California. He continues to serve as a Commander in the Naval Reserves.
Mr. Marinello obtained his undergraduate degree and graduated, with merit, from the U.S. Naval Academy. He earned his Juris Doctor, cum laude, from the University of Maryland School of Law, and he earned a Master of Laws degree in Litigation and Dispute Resolution from The George Washington University Law School, graduating With Highest Honors. He is admitted to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mr. Marinello and his family are residents of Annapolis, where they are actively involved in local school functions, athletic organizations, and other community events. Mr. Marinello is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maryland State Bar Association, the Anne Arundel County Bar Association, and the Judge Advocates Association. He also serves as a Board Member for the Annapolis Chapter of the Naval Academy Alumni Association and as an Organizer for the Service Academy Business Professionals Group.