Fernando M. Pinguelo, a trial lawyer and Chair of the firm’s Cyber Security & Data Protection and E-Discovery groups, devotes his practice to complex litigation with an emphasis on cyber security, data privacy, international law, crisis management, media and employment matters.
A former prosecutor, Fernando is experienced in all facets of litigation (trial, mediation, arbitration, and appellate) in both federal and state courts. He handles a broad spectrum of disputes including those involving business torts, data breaches, misappropriation of trade secrets, copyright/trademark infringement, fraud, breach of non-compete covenants, and employment. Fernando earned accreditation as an information privacy professional (CIPP/US) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals.
A leader in the emerging areas of cyber law and electronic discovery, Fernando works closely with business executives, in-house counsel, and HR and IT managers to develop strategies for managing business and legal issues relating to electronic data. He focuses client attention on preventing claims and pursuing strategies that enhance a client’s ability to manage data-essential precautions because of the financial and public relations fallout that often results from high-profile data breaches. When a rapidly evolving crisis or emergency hits, Fernando mobilizes his interdisciplinary team of professionals and implements a response strategy to mitigate damages. Fernando’s global network of highly skilled lawyers and other professionals from across the U.S. and more than 70 other countries enables him to provide clients with quality services outside our jurisdictions.
Recently, Fernando provided commentary on proposed federal legislation concerning cyber security, and received a Fulbright Specialist appointment for his work on technology’s impact on the law. Notably, Fernando was involved in New Jersey’s first case addressing its new electronic discovery rule amendments; designed one of the first state-of-the-art electronic discovery law courses in the country, which he teaches at Seton Hall University School of Law; and created the ABA Journal award-winning eLessons Learned, an educational blog about how technology impacts lawsuits.
Fernando serves on federal and state court committees, including the Third Circuit Bar Association Committee on Rules of Procedure and the Supreme Court of New Jersey Committee on the Rules of Evidence, where he contributes to court rule amendment proposals; and the President of the New Jersey State Bar Association appointed him Chair of the Privacy Law Committee. Fernando lectures for state and federal judicial colleges, including the New Jersey Judicial College and Escola Paulista da Magistratura (Sao Paulo), both of which provide judges with academic programs to keep abreast of legal developments. He also clerked for the Honorable Edwin H. Stern, Chief Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey - Appellate Division (retired).
Within the media and entertainment industries, Fernando represents television personalities including Emmy Award-winning talent, performers, and writers on a variety of legal issues, including cyber security/privacy issues concerning their Internet reputation. Fernando serves as a judge of the Emmy Awards, sponsored by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York Chapter; and is an active member of the media sections of the New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and Beverly Hills bar associations.
Fernando’s numerous published articles and speaking engagements in his areas of practice reflect the depth of his knowledge and understanding of the issues that his clients face, including his chapter authorships for the leading treatise on electronic discovery for in-house counsel, eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel (Chapter 17 - Electronic Data, Cyber Security & Crisis Management) (Thomson-West 2013–2014), and New Jersey Federal Civil Practice (Chapter 13 – eDiscovery) (ALM 2011-14). He has appeared on television as a legal commentator on high-profile trials, and has been quoted and cited in numerous media reports covering cases he has handled.
Notably, Fernando has received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent rating since 2011, its highest lawyer rating, which serves as an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, and legal experience, all of which it generates from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary in the United States and Canada. Furthermore, Fernando has been recognized by business publications that identify professionals who have made an outstanding impact in helping clients succeed, including The New York Enterprise Report, who awarded him its Technology Lawyer of the Year award, which recognizes the New York tri-state area’s top business advisors; and Law Technology News (LTN) who recognized him in its October 2012 magazine issue as one of only a handful of U.S.-based lawyers with notable experience in handling cyber security and data privacy matters; and PenTest magazine who in 2012 profiled Fernando as “the new breed of lawyer – The CYBER LAWYER, who is knowledgeable of both the legal and technical side of the cyber world.”