Katten Commercial Litigation partner Michael Chiusano spoke with Texas Lawbook about his legal career path, which began before he decided to attend law school. As a paralegal and investigative analyst for the New York County DA's Office, Michael visited countless crime scenes and observed dozens of trials. The experience with Trial Bureau 30 and assisting the NYPD with evidence gathering influenced his decision to become a litigator.

Michael's legal education and inspiration continued with clerkships with the US Attorney's Office and as a US Army JAG. He told Texas Lawbook that the experiences gave him direct experience with trial work and shaped his interest in litigation. And an opportunity to begin practice immediately in Texas after graduation rather than defer or take a government role during the Great Recession, led him to Dallas.

In Dallas and at Katten, Michael has built an impressive commercial litigation practice covering a variety of sectors, including energy, employment, constitutional, real estate, health care and agriculture matters. Michael credits his elevation to partner in November 2020 to a strong work ethic that had him coming into the office regularly even during the pandemic, which led to his being staffed on new matters that led to favorable results.

"Since the promotion, my day-to-day life has not changed much because I was functioning as lead counsel in all cases I was handling leading prior to partnership," he said. "However, my mindset has changed. As a partner, my focus has been to become a litigation growth node by strengthening the firm's existing relationships through providing our clients with creative solutions to complicated, contentious disputes while continuing to cultivate new relationships in the community."

"Q&A with Katten's Michael Chiusano," Texas Lawbook, May 25, 2022