Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ben Kuehne receives award

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers-Miami Chapter had its annual banquet Saturday night. Of note for this blog, Ben Kuehne received the lifetime achievement award (which the group decided to give him after he was charged, not before as was reported in the NLJ and WSJ blog -- I know this because I was at the meeting where we unanimously agreed on the award). Ben spoke eloquently after he was introduced by Hank Coxe, former president of the Florida Bar.

The Jose Padilla defense team was also given awards. They were introduced by Kathy Williams, who gave a wonderful and fiery talk. Michael Caruso's speech was well done; he spoke about how important it was to have an independent judiciary and he applauded Judge Cooke for upholding her role in this respect.

On the state side, Steve Leifman received the judicial distinction award. He does such good and important work for the mentally ill. His award was well-deserving.

In addition to the awards, it's always fun to people watch at these things.... All in all, a fun night.

UPDATE -- apparently the WSJ blogger was there.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

and not a single federal prosecutor in the room. Must have been a pretty strong memo. Nice way to be a part of the system folks.

Admirers-of-the-Princess-1 said...

8:30, Ditto!

Anonymous said...

Why would a federal prosecutor go to a criminal defense award ceremony? 8:30 you are out of your mind.

Anonymous said...

11:30, you obviously have never been. This is the first year there havent been any federal prosecutors there. See, some of us in the system feel ok acting as professionals and getting along. Ever go to a League of Prosecutors event? Nice group of of defense lawyers.

Anonymous said...

3:09 - I've been every year for the last 5 and this is not the first year that there have not been federal persecutors. You're not counting spouses and significant others who are being dragged to the event are you?

And, by the way, how do you determine whether a person is in the "system?"

Anonymous said...

DOM:

There are rarely if ever federal prosecutors at this event. I have be going there for more than a decade and can't remember the last time I saw one. There were probably more than 60 judges there including several "federal" judges.

You forgot to mention that it was an "installation" and "awards" banquet and that the new officers of FACDL were installed including President Rick Freedman, VP Hector Flores (AFPD), Treasurer Sabrina Puglisi (AFPD) and Secretary Robin Kaplan, (whom I believe works for DOM). Congrats to them too.

Anonymous said...

The room is never brimming with federal prosecutors. The US attorney stops by every other year when a federal judge is recognized, and there's always one or two there who dont see their job as their life and can handle having friends in the defense bar. Shhhhh!

This year there wasnt one.

Rumpole said...

Ahhh...but was everyone's favourite local blogger there? That's the question that needs careful consideration. And if I was there, did they spell my name correctly?

Anonymous said...

Here's a question: If a group of prosecutors gave an award to the DOJ Attorney's who indicted Kuehne, and the award ceremony was open to all members of the criminal bar, how many defense lawyers do you think would show up to the ceremony? I would say zero.

Anonymous said...

not really a fair question 11:37, DOJ, for whatever anyone thinks of them, (and I'm a defense lawyer) would never give an award to those lawyers for that purpose.

I can tell you that if a federal prosecutor that was loved and admired was indicted like Ben, the room would be packed with defense lawyers - see we stand up for people, even those on the other side.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the absence of federal prosecutors had anything to do with the fact that none had been invited? Nice way to be a part of the system folks!