Profile

Velvel is an experienced litigator known for finding creative solutions to complex problems. His practice focuses on high-risk litigation that includes consumer class actions, international disputes, and cryptocurrency/blockchain lawsuits. Vel’s clients value his responsiveness, creative solutions, and ability to achieve successful outcomes while balancing the needs of running a business.

Vel’s practice spans a diverse array of disputes across state, federal, and international trial and appellate courts.

At the trial court level, Vel currently serves as lead counsel in five consumer class actions across the country. He is also currently pursuing an over $10 billion cryptocurrency case on behalf of the estate of David Kleiman and represents a consortium of growers, producers, and patients suing the State of Florida, and its agencies, for medical marijuana related issues. Vel also represents the heirs of a Holocaust survivor seeking to recover a Camille Pissarro masterpiece held by a Spanish-owned museum in one of the only Holocaust era cases to go to trial.

At the appellate level, Vel has successfully pursued numerous appeals in state and federal appellate courts. This includes acting as lead counsel and making oral argument to win a matter of first impression before the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals for the United States, along with other wins before the Ninth Circuit, and Florida’s District Courts of Appeal. He recently filed a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States.

On the international side, Vel has successfully represented sovereigns and investors in global disputes involving national court litigation, international arbitration, and strategic negotiations, while managing public relations. He recently acted as strategic global counsel to successfully prevent a foreign sovereign from illegally expropriating his client’s assets.

Vel is also active in the local legal community, where he serves on the Southern District of Florida's Local Rules Committee. Before attending law school, Velvel was ordained as a rabbi. .

Experience

Velvel’s recent experience includes:

  • Defending a charitable foundation against a campaign of complex probate and civil litigation
  • Successfully defended clients against various State Attorney General and CFPB investigations
  • Representing Phillip Morris USA in numerous actions around the State of Florida against claims for injuries allegedly caused by smoking cigarettes
  • Leading the team that successfully defended a major e-commerce firm from a potentially detrimental government investigation
  • Coordinating the protection of sovereign assets from execution efforts in multiple international jurisdictions, including the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Turkey
  • Defending sovereign from a $2b ICSID arbitration claim relating to the alleged expropriation of a telecommunications company
  • Representing the Estate of David Kleiman in an over 10+ billion dollar cryptocurrency claim
  • Successfully representing plaintiffs in a shareholder dispute involving complex claims for breaches of fiduciary duties and related breaches of trust
  • Litigating the constitutionality of Florida statutes limiting the amount and type of medical marijuana licenses available
  • Litigating the Florida Department of Health’s failure to timely issue medical marijuana licenses
  • Litigating and negotiating various issues raised among 3rd party e-commerce marketplace sellers, suppliers, and competitors

Publications & Presentations

Speaker, American Inns of Court (Spellman-Hoeveler Chapter), Bench & Bar Conference, Legal Technology: How Automation is Changing the Practice of Law (smart contracts) (March 2019)

Speaker, Heightened Enforcement on Cryptocurrencies and Money Laundering: A 2018 Perspective, The Knowledge Group (2018)

Speaker, French Masterpiece, German Extortion, Spanish Adverse Possession, and the 9th Circuit, Harvard Law School (2017), Touro University (2018)

Education

  • Columbia Law School, J.D.; James Kent Scholar; Staff Editor, Columbia Journal of Tax Law
  • Yeshivah Gedolah Rabbinical College, B.A., Hebrew Letters (Rabbinical); Rabbinical Ordination (Smicha)

Admissions

Bars

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals: Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court: Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court: Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court: Northern District of Florida

Awards and Associations

Achieved highest score on Florida Bar examination, 3rd DCA, July 2012

The Shul of Bal Harbour, Board of Directors

Southern District of Florida's Local Rules Committee

Government Service

Judicial Intern for the Hon. Nicholas Garaufis, Eastern District of New York