Tuesday, June 05, 2012


Adam Kaufman was acquitted of murdering his wife Tuesday evening after a fantastic job of lawyering by Bill Matthewman and Al Milian. David Ovalle's updated Herald article with juror interviews is here
 Florida loses a top criminal defense attorney when Matthewman dons the robes (and thus gains a blog target- sorry Bill, but you know how we feel about Judges...) and becomes a Federal Magistrate. 

It occurred to us moments after the verdict that this case could have ended quite differently. 

Imagine that a single mother of three collapses in her Liberty City apartment and dies in her bathroom. In the living room is her boyfriend, out on probation for domestic violence, who is high when the police arrive. A crack pipe is found on him when the police arrest him. 

The public defender conflicts because they represented  the deceased in the past and RC3 conflicts because they represented the victim in  the defendant's domestic violence probation case in a different matter. Up steps the limited registry attorney who takes the second degree murder case for a hard cap of $2,000.00. 

Does our defendant's case end the way Adam Kaufman's case ended? 

Granted, it takes a lot to look into the eyes of a person in the situation we described and not try to recommend a plea. But assume for a moment that the lawyer is diligent and before trying to plea  the case engages an ex parte medical examiner who finds the scar in the heart and opines that the woman died of a heart ailment and not strangulation. Now what?  Kaufman's wife died in November 2007 and (we are guessing here) he was arrested in 2009 and his case took three years to prepare and six weeks (we think)  to try. Who among us can afford to devote (now we're estimating) 500 plus hours of work for $2,000.00? (Those of you who can please email us immediately reference a small loan). 

The odds are that our defendant takes a plea to second degree murder, having lost faith in a lawyer who clearly has neither the stomach nor the personal resources to devote to the fight necessary to prove his innocence (and make no mistake, Mr. Kaufman had to prove his innocence in this case, which his lawyers admirably recognized and tactically achieved. ) 

Our client's innocence is proven only at great personal expense and sacrifice of the limited registry attorney. Such a sacrifice should not be expected of a professional who's  devoted years of training and practice to recognize the flaws in a case like Kaufman's and has the ability to exploit such flaws. 

The legislature is clearly willing to sacrifice Adam Kaufman's life in the name of balancing the budget. Cops don't make mistakes or lie, do they? Where there's smoke,  there's fire, correct? Isn't anyone acquitted really guilty but for the cheap tricks of some slick defense attorney? Taxpayers shouldn't pay for criminals to get off, should they? 

Medical examiners don't make mistakes do they? Homicide detectives don't screw up investigations by sleeping with crime scene techs, and married crime scene techs don't screw up crime scenes and get protection from their paramours, do they? 

Ask Adam Kaufman, or Bill Matthewman or Al Milian. 

See you in court. 

FYI- another zombie is arrested. The epidemic is spreading despite what the CDC says. 


Anonymous said...


how did Kaufman get a 12 person jury on a 2nd degree murder? Educate us please.

Anonymous said...

Best post in quite a while

Anonymous said...

State and Def stipulated to 12 panel jury

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

Not Zombies, WereWolves
e need to issue Wolfbane and Silver Bullets

Anonymous said...

Same old story. Guilt is determined oftentimes by how much justice you can afford.

Anonymous said...

Bill Mathewman was a class act and a fabulous lawyer. Al Milian was a pain in the ass blow hard. I couldn't bear to watch him. Rob Pertiera was there too and Milian kept going over to talk to him in front of the jury. Pathetic Milian. You had one of the finest lawyers at the table with you in Mathewman, it would have been nice it you could have channeled his grace.

Anonymous said...

Remember the law of unintended consequences, the state loses the Kaufman trial , and because of how it plays out Kathy loses aventura and north east dade. Hello new state attorney Vereen !

Anonymous said...

6:57 As it appears to me, Matthewman, whose brilliance you extol, chose Milian to second chair this case. Sounds like you were just sitting in the gallery.

Anonymous said...

No doubt he chose Milian. But watching Milian in trial was a lesson in what not to do. Especially when you had good facts and a circumstantial state case. I don't know Milian personally. I am just telling you my observations of his trial demeanor and behavior in front of the jury. I thought it was inappropriate and took away from what should have just been a clean defense based upon the evidence, lack of evidence and conflicts in the evidence.

Anonymous said...

My criminal justice prof wrote a book in 1993 entitled, "The Rich Get Richer, The Poor Get Prison."

After working five years as an ASA and 6 years doing defense, I'd say it is pretty accurate.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't hire Al on a coke possession.

Anonymous said...

A lock NG from day one. The PD would have walked him. easily.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole, what you posted is a surreal fact, and for that matter it could be, a defendant from Little Havana, Hialeah, Homestead, or Biscayne Park, but point well taken, none the less. We know that most defendants in the 11th are indigent and that should not decide the outcome of any case.

What the Florida Legislature did is very troubling and we must stand in solidarity against it, in every effective way possible. Write the letters to chief Brown, and pick up the phone and let your Legislator know they got that piece of legislation wrong, and it needs to be rectified. I just got off the phone with Senator Gwen Margolis' Office and you all who are in support, need to call the members of the Criminal Justice Committee of whom you are constituents, to voice and, formalize your opposition to this legislation with letters.

Senator Margolis, is one of the members on the Criminal Justice Committee.
35th District
414 Senate Office Building
404 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee,Fl 32399-1100
850.487.5121 margolis.web@flsenate.gov

Anonymous said...

Criminal Justice Committee

Location: 1302 The Capitol * 402 South Monroe Street * Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Contact: (850) 488-6333
Next Meeting: No Scheduled Meeting

These are the members, of the House who are on the Criminal Justice Committee.

Kravitz, Dick [R] Chair
Holloway, Wilbert "Tee" [D] Vice Chair
Adams, Sandra "Sandy" [R]
Antone, Bruce [D]
Hasner, Adam [R]
Llorente, Marcelo [R]
Porth, Ari Abraham [D]
Rice, Everett S. [R]

Let's get to it!

Anonymous said...

For the record, the Committee on Budget presented SB 1960, but call all members, who erroneously confirmed this bill, with their vote.

Anonymous said...

I heard from many members of the press that Bill Matthewman was great and Al Milian was a total ass and the jury hated him.

Let's face it, they had good facts and good exprerts.

Al never seems to grow up. He started out as a prosecutor famous for outbursts, punching lawyers and constant trouble with the Florida Bar. Now, he gets cases from the police union because they like his thug mentality but, in the real world, lawyers like Al end up in big trouble.... and I'm not talking about Al's DUI arrest where he bad mouthed the cop either...........

Anonymous said...

I really hate when people on this blog makes comments like the PD would have walked him easily. Are you implying that somehow the PDs are not as good as a private attorney? With the exception of a dozen or so of really good privates, the PDs office by in large has better trial lawyers than the private bar. Do you really think that Luc Ferster, Amy Weber, Madeline Acosta, Herb Smith, Edith Giorgi, Stephen Harper, Jay Kolsky are subpar attorneys? If you do, then you should have your head examined.

Rumpole said...

Where are all the Heat supporters mocking me for my Celtics in six prediction?

Oh yeah, they're home crying and hoping against hope James decides to try something different and actually defend someone who is taking the game winning shot tomorrow night with not just the game but the series and the season on the line.

Game SIX by the way.

Anonymous said...

American Minority, that list of house criminal justice members is old. Some of those people aren't in the legislature anymore

Anonymous said...

Jay Kolsky, is a beast, he is an excellent, diligent, competent, zealous, attorney. I seen him stand up to the bully himself Judge Jorge Cueto. Not many men I've seen stand up to Cueto, they cower with their tail in between their legs. I like Al Millian, I would prefer Al over some wuss, who is soft spoken and very nice. Sometimes it's a virtue your colleagues know that, you'll cut their head off and piss down their throats if necessary. As I often say, "It's the American Way." It's one of our country's main ideologies. If your dare to contest that fact, consider one our states' motto: "Don't Mess with Texas."

Getting back to much more important business. So according to 3.270 and Fla Stat. 913.10, only capital case defendant's, get 12 juror panels.

Someone posted that in the Kaufman case the state and Def. stipulated to a 12 person jury. What is the case law on that? I thought that nothing superseded that rule or stat. Whoever says that wasn't good lawyering is terribly confused.

Here is a little unfortunate desert:FORT LAUDERDALE—

A suspended Broward Sheriff's detective under house arrest while facing trial on grand theft, official misconduct and other charges took off his GPS monitor and visited a Pompano Beach strip club, where deputies arrested him Monday night.

Prosecutors had already argued twice to have Brent Wooddell's $2,000 bond revoked, first after he allegedly sent an intimidating text message to a witness in his case, and again after he was accused of fleeing from the scene of an accident while on his way to a court hearing. Broward Circuit Judge Carlos Rebollo allowed Wooddell to stay out of jail both times.

According to an arrest warrant, Wooddell took off his ankle monitor on Sunday and was told by his pre-trial release officer to turn himself in Monday morning. When he didn't show, officials demanded his arrest.

Deputies found him Monday at 9:20 p.m. at the Cheetah strip club in Pompano Beach. He was in custody at the Broward Main Jail as of Tuesday afternoon.

Wooddell was arrested in September 2011 after a sting operation allegedly caught him in the act of stealing $1,340 from an oxycodone dealer he had just arrested. The dealer was actually an undercover Miami-Dade police officer. According to the Sheriff's Office, the phony suspect had pills and $7,340 in a blue bag when he was taken into custody, but Wooddell only turned in $6,000 when he got to the Deerfield Beach substation.

Officials said the undercover operation was captured on video and audio recordings.

Wooddell has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of his criminal case.

On his way to a formal arraignment in February, Wooddell's car crashed into another vehicle onFlorida's Turnpike, according to court records. No one was injured in the crash, but Wooddell didn't report it for fear of being late to his court date.

Prosecutors didn't learn about that violation until May, at which point Assistant State Attorney Adriana Alcalde-Padron urged Rebollo to revoke Wooddell's bond. But Rebollo kept Wooddell under house arrest, ordering the suspended detective to remain at home except when shopping or traveling to and from his job at a Hyundai dealership in Lake Park.

A month earlier, Alcalde-Padron accused Wooddell of sending text messages to a witness in the case. At that time, Rebollo reminded the defendant to avoid contact with witnesses as one of the conditions of his release.

"We have moved to revoke his bond twice," Alcalde-Padron said Tuesday. "This is his third violation. Hopefully, he will now remain in custody at least until it's time for his trial."

In addition to the grand theft and official misconduct charges, Woddell is accused of tampering with evidence, falsifying records and delivery of steroids. If convicted of all charges, he faces more than 30 years in prison.

Wooddell's lawyer, Alberto Milian, declined to comment Tuesday.

Anonymous said...

I not one of the ones that mocked you Rump, but I sure am predicting the heat in Seven. In my W'ya voice, "Write that down."

Anonymous said...

A "surreal fact", huh?

Your word usage, and thus your thinking, is very loose and imprecise.

Someday it will get you, or your client, in a jam.

Anonymous said...

PTTY MARION PEDRAZA mus hate Platzer now that she dumped the case against Patty's challenger and Marino has to spend the summer campaigning.

DS said...

Here Here 2:33
But there are many more Levine, Bustamonte, Morris, Petre, both Lewis(es) and at least another Dozen at the PDO.
Perhaps Including Me

Anonymous said...

The Heat proved that they cannot make free throws and open three point shots, and if they can't do that, they do not deserve to be playing for the NBA championship. Paul Pierce made a great shot to win the game for the Celtics, and they did deserve to win, but if the Heat lose the series to the Celtics, I am going to become a huge Oklahama City fan and am going to immensly enjoy it when they eviscerate and/or disembowl Rumpole's Celtics in the finals.

Anonymous said...

4:44pm Here you go,

Harrell, Gayle B. [R] Chair
Van Zant, Charles E. [R] Vice Chair
Julien, John Patrick [D] Democratic Ranking Member
Bullard, Dwight M. [D]
Campbell, Daphne D. [D]
Diaz, Jose Felix [R]
Glorioso, Richard "Rich" [R]
Grant, James W. "J.W." [R]
McBurney, Charles [R]
Perry, W. Keith [R]
Pilon, Ray [R]
Slosberg, Irving "Irv" [D]
Trujillo, Carlos [R]
Watson, Barbara [D]
Young, Dana D. [R]

Anonymous said...

The Judiciary Committee:

Snyder, William D. [R] Chair
McBurney, Charles [R] Vice Chair
Porth, Ari Abraham [D] Democratic Ranking Member
Campbell, Daphne D. [D]
Eisnaugle, Eric [R]
Gaetz, Matt [R]
Goodson, Tom [R]
Hager, Bill [R]
Harrell, Gayle B. [R]
Harrison, Shawn [R]
Julien, John Patrick [D]
Metz, Larry [R]
Passidomo, Kathleen C. [R]
Pilon, Ray [R]
Schwartz, Elaine J. [D]
Soto, Darren [D]
Weinstein, Michael B. "Mike" [R]

Anonymous said...


Some people might even add you to that list of excellent PDs!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how many cases (non-capital) are assigned to "wheel lawyers" in an average year now that there is a Regional Counsels office?

RFK, RIP said...

Can you all stop sucking off Millan and Mathewman long enough to remember that today marks the 44th anniversary of the assassination of Robert Kennedy, June 6, 1968 and the 45th anniversary of the Six Day War (June 5-10, 1967).

CAPTAIN said...



Many of you have been asking how it was that the Kaufman case, a case where the Defendant was charged with Second Degree Murder, a PBL Felony, ended up with a jury of 12, instead of 6.

Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 3.270 states: "Twelve persons shall constitute a jury to try all capital cases, and 6 persons shall constitute a jury to try all other criminal cases."

So, how did it happen. We have perused the court file and briefly spoken with the Judge's staff and with a member of the State Attorney's office.

Here is what we found:

Mr. Matthewman filed a Motion asking the court to conduct a jury trial with 12 jurors. Matthewman argued, according to court personnel, that because there is almost no real difference between the charge of 1st degree and 2nd degree murder when death is not sought, therefore the failure to afford a 2nd degree murder defendant a 12 person jury would be unconstitutional on numerous grounds.

Apparently Judge Miller tended to agree with the jist of the argument but told both Matthewman and the State that without precedent or agreement by the parties, she would not order a 12 person jury. Apparently, Miller was vocal enough about the novel issues raised by Matthewman that she went so far as to strongly suggest that the State seriously consider coming to this agreement. The Judge felt that the Motion raised an important constitutional issue.

The week following arguments before the Judge, the State came to court and agreed to stipulate to Matthewman's Motion and alas Kaufman had a 12 person jury.

For those of you interested in the issue, I encourage you to view the hard copy of the Motion contained in the court file.

The Captain would like to know from Mr. Laeser whether he has encountered such a Motion in the past during his long and illustrious career at the State Attorney's Office. And whether he would have stipulated to said Motion.

Also discussed on this Blog was the issue of Closing Argument and how many attorneys would be permitted to address the jury.

Matthewman did ask Judge Miller prior to the start of Closing Arguments for permission for him and Milian to both address the jury. Judge Miller asked whether there was any law or precedent that he could cite to. When he could not, she denied the request stating that she was not aware of any law that required her to grant the request.

Hope that helps to answer some of our readers questions.


Anonymous said...

Amy Weber??? Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Capt, stay ahead of the Competition. Will be checking this out pronto.

AM Hat Tip...

Anonymous said...

Jay Kolsky has previously been certified as the hardest working attorney in Florida. WHat more accolades does the James Brown of Criminal Defense need?

Anonymous said...

9:38pm, don't forget about Mr. Robert Aaron, he's a forced to be reckoned with too. Cueto, called Aaron a beast in open court, every now and then, Cueto was capable of being somewhat reasonable, but very rarely. I wonder what type of ASA he was, I could just imagine, but we all know he's an ASA from the bench.

Anonymous said...

It ain't over til the fat lady sings! Let's go Heat!!!

Must Need My Head Examined said...

For a great example of Amy Weber's outstanding advocacy skills see Rivero v. State, 35 So.3d 183 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010). The defense bar, and the PD's office in particular, is very proud of her, I am certain.

Anonymous said...

5:33pm, Excuse me "Surreal circumstance", is more to the effect I wanted to convey. Thanks for the critique on that, however your analysis on my thinking, is incorrect. Not only am I precise, I am meticulous, perhaps it is my impetuosity you do not understand.

Anonymous said...

All you A--holes who keep putting down Al Milian are jealous cause your seat of the pants bottom feeding criminal practices have relegated you to neighborhood corner ham and eggers

No one would give you such a case to handle because you are jokes as lawyers

Barrister of Ballentrae said...

TODAY the Florida Supreme Court will decide just how overworked Mr. Kolsy is. The Public Defenders suit over caseloads has oral arguments in front of the Supremes at 9am.

Watch live if not in the pickle barrrel at,


Anonymous said...

10:56, are you an idiot. Are you implying Ms. Weber is to be blamed for that opinion? Ms. Weber was the appellate lawyer on that case. She argued it in front of the 3rd DCA and wrote the brief for the Defendant. Do you know anything about the 3rd DCA? Apparently you are not aware that they are openly hostile to the Defendant having constitutional rights. And you must not know about thing about Judge Rothenberg either. Besides that, she wasn't the trial lawyer. She was simply trying to give the Defendant a chance at a new trial. She failed. But that is the point, Ms. Weber along with many other PDs simply never give up. No matter how bad their case is. How guilty their client is. They keep fighting.

Anonymous said...

No, we are not jelous of Al Milian we just don't like his rude, offensive tactics.

Al is a smart guy and a capable lawyer but, needs to take downers to calm down and stop attacking everyone.

Anonymous said...

Watched the FACDL Forum last night. Kind of a waste of time if you ask me. Lawyers already know who they are voting for.

Anonymous said...

10:56 p.m., Amy Weber was a fine trial attorney and is proving equally adept as an appellate attorney. Look, for example, at Walker v. State, 2011 WL 2515384
(Fla. 3d DCA 2011); Bass v. State, 45 So.3d 970 (Fla. 3d DCA 2010). The PDO is certainly proud of her work and her dedication to assisting indigent defendants.

Anonymous said...

little mikey C is pretty quiet about his loss

Anonymous said...

What case did Mikey C lose?

Anonymous said...

The Thunder will probably eviscerate either team in the Finals, but I have to think that the Heat have a better chance of matching up to a running team than the geriatric Celtics, and, for me, it would be the type of free flowing basketball that I like to watch, as opposed to the artery clogging "half-court game" that the Celtics and most other Eastern Division teams employ in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Did you see the SC decision on Judge William Singbush!

Anonymous said...

Capt., Got the Kaufman case motion, and it is very complex and relevant, it is an 11 pg. motion that raises a very legitimate and critical issue, that if a defendant is charged with a crime that carries the same penalty, with the exception of the punishment of death, than the defendant should be entitled to a 12 person venire.

I found a troubling, but usual tactic that the SA imposes, in form of a motion to revoke Kaufmans bond, and I also found a motion to disqualify the Judge. This was a real battle, it is preposterous for anyone to assert that this NG verdict, was not the result of inexhorable,competent, lawyering(.)

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

American Minority was fun for a while. But reading his posts give me a headache. His butchering of the language is just sad. If American Minority is an attorney, I'm a power forward for the Heat.

Anonymous said...

Am Min-

Thanks for taking the initiative to check the court file. You are turning out to be a real mensch.

I'm sure if you scanned and emailed the motions to this Blog, Rumpole would find a way to post them.

When you are not being combative and overly opinionated, it appears you have a genuine interest in what's going on around here. My compliments.

Anonymous said...

AM, leave Cueto alone. He is one of the better judges in that courthouse and will actually make a decent plea offer.

Anonymous said...

9:28pm, I bid you humble thanks, I'm only "combative" as you state, I would describe it as responsive, to the sometimes hostile, and dismissive rhetoric, that is directed towards me. I'm sure I am not the only poster who is opinionated on this blog, as you are evidently entitled to yours. Yes I eat, sleep, and breath law since I was a kid I'd argue everything and bring books to the argument to back up my argument.

I once argued with my dad on a history point, and had my American History teacher call the house in High School, and my father was like "You went through all that to prove a point" and I answered "yes". I love to decipher the law with logic, insight, common sense, and discernment, like that of King Solomon, or that of the the first Judge ever, Jethro.

8:13pm, I make just as many mistakes as most of the poster's on this blog, but somehow you seem to take issue with me, maybe it's a subconscious issue or common practice for you. I make punctual errors just as much as anyone on this blog. I take it that you are implying, and that you assume some how english is my second language. If you are curious, the only boat my descendant's ever came off of on the way to America was in 1526. I'm cognizant of the punctual errors, that I sometimes make, but you are dramatizing the fact that I make them. When I see others make punctual errors, I realize they're mistakes, so I don't make a controversy about it. If you ever witnessed me speak, you would know I am articulate.

I'll even go so far, as to share with you that one of my personal idiosyncrasies is, Proverbs 15:23.


Anonymous said...

Am Min,
Why do you have to go ruin it for yourself. I was going to give you a compliment as well.
But then you throw in a statement like "I take it that you are implying, and that you assume some how english is my second language."
Where do you come up with that sh*t?
Why would you even think that's what s/he's implying? He's flat out saying you butcher lanuguage. You do.
He makes no reference to whether you got here on a boat or on a plane or grew up in cornfields or in a rice paddy. He doesn't say anything about you knowing another language.
As attorneys, many of us are the grammar police because we realize the importance of words. That's what we communicate with. And if we want people (especially judges and juries) to understand what we want them to, it's important to be precise. Way too many decisions have been made because someone put a comma, where it didn't belong, and/or used the word and where or was supposed to be.
Communication is key.
If you want to get your point across the right way, you better know how to say it (or write it.)

Anonymous said...

Hi. mikey here. What case did I lose?

Must have a us mail problem.

Anonymous said...

I think American Minority is a waste of time and so are his comments.

Anonymous said...

9:50am, I understand, you can rest assured, that I only make these occasional typos, because I'm typing to fast, and feel less obligated, being it's an informal piece of literature. I get your point, however you should realize that if I write like Shakespeare, Mark Twain , or Langston Hughes, there would still be disdain towards me, that is reality for (me) you know...