UPDATE: FUNERAL ARRAGMENTS FOR FRIDAY DECEMBER 17
Friday, Dec. 17, 2021. Funeral is at Caballero Rivero Southern at 15011 W. Dixie Highway, North Miami, Florida 33181. Viewing is from 12-2. The burial will be afterwards.
Alex Michaels, originally known to us as Alex Micalescu, has passed away. This is sad news. Under any measure, he has been known and will be known as a true Justice Building Legend. That word is not too strong in representing who he was.
Alex had a super-hero origin story. Escaping communist Romania by swimming across a river. Hustling chess and backgammon in the parks of NYC. Starting as a prosecutor in Miami in Janet Reno's office, until he found his true calling as a defense attorney.
Alex won cases no one else could win. He did it without regard to any personal or professional costs. When a client hired him, that case became his cause. In an age when the NY Times is writing op ed pieces on dirty prosecutors ruining people's lives and getting away with it, perhaps we should not be too quick to condemn Alex for some of his more public disciplinary issues. Sure he cursed at a prosecutor in court (in Romanian), but Alex often was surprised that his antics were taken so personally. He once made a prosecutor cry, and then sent her flowers as an apology.
There are legions of stories about the cases Alex won. He caught a prosecutor lying in court during a motion to suppress, and somehow discerned that SHE had actually been in a warehouse with a police officer, canoodling, when his client was accused of breaking in and trying to steal drugs. Case dismissed. Prosecutor quit/fired.
How many blog readers have had a Not Guilty in a first-degree murder case? Alex could have papered the walls with his office with his NGs. He had a murder case once before Judge De La O, who told us that the cross was right out of a movie, where the eye-witness broke on the stand and refused to continue with the cross. Alex hammered him. The case was JOA'd.
The stories go on and on.
What we are left with is a lawyer who gave his all for his clients, in every case, every time. Law and defense were not a business for him. They were a cause, a passion. Coming from oppression, Alex understood what it meant to be oppressed. He knew what it felt like to have no voice. He was at his best standing up for a client no one else would stand up for. And he did it time and time again, giving no ground, suspicious of everything, fighting for his client until his last dying breath.
We will not see the likes of Alex Micalescu/Michaels again. But we celebrate his life and mourn his death.
Goodbye old friend.