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Thursday, July 24, 2014

BRIAN MCDONALD RETIRES

In the arena of criminal law in Miami, Assistant Public Defender Brian McDonald has seen it all and done it all and given all to his clients.  He was here during the McDuffie and Lozano riots, and the crack scourge and the cocaine cowboy drug wars and saw the advent of minimum mandatory sentences wreck havoc on  his clients and their families.  And Friday he calls it a career at the PDs office.  Rumor has it that at Noon Friday there will be a soiree to wish him well. Stop by and raise a cool cola and say au revoir. (We weren't invited or you could also say hello to us as well.). This community owes a thanks to Brian McDonald and lawyers like him at the PDs office who stood up for those no one else would stand up for.

Well done Mr. McDonald. Well done indeed. Happy trails and godspeed.

28 comments:

Juan Gonzalez said...

Incredibly underrated. When I was with the state in the early 80s he was trying spectacular cases every month. He won his share and did it with class. He has been a fierce advocate for over three decades and a credit to the profession. By all accounts a fantastic career.

Steve Bustamante said...

I don't know about "underrated," but I agree with Juan's conclusions.

When I was a young prosecutor, I met Brian, who was already a seasoned PD in Judge Morphonious's division.

I have had the privilege of working with him at the PD's office.

He's a great lawyer whose career is just beginning!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to McDonald!! Loved hearing his war stories of the old days, a real trial lawyer, something that office doesn't really value anymore.

Anonymous said...

I left the PD's office six years ago. Brian was the A in my first felony courtroom. He is a fantastic lawyer, and was an even better mentor. Congratulations Brian, the citizens of Miami-Dade county were better off for having you.

George Palaidis said...

I will not only say it was an honor, but more importantly a blessing, to work alongside Brian and try cases with him. Every day was a learning experience, and a good story as well. The institutional knowledge and experience that is leaving the Public Defender's Office and REG Building is vast. But hopefully bits and pieces of it has been left with all of us and will be passed on. Such as, "Why are you demanding a jury trial when they can't take it away from you?!"

Scott Saul said...

A Gerstein Building All Star. Sad to see him go.

Anonymous said...

Brian is one of the greats. Never afraid to take on the worst cases, he always did so with his own style of low key ferocity mixed with a high degree of creativity. By all outward appearances, he is a quiet and easy going lawyer, while inside, a determined passion burns that targets any obstacle between his client and fair trial.

From our beginning in Juvenile Court and for the next 35 years, Brian taught us by example when and how to say "No." Never losing his temper, in defense of his client and his principles, Brian could and frequently did, take a defiant stand against all adversaries, no matter which chair they occupied on the courtroom.

Brian's 35 year career as an Ass't Public Defender is closing. But, I won't stop watching. Whether in private practice or in retirement, Brian will continue to show us how and when, and he'll do so with his own special style and determination.

Well done, Brian.

Jeff Weinkle

Juan Gonzalez said...

Steve what I meant was that Brian should be widely considered a national superstar. Centerfold in lawyers monthly.

Rumpole said...

underrated means not getting the respect and acclaim one is due. Brian was indeed underrated.

Get a dictionary Mr. Bustamante.

Slava Borshchukov said...

When I first came up to felonies, Brian was my "A". I learned a tremendous amount from him and I'm proud to say that I'm a graduate of the Brian McDonald School of Law. He taught me to pick my battles with the staties and how to deal with the difficult clients. And I picked up a few of habits along the way as well. Good or bad, they were all effective. I hope Brian doesn't ride off into the sunset because so many younger lawyers can learn so much from him. I, still included.

Seth Sklarey said...

Am I the only one who has noticed that the Justice Building is named after Richard E. Gerstein, the parking lot signs all say Gersten Building parking. Were the parking lots named after still fugitive Joe, or are there just idiots in charge at the sign shop?

DS said...

Brian was my supervisor years ago when I was an A in Margolius. He taught me alot about being a good litigator and more importantly about laughing at the absurdity of the system while continuing to fighting for Justice

Anonymous said...

DS - you're a PD - you're supposed to be a TRIAL LAWYER , like Brian . Not "a litigator." In my 5 years there you never tried a case .

Brian - you're the last of a dying breed and everything that once made that office the best in the US. You inspired many of us to try cases, be ourselves, and let us know it was ok to stay out of the petty office politics.

Anonymous said...

Im a former PD who was never in division with Brian, but he taught me nonetheless, in the way he carried himself. Congrats, Brian. Best of luck in your next endeavor.

DS said...

8:46pm.
There has never been a 5 year period I have not tried cases as a APD. I have tried over 170 Felony cases since 1989 when I was promoted to Felonies.
I' LL forward my Trial List to Rumpole Monday, so he can check it, its too long to post.
I tried 4 Jury Trials in the first half of this year, already.
What years were you at the PDs? I' LL respond with those years trial stats.

Anonymous said...

846.........was it really necessary to take that swipe at DS?

It's really said that some people can't hand out a compliment without making up for it by insulting someone else.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

Victoria Ferrer:

Victoria Ferrer is running a sitting judge who has a great record of service to this community. Why is a 6 year lawyer running?

Seems this photo answers that question:

https://m.facebook.com/VictoriaCandidate/photos/pb.458492700953116.-2207520000.1406484453./473105956158457/?type=1&source=42&ref=m_notif&notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite

Why is Hector doing this? Rumor is this is the 3rd sitting judge he has targeted. Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

8:46 you are a pathetic loser. DS and Brian are the finest examples of PD's. Get a life!

Anonymous said...

Every election cycle Hector runs a candidate against an incumbent. The candidate rarely wins, but that is not the point. The fear of having to spend a summer raising money and attending every rubber chicken dinner is enough to scare all the other judges in to genuflecting before the great hector lombana.

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...

8:46. I was going to write some more witty than 3:30. But they said it too perfectly. You sir are a pathetic loser. Get a life.

Anonymous said...

You were in ERU for years. Which means no trials. You can cling to your version of reality but those of us in the office know reality. 826 is correct. On both counts. Captain - calm down, big boy.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole help! Put an end to this Aioli scam.
Its flavored mayonaise. That's it! Nothing fancy. Just from fricking mayo with a little coloring and flavor, That's it. Call it what it is already! Stop with the Aioli craze.

Anonymous said...

Really shocked that a tribute to someone here turned in to a criticism of someone else. Shocked!

Anonymous said...

9:29 is correct... Someone needs to notify the F.T.C. at once... and to DS no one is liked by everyone. 8:46 must not have gotten a favorable letter of recommendation from you.. - Man up..

Anonymous said...

Hector epitomizes the school yard bully, no actually the bully on the pier. He expects everyone to cowtow and pay homage to him regardless of his position. Much like the infamous line from the Godfather, “Don Hector” likes to have judges in his pocket. Shameful!

Anonymous said...

Did the CABA poll come out? How did Dooley do?

Anonymous said...

Any word on the Kobitz race?

Anonymous said...

McDonald is the man, the myth, and the legend. One of the main reasons I got hired was because of him. Showed me the ropes and helped me out just because he is a good guy. I'm sure I am not the only one. Great attorney & great person.