An Interview with Michael Molfetta, Founder and Head of Molfetta Law
Michael Molfetta is a renowned litigation attorney and the founder of Molfetta Law. With 30 years of litigation experience, Molfetta has argued cases in both State and Federal courts and represented high-profile clients in nearly 300 jury trials.
Molfetta Law specializes in consumer protection, timeshare exits, white-collar crimes, narcotics and drug-related offenses, murder and manslaughter, and s*x offenses.
Molfetta earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Occidental College in 1986 and a JD from Southwestern Law School in 1990. From 1991 to 1996, he worked as a Prosecutor at the Orange County DA office, followed by a brief period in civil litigation. In 1997, Molfetta launched his own criminal defense practice focusing on both felony and misdemeanor cases.
Though civil litigation and criminal law remain the cornerstone of his legal practice, Molfetta’s entrepreneurial mindset inspired him to blend his sports background as a college football player and international rugby player with his legal prowess.
He is a founding partner of CRM Sports Advisors and CEO of Invictus Sports Management, an elite full-service professional athlete representation and management firm. Focus areas include MLB draft preparation, contracts negotiation, and post-career planning.
In addition to being named “Litigator of the Year” by The American Institute of Trial Lawyers, Michael Molfetta has been a legal correspondent on major networks such as ABC World News, NBC, CBS, Fox News, with appearances on Larry King Live, Dateline, 20/20 and others.
Michael, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak with us. As a legal professional with 30+ years of experience, what motivated you to start your law firm, Molfetta Law?
I started Molfetta Law because I wanted to have a law firm that incorporated what I wanted to do as a lawyer and as a person. I wanted to surround myself with aggressive, like-minded people who were not afraid to take the initiative and paint outside the box. Molfetta Law originally started as a dual-purpose firm, doing criminal defense and representing athletes, but has since expanded into consumer protection, notably timeshare exits.
What makes you different than other professionals in your field?
As a former collegiate athlete, I focus on hiring young college graduates who have played Division 1 sports. Because of their athletic experience, I think those people innately possess the ability to budget their time and aggressively approach any task. And because of sports, they also have an excellent familiarity with winning and losing.
As a result, I have these employees who understand what it’s like to work early in a game when things are going your way and vice versa. I hate to keep using the sports analogy, but it’s at the heart of my work ethic and philosophy.
My employees understand that hard work, conviction, individual accountability, and teamwork will, more often than not, help you prevail, which is what we do in the timeshare world.
We stay after it, analyzing all angles of a client’s situation and research laws to prevail.
That’s what Molfetta Law is. We are on the front line protecting our clients. If you’re going to bully somebody, bully us. Don’t bully a little old lady who just emptied her retirement account to get a mortgage on a timeshare that she’ll never be able to use because they sold the same timeshare the same week to thousands of other people.
What are your professional goals for the next three years?
I want to continue developing my employees as our business grows and evolves while representing clients in need, such as the elderly. Assisted living contracts can be just as awful as timeshare contracts with escalators and fees for diet, medical attention, and more.
Overall, I want Molfetta Law to focus on areas where we can genuinely help people.
What has been the most important part of your professional journey?
Staying true to who I am. If I try to be something else, a juror or an opposing lawyer or whatever the situation is, they’ll sniff it out in a heartbeat, and then I’m fake. So, I’m true to who I am, and it works for me.
What drives you to keep going when it’s really tough?
I take pride in being a survivor. It’s just the way I’m built because I don’t stress, whether it’s a work issue, personal issue, or money issue. It’s an old saying, but I absolutely believe that stress is just something people do when they don’t know what they’re doing.
Do I feel pressure? Yes. Do I get caught in natural human emotion when I’m in a big trial or when a timeshare resort threatens me with a lawsuit? Of course. But then those feelings pass, and I focus on the task of surviving and getting ahead, not only surviving but winning. That’s who I am.
What advice would you give to current and prospective law students?
So many times, I hear lawyers give young people advice, “You don’t want to be a lawyer.” That’s the worst advice I’ve ever heard. You may go to law school and not ever want to practice law, that’s ok. Law school is a lot of things. But most importantly, in my mind, it teaches you how to think; it teaches you how to have perspective.
In other words, one day, I might be representing a timeshare exit person, and the next day, I might represent the resort against another person or organization. You never know. So, law school teaches you how to analyze both sides, anticipate outcomes, and organize your thoughts in a persuasive manner.
What takes up too much of your time?
The number one rule of being a successful lawyer is communicating with your client. I spent a lot of money creating a customer service portal. Every client has a unique username and password. They can log on and see everything pertaining to their case: status updates, what documents have been sent, etc.
It’s a terrific tool for those who take advantage of it. However, some people aren’t as comfortable with technology, so our team spends considerable time keeping clients up-to-date over the phone, even though clients can find all their answers on the portal, day or night.
Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
My oldest son, who battles severe ulcerative colitis, is my hero. His senior year in high school, the disease caused him to lose 45 pounds and stunted his growth in a span of three weeks. It did a lot of things to him. He persevered, and he pursued his dream with toughness and tenacity. And now, he’s a professional baseball player. That is the person who has impressed me the most.
How should people connect with you?
Go to my website and call me. My phone number is out there.