The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers - Miami Chapter was founded in 1963 and in 2008 celebrates 45 years as one of the largest voluntary bar associations located in Miami Dade County. This year's Annual Installation & Awards Banquet takes place on Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 6:00 PM at the JW Marriott on Brickell Avenue in Miami. The event is a sellout and 400 lawyers, judges and guests will be attending. To date, we have 65 confirmed judges including one Florida Supreme Court Justice, 6 Federal Court judges, 2 3rd DCA judges, 37 Circuit Court Judges and 19 County Court judges. This year, Bail Bonds.Com and Transitions Recovery Program, have graciously offered to be our two signature underwriters. The evening includes an open bar cocktail hour with hot and cold hor'dourves beginning at 6:00 PM.
The dinner begins at 7:00.
During the evening, the new officers elected for 2008-2009 will be sworn in including President Rick Freedman of the Law Firm of Gordon & Doner. Also, Vice-president Hector Flores (a Federal Assistant Public Defender), Treasurer Sabrina Puglisi (a Federal Assistant Public Defender) and Secretary Robin Kaplan (an associate with David Oscar Marcus, PA).
The highlight of the evening will be the awarding of our three most distinguished honors: The Honorable Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction Award to County Judge Steve Leifman, The Rodney Thaxton "Against All Odds" Award to The Padilla Trial Team and The Daniel Pearson-Harry Prebish Founders Award to Benedict Kuehne.
Below is additional information about the Awards:
The Honorable Gerald Kogan Judicial Distinction Award: This award is given in recognition of an extraordinary career contribution and dedicated service to the improvement of the criminal justice system and for the preservation of constitutional rights. This year's award will be presented to the Honorable Steven Leifman.
The Rodney Thaxton “Against All Odds” Award”: Named after the late and gentle Rodney Thaxton, this award is given, when appropriate, to a criminal defense lawyer who, having taken on a particularly difficult or unpopular client or cause, represents the heart and spirit of criminal defense, and who epitomizes the courage of the criminal defense lawyer to stand apart (and often alone) as Liberty's Last Champion. This year's award will be given to the team of defense lawyers in USA v. Jose Padilla, et al. Jeanne Baker, Michael Caruso, Orlando do Campo, Marshall Dore Louis, Anthony Natale, Marjorie Russell, Kenneth M. Swartz, William W. Swor.
The Daniel S. Pearson-Harry W. Prebish Founder's Award: This award is given in recognition of a lifetime commitment to preserve the constitutional rights of all citizens and for manifesting the very best principles for which FACDL-Miami stands – an openhearted devotion to justice, civility, discretion, courage, respect for human dignity and mercy. This year's award will be presented to Benedict Kuehne.