Recent Broward Law Blog Features

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wire Fraud Charges Against Kuehne Deep-Sixed

Blawgers across the country and community are cheering for Ben Kuehne again today.

A few weeks ago, one serious charge against him was dismissed by Judge Marcia Cooke, and now Magistrate Judge Bandstra is sending a recommendation to the court that the wire fraud count be dropped as well. On top of that a co-defendant had a case dismissed for a speedy trial violation.

This is all very encouraging if you are suspicious that this prosecution is less then prudent. Prosecutions this close to the edge are an assault upon the adversarial system of justice. For a long time, since Ronald Reagan, the feds have thought that too many defense lawyers are 'on the side' of defendants and have sought to compromise their obligations. We are not 'on the side' of defendants; we are within the parameters of a justice system that has two sides, and each has a right to effective advocacy.

U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke said she found the government’s central charge against Kuehne “disturbing.” The money-laundering conspiracy charge gave her pause, she said, because it implied any defense lawyer could be prosecuted for accepting tainted fees. Boy, is she ever on point. This is a perturbing prosecution and it was wonderful to have 300 plus attorneys show up at a benefit for Ben in December in Coral Gables.

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