Wednesday, September 27, 2006




Theodore Klein has over 30 years of experience in the practice of white-collar criminal law. He has represented individuals and collective entities in a variety of investigations before grand juries, federal and state administrative agencies and boards, and in quasi-trial and trial proceedings in all courts. He is experienced in white-collar matters, including RICO, medicare and medicaid violations, fraud against the government, money laundering, banking violations, and international extradition. He has represented individuals and entities in forfeiture matters involving currency, property, and conveyances.

Mr. Klein is listed in The Best Lawyers in America , and served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney before entering into private practice. He as been an adjunct professor at the University of Miami School of Law for 25 years.

He is a past President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the local chapter of the Federal Bar Association, and served for six years on the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar.

He has appeared in courts at all levels in the nation, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He is often appointed as a Special Master in hotly contested federal and state litigation; serves as a mediator in federal and state civil cases; and represents individuals in Florida Bar disciplinary matters.

He had been a Magistrate Judge, since October 30, 2003.

Rumpole remembers: When Ted Klein walked into a courtroom he comanded respect. His presence, his professionalism, his demeanor all bespoke of a rare attorney and man who graced us with his presence and whose likes will not be seen again in these parts.

We fondly remember reading his “farewell email” to his fellow criminal defense attorneys when he was appointed a Federal Magistrate. After writing about all the things he would miss, he wrote with what was clearly a smile evident even though we were just reading words, that becoming a Magistrate meant, and we are paraphrasing this from memory “No More Visits to Jails!!!”

His email brought a smile to our face because his appointment as a Magistrate was an honor long overdue and we celebrated his joy in starting a new facet of his distinguished career. He will be missed and long remembered.


Anonymous said...


Theodore G. Mastos said...

What sad news. Ted Klein was not only a great lawyer, but a kind,compassionate, and caring individual. He will truly be missed.

Ted Mastos

Anonymous said...

Those Teds stick together through thick or thin. Nice comment Ted M.

Anonymous said...

though i am too young a lawyer, i did not know Ted. i did hear from many people what a great guy he was over the past few years. that speaks volumes. my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Anonymous said...

We lost a good guy today. "The system" lost a good friend. Miami will miss you.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the fed blogger's opening statement lecture today? Very aggressive.

Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened after hearing of Ted's passing. He was an extraordinary attorney, judge, and person. He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I appeared many times in front of Ted Klein over the last few years, and I had the privilege and honor of getting to know him over that time. We had many insightful and enlightening conversations, and I turned to him for advice more than once.

He was a judge's judge -- a lawyer's lawyer -- and a wonderful, compassionate human being.

His passing is not just a loss to the bench, but to the legal community and indeed, the community at large.

Safe passage, Your Honor.

Anonymous said...

Honorable Ted Klein was a mensch;a gentleman.Honorable Ted Klein was an excellent attorney,having compassion,intelligence and courtroom excellence.
Magistrate Klein was a Federal Magistrate for approximately three years,and helped the entire Federal Judicial System in South Florida,be it the Federal Bench or the attorneys practicing in that forum.
I knew Ted,not as a dear friend,but acquaintence over many years.He always was friendly and willing to assist anyone who needed help.
Honorable Ted Klein will be surely missed by all,in particular the legal community to which he was committed for in excess of well in excess of three and a half decades.
Shelly Schwartz

Anonymous said...

get up, have a cafe, and read the FLW

if you aint, you are a hack

Rumpole said...

Don't you think that out of respect for Ted Klein, whether you knew him or not, the posts should be about him, or if you did not know him and cannot share a memory, you should wait until tomorrow to post whatever is on your mind? Just a suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I will deeply miss my friend Ted Klein. As a young attorney, he always gave me the time from his valuable schedule to give me guidance and serve as my mentor. he was a first class warrior on behalf of his client and did so ethically and intelligently. he was a good friend and always kept in touch. he was genuinely interested in the lives of his close friends. he will be missed greatly and it is so sad that he passed away so young. he loved to ski and enjoyed the outdoors. the world lost one of the "great ones". JONATHAN T. COLBY

Anonymous said...

interesting how all that matters is what a good person you were.

Take note, judges and lawyers, the rest is all irrelevant.

Really, it is.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole please accept my deepest apologizes

Anonymous said...

U.S. Magistrate Klein, veteran defense attorney, diesTed Klein, a South Florida legal giant, died of a mysterious lung ailment that cut short his career as a federal magistrate judge.
U.S. Magistrate Theodore Klein, recognized as one of the sharpest legal minds in South Florida during a storied career as a federal prosecutor, defense attorney and judge, died Wednesday afternoon of a lung disease.

Klein, 66, died at South Miami Hospital after battling a mysterious lung ailment that family members say may have been caused by mold spores in his home. Klein, appointed as a magistrate nearly three years ago, fell ill last December and had been hospitalized since June.

His brother, Hank Klein, said the illness was a shock because Ted exercised regularly, ate healthy foods and never smoked.

''We don't know what caused this disease,'' said Klein, vice chairman of Codina Realty Services. ``He skied several times during the winter. He hiked during the summer. He jogged all the time. He was in excellent shape for a man of 66.''

Ted Klein was born in Czechoslovakia in 1940 during the Nazi occupation. His father, Rabbi Maurice Klein, and mother, Sara, fled their homeland with young Klein, then 9 months old, and his sister, Miriam, 4, eventually making their way to Lisbon. On May 15, 1941, the Kleins emigrated to the United States, settling with friends in the Cleveland area.

The family moved to Miami in 1957. At the University of Miami, Ted Klein was known as a bookworm. He graduated from the UM law school, where he was associate editor of the Law Review.

''He got the top grades in his class,'' said Donald Bierman, a UM law alumnus. He added that Klein was a ``compulsive preparer.''

Klein went on to earn a master's degree in law at Yale University. Then he returned to Miami and began to make his mark in the legal community.

In the late 1960s, Klein became a prosecutor with the U.S. attorney's office, working with Bierman and another friend from college, U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez.

Martinez said they would regularly go for lunch and talk about their cases -- and whatever struck their interest.

''One time, we were talking about mosquitoes, of all things,'' Martinez said. ``Ted went to the library and memorized the names of about 650 mosquitoes.''

During that period, Klein and his wife, Leslie, had two children -- Jennifer, a Yale history professor, and Andrew, a Miami psychologist. The couple later divorced.

''I've always been so proud of him and what he's done,'' Andrew Klein said. ``I've always looked up to him for everything. He had such a great sense of humor and was always able to give the support and guidance I needed to find my own direction.''

He said his father had that kind of impact on many people, including countless students he taught as a UM adjunct law professor for nearly 30 years.


Jennifer Klein praised both of her parents in her recent book, For All These Rights: Business, Labor, and the Shaping of America's Public-Private Welfare State.

''I always saw my father as a person who stood up for what was right,'' she said.

She said he resigned from the Dade Heritage Trust because it met at Miami Beach's long-restrictive Bath Club. She also said he devoted much of his career to representing defendants because he viewed their right to counsel as vital to a democracy.

''He was committed to the notion that a democratic society had to have a strong defense bar,'' she said, citing her father's 1983 U.S. Supreme Court victory in a case of unreasonable search and seizure that dealt with police profiling of drug suspects at airports.

Klein spent most of his career at a prestigious Miami law firm, Fine Jacobson Schwartz Nash Block & England. He earned a reputation as a formidable defense lawyer in white-collar, healthcare and financial-fraud cases over more than two decades.

Klein almost became a federal judge after President Clinton nominated him in 1993. But his appointment was stalled by Congress.

When Fine Jacobson dissolved, Klein teamed up with Bierman and another longtime colleague, Ed Shohat, in their own firm.

In one of Klein's more memorable criminal cases, he and Bierman defended former Miami-Dade seaport director Carmen Lunetta, who was indicted along with two port businessmen on charges of stealing up to $1.5 million in public money.

After government prosecutors rested at trial, U.S. District Judge Donald Middlebrooks expressed dismay over ''substantial evidence of greed and public corruption.'' But he directed a verdict of acquittal, saying the three defendants couldn't have stolen public money because it belonged to the private firm that ran the port's cranes.

In 2003, when there was an opening for a magistrate in Miami, Klein's name was at the top of the list. Sworn in that fall, Klein presided over arraignments, bond hearings and pretrial motions.

Klein was respected by both prosecutors and defense lawyers, who remembered him as a fair judge with a quick wit.


''As a defense lawyer and magistrate, he was always a pleasure to deal with, and he did it with a smile,'' said veteran prosecutor Dick Gregorie.

In addition to his son, daughter, mother, brother and former wife, Klein is survived by his fiancée, Donna Syrop, and a sister, Miriam Klein Kassenoff, a Holocaust educator in the Miami-Dade school system.

A funeral service is planned for 10 a.m. Friday at Temple Beth Am, 5950 N. Kendall Dr.

A scholarship has been established in Klein's name at the UM law school. Donations may be made to the University of Miami School of Law, Alumni and Development Office, P.O. Box 248087, Coral Gables, FL 33124.

Anonymous said...

I had the privilege of knowing Ted for more than 25 years. I first met Ted when I was in my second year of law school at UM, and had the chance to work as a summer clerk for Fine Jacobson. Ted was already well known as a brilliant criminal defense attorney (and former prosecutor) and I looked forward to working with him and his partners, Irwin Block, Rebekah Poston, Mitch Bloomberg, and Joe Serota.

Unfortunately, I spent the better part of my summer doing due diligence work for the creation of a prospectus prior to the issuance of community redevelopment bonds. Every so often, though, I'd sneak off to court with Ted Klein (or Irwin or Rebekah or Mitch or Joe). I learned a lot that summer-- most notably, I learned that there was no way I would ever be a bond lawyer when people like Ted Klein were having so much as trial lawyers.

A few years later, I became an associate at Fine Jacobson and had the chance to watch Ted at his best. I joined the firm just after the the Supreme Court handed down its decision in Florida v. Royer. Ted argued the case successfully before the U.S. Supreme Court and it was one of the proudest moments in a career full of proud moments.

Ted was one of the brightest people I have ever known. He had a tremendous memory, a quick wit, and could turn a losing argument (or case) into a winner before your eyes.

We will miss you Ted. Your honesty, your commitment, your sense of humor, and your lifelong pursuit of justice.

Anonymous said...

Someone loan former Judge Colby some capital letters.

Anonymous said...

His Honor, Ted Klein, was my next door neighbor in the late 60's and friend from the late 60's to most recently.
My wife and I baby sat for his children, Jennifer and Andy and we were privileged to know the "KLEIN" family.
Ted was a class act. Whether in him as an AUSA or with his law firm,Fine,Block & Jacobson you always knew you were dealing with a lawyer who personified what a lawyer should be, a professional, whose word you could ALWAYS trust.
A great mind and perhaps more importantly, a great sense of humor, Ted was a "Mensch", a person of professional skill, a caring and loving person.
You can search, but a guy like Ted only comes around once in a lifetime.
He will be missed
Thank You for Listening
Lenny Glick

Anonymous said...

No disrespect, but can we get a new topic please. I'm about to post a line of z's.

Anonymous said...

7:17.........get a life and show some respect. You may not care about his passing, but many others do.

Rumpole said...

I sort of think that a day and a half on the blog is not too much to honor the memory of a man like Ted Klein. Have you read what Judges Emas and Glick and Job Colby have written? Go watch Survivor and log back on tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Maybe its nothing, but Ronald Wilson Reagan used to sign off with "Thank you for listening" when he did his radio commentaries in the 1950's and 1960's that launched his political career.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

alright name a court room after him and lets move on already

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

This is 7:17 again --


Anonymous said...

7:17 -- you're a jerkoff.

Anonymous said...

Ted was even nice to the little people.

He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I may be posting this comment too late for anyone to read this, as it appears it has been several days since the Judge's passing. But I would like to say that I graduated from UM a year and a half ago and had the pleasure of Judge Klein's version of Professional Responsibility. He struck me as the right person to have taught that class to a young attorney. He was a kind, caring and incredibly intelligent man who commanded respect, but never demanded it. You knew from the moment you met him he deserved your undivided attention.

I mourn Judge Klein's passing as others have, and wish those posting disrespectful comments had spent more time with him. They might have learned the value of being a little more like him. A man of great honor.