Friday, November 21, 2008

Ch ch ch changes.

Step right up and spin the wheel of Judges. 
Who's in?  Who's out? Who's about? 
Here it is:

IN: The Hon....
Mary Barzee
Yvonne Colodny
Jorge Cueto
Stacey Glick
Ivan Fernandez
Rob Pineiro
Nushin Sayfie
Daryl Trawick
Sarah Zabel

OUT: The Hon...

Peter Adrien
Barbara Areces
Spencer Eig
Leonard Glick (goodbye Lenny)
M. K. Leban
Ellen Leesfield
Israel Reyes
Jon Schlesinger
Larry Schwartz
Will Thomas

David Miller was set to come to Criminal when he engineered some deal that sent him to family and Ivan Fernandez to criminal.  Will Fernandez break precedent and stay in our humble REGJB if he is elected Chief Judge? Stay tuned.  

 Rumor has it that it was wall to wall of the Miami legal elite in Coconut Grove last night for Ben Kuehne's fundraiser. You couldn't help but bump into a former Supreme Court Justice, or a former Bar President, or a legal legend like Albert Krieger.     

Short week coming up with the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Dolphins have a game in November that matters. The last time that happened the president's approval rating was in double digits. 

ps. Important practice tip: when your client  goes anywhere to ask for a 25 billion dollar handout because their broke, don't let them fly in the private jet.  Southwest works just fine. 


fake pannunzio said...

First! Dudes.

HG GUY said...

Rumpole: The Nominations for the 2008 Criminal law Hurdy Gurdy Man were announced last night, and although with Barak Obama this is the season of change, it was the usual same old suspects:

Jay WHite
Bill Matthewman
Kenny Weisman
Jay Kolski
Matt Steiner
Denny Smyhte
Howard Sohn
Alex Michaels
And Flem Whited

Anonymous said...

Any changes with County Court Judges?

Anonymous said...

Ben Kuehne Had No Motive Or Financial Incentive To Launder Money For Ochoa’s Attorney’s And Exclusive Beneficiaries, Especially Roy Black

By Benson Weintraub, Esquire, Fort Lauderdale February 14, 2008

Ben Kuehne was my law partner for 5+ years during the 1980'-1990's (Sonnett…Kuehne) and he mentored me since 1983 when I served as his 'associate' at the predecessor firm, Bierman, Sonnett, Shohat et. al.

I served as a full-time Visiting Professor of Law in 2005, after which I resumed private practice, now largely in the corporate compliance field (invariably circuitous to white collar criminal defense representation, particularly in the health care industry.).

Ben Kuehne is clearly a 'lawyer's lawyer' who instilled in me the highest appreciation of academic excellence in the practice of federal law. More critically, Ben sensitized me to the distinct ethical dilemmas presented institutionally to criminal defense counsel and ALWAYS taught me (AND CONTINUOUSLY REINFORCES THE NEED) to uphold and exceed our profession's highest ethical/legal standards.

Practicing criminal law in the federal courts places these dedicated, tenacious professionals in legal jeopardy merely by discharging their duties oaths, and obligations to the Sixth Amendment of the US Constitution, coextensively with duties to the courts and clients.

Ben successfully represented me before the Magluta grand jury in which each of his primary attorneys' fees, including those of Roy Black and Marty Weinberg, were also scrutinized (Weinberg was later disqualified from representing Magluta at trial in 99-583-Cr-Seitz). I don't recall whether Richard Strafer, the appeals lawyer, was called to that grand jury, but he, too, was routinely involved in Magluta's representation on appellate matters. Parenthetically, as an academic expert in money laundering, I prudently consulted him regarding propriety of accepting legal fees pre-dating his involvement in the Magluta/Falcon case.

Black, again, came out unscathed while other lawyers, including myself, were named as unindicted coconspirators for disclosing, with 11th hour client consent, but otherwise prepared to go jail for contempt), a $50,000 check from a third party) or plead guilty to violating a restraining order against the transfer of assets by the defendants, while Black and Weinberg walked away with fees approaching $10 million. The Miami Herald estimated that the aggregation of attorney fees and litigation costs exceeded $26 million, not to mention more than $500,000 imputed to the juror(s) for allegedly being bribed in the first case resulting in their acquittal.

Weinberg and Black were summoned to the US Attorney or grand jury too. What, if any implications can one draw from BLACK AND WEINBERG’S immunity from the type of prosecution for which Kuehne is now charged? Did they cooperate then? Did they cooperate against their client, lawyers, or retained counsel now? Did they set up Kuehne to take ‘their’ fall?

From these experiences and the overlap of identity of lawyers in the Ochoa case, I simply don't understand, knowing that Ben is clearly the least avaricious attorney I know, and based on his uncompromomising adherance to the to the law and the highest ethical standards, that he would intentionally commit money laundering, all the more so because he was not the beneficiary and was compensated proportionally and appropriately for a significant foreign financial investigation.

Kuehne and his Columbian accountant and local assistants personally checked official public Colombian government and financial records [is it possible that the corrupt national and provincial governments in Colombia manipulated "official" public records on which BPK relied?] to make an informed, deliberated, unbiased and independent conclusion as a Certified Fraud Examiner and premier lawyer extraordinaire.

Kuehne had no interest vested in the outcome of his conclusions and was entirely detached from the defendant's actual representation. His investigative role was minor in relation to the private investigation undertaken for the accused by Black’s PI's; Kuehne's objective investigation was limited temporally by the sole question presented; and the attorneys providing the representation, unlike Kuehne, were the only parties with an interest, financial or otherwise, in a dispositive [independent] conclusion by Kuehne.

That Black and Weinberg emerged unscathed from the Magluta investigation and took away from that experience the need to be more meticulous in accepting fees of potentially suspect origin, and it's recurrence in the Ochoa case is commendable.

But The Herald’s article published Feb. 7-8, 2008 states: "Ironically, the investigation first focused on Black... [B]ut authorities dropped their interest in Black and shifted to Kuehne, who became the target because his buffer-like role insulated Ochoa's defense attorney [Black] from any criminal liability for accepting the fees." Miami Herald (Internet ed. 2/7/2008)(emphasis added). Jay Weaver’s observation in this respect speaks volumes in terms of motive/benefit and accurately capsulizes the essence of this tragic episode in Kuehne's otherwise unblemished career.

This makes no sense and suggests the unspoken implication of Kuehne's status as a 'sacrifical lamb' without the motive or financial interest common to other lawyers who were plainly significant beneficiaries of otherwise prudent fee-paying conduct now alleged by the government to have been criminalized.

Kuehne, if retained by the defendant's attorneys to be a "buffer" to "insulate[ ]" them (and hoping for a pro forma favorable conclusion, hired the wrong lawyer) and if true, Black’s conduct would itself be appalling.

Finally, what about the latest revelations that Kuehne's codefendant was an undercover cooperator--seeking to unsuccessfully set up Kuehne in return for 5K1.1 or Rule 35 in S.D.N.Y --- in a Justice Dept. reverse sting. Could this be the AG's US Attorney Scandal Redux or Bush's retribution for Kuene's tenacious representation, with the pre-eminenet lawyer, David Boies, Esq. in Al Gore's representation contesting grand theft of the 2000 election?

Anonymous said...

THIS IS SO BS!!!! Joely Denaro didn't get a Hurdy Gurdy nomination last year; he didn't get one this year; and HE IS THE HURDY GURDY MAN!

This sucks.

Anonymous said...

Dude: Joely D went around telling everyone the Hurdy Gurdy was his and everyone else should just give up. That's why he didn't even get a nomination. It's called Hubris.

Anonymous said...

Saw Joel D hob nobbing w L&L and Shumie time. Lots of fine scotch and fine ladies. What gives?

Anonymous said...

What the hell is the hurdy gurdy??

Anonymous said...

10:16:00, a Hurdy Gurdy Man is wise, crafty and skilled.

Anonymous said...

migna as a circuit judge for six years. people will look back like they do on the bush presidency and say how did this happen.