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Benedict P. Kuehne

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Practice Areas

  • Criminal Defense
  • White Collar Crime
  • Appellate Practice
  • Civil Litigation

Admitted: 1977, Florida; 1979, District of Columbia; U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, U.S. District Courts, Southern District of Florida, Middle District of Florida; U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit; 1984, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Tenth Circuits; 1990, U.S. Court of Appeals, First, Ninth and Federal Circuits; 1997, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Florida.

Law School: University of Miami, J.D.

Professional Summary: Known as the “Iron Lawyer” for his successes and accomplishments in complex, protracted trials and appeals, as well as for his significant achievements as an Ironman athlete (140.6 miles of swim, bike, and run), Benedict P. Kuehne is experienced in both trial and appellate courtrooms
throughout the State of Florida and across the nation. While he is known best for his significant representations as a white collar criminal defense lawyer, he is also one of the premier election law specialists in Florida, having represented Vice President Al Gore and the Gore/Lieberman Recount Committee as trial cocounsel in the 2000 election recount trial and the appeals to the Florida Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. In 2012, leading a legal team, Ben obtained the fifth highest verdict in the United States, $155 million, for his successful representation of an internationally accomplished educator who sued as a whistle blower for her wrongful termination.

Recently, Ben prevailed against the U.S. Department of Justice in a test case in which he was charged, as a lawyer, with money laundering for reviewing and approving the propriety of legal fee payments to another prominent criminal defense lawyer for representation of a high-profile client prosecuted for drug trafficking. In a long-awaited and highly favorable appellate decision of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declared that legal fees paid for criminal defense representation were exempt from money laundering enforcement. The Department of Justice promptly dropped all charges, resulting in Ben’s immediate vindication the day before Thanksgiving 2009.

He is a Past President of the Dade County Bar Association, a former member of the Board of Governors of The Florida Bar, a Past President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers-Miami, a Life Member of its Miami Chapter, a Founding and Life Member and past board member of the statewide Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a Charter Member of the Rosemary Barkett Appellate Inn of Court. He previously served as Chair of the Criminal Law Section, the Appellate Section, and the Council of Sections of The Florida Bar, was President of the Florida Council of Bar Association Presidents, and served as Chair of the Appellate Certification Committee and the Criminal Certification Committee of The Florida Bar. He is triple certified by The Florida Bar in Criminal Trial Practice, Appellate Practice, and Criminal Appellate Law, and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trial Advocate. He is also credentialed as a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Certified Legacy Advisor.

Member: Dade County (President, 1998-1999), Palm Beach County, and American Bar Associations; The Florida Bar (Chair, Criminal Certification Committee, 1990-1993; Member, Appellate Rules Committee, 1979-1984, 1985-1989; Criminal Law Section, Chair, 1994-1995; Chair, Appellate Certification Committee, 1995-1999; Chair, Appellate Practice and Advocacy Section, 2000-2001; Chair, Council of Sections, 1999-2000; President, Florida Council of Bar Association Presidents, 2001; Board of Legal Specialization and Education, 1999-2005); The District of Columbia Bar; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (Charter Member, Board of Directors, 1988-1989, 1991—), (Miami Chapter, President, 1990-1991); Florida Justice Association (Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers), 1991—; Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Certified Fraud Examiner, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. (Board Certified Criminal Appellate Practice Lawyer, Criminal Trial Practice, and Appellate Practice Lawyer, Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education) (Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocacy Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy).

Biography: Recognized in “The Best Lawyers in America”, 2000-2008; Chambers USA America’s Leading Lawyers, 2004-2008. Honored: “Best Lawyer in Miami,” Miami New Times 2000; “Lawyers of the Year” by the National Law Journal (2000); “Top Lawyers in South Florida” by the South Florida Legal Guide, 2000-2007; “Top Lawyer” Miami City Guide, 2002; “Florida’s Top Lawyers,” Florida Monthly, 2003-2004; “Florida Legal Elite,” Florida Trend, 2003-2007. Criminal Justice Lawyer of the Year 2000, Dade County Bar Association. Recipient, Pearson-Prebish Founders Award, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2008. Iron Arrow Honor Society. Member, Bar and Gavel (1977 Outstanding Graduating Senior). Member, Moot Court Board. Editor, University of Miami InterAmerican Law Review, 1975-1977. Author: “Protecting the Privilege in the Corporate Setting: Conducting and Defending Corporate Investigations,” 9 St. Thomas Law Review 651 (1997); “The Law of Entrapment and Governmental Overreaching,” White Collar Crime, Law Journal Seminars-Press, 1998; “Legends of the Law,” 15 Florida Defender, Fall 2003; “The Feeny Frenzy: A Case Study in Actions and Reactions in the Politics of Sentencing,” 16 Federal Sentencing Reporter 114 (2003); “Supremely Speaking: A Blast From the Past as the Court Completes its 1999-2000 Term,” 12 Florida Defender, Winter 2000; “Supremely Speaking: Honey, I Shrunk the Fourth Amendment,” 12 Florida Defender, Spring 2000; “Substantial Assistance Departures: A New, Equal Opportunity Model,” 10 Florida Defender, Winter 1998; Federal Criminal Appellate Update: Emerging Developments for the Criminal Law Practitioner,” Journal of Appellate Practice & Advocacy, 1998; “Lawyers As Targets,” 5 Money Laundering Law Report, June, 1995; “Criminal Law and Procedure: 1993 Survey of Florida Developments,” 18 Nova Law Review 236 (Dec. 1993); “Immigration Primer for the Criminal Defense Lawyer,” 59 Florida Bar Journal 60, April 1985. Adjunct Instructor, University of Miami School of Law, 1986-1989. Instructor, Criminal Justice, Art Law, Miami Dade Community College, 1987-1988. Lecturer and Author: “Critical Issues of Voter Procedures & Protection,” University of Miami Election Law Symposium, 2005; Seminar, “Amicus Curiae Representation,” Florida Bar Appellate Section, 2004; “Attorney’s Fees: Getting Paid, Keeping Your Ticket, and Staying Out of Jail; Implications of the Patriot Act,” ABA and University of Miami School of Law, 2003; “Supremely Speaking: Predictability Takes a Walk,” 15 Fla. Defender 43 (2003); “Protecting Fees from Forfeiture,” Criminal Justice Ethics Symposium University of Miami, 2003; “Media Management in the High Profile Case,” Advanced Federal Criminal Practice Seminar, Florida Bar, 2003; “Trying a Case in Ten Days: The Presidential Recount Litigation,” 2001 and 2002 Legal Works Conference; “Representing Your Client in the Environmental Crime Investigation,” 1999 Environmental Crimes Seminar; 1997 St. Thomas Law School Criminal Symposium, “Current Trends in Criminal Law: Privilege and Confidential Relationships in the Business Setting”; “Internal Investigations,” 1995 White Collar Crime Seminar; “Health Care Fraud: A Primer,” 1995 Health Law Seminar; “Qui Tam Lawsuits,” 1993 National Institute on Health Care Fraud, American Bar Association 1993; “Interception of Wire Communications: A Defense Lawyer’s Perspective,” Center for Advanced Law Enforcement Studies, Florida Dept. of Law Enforcement, 1990-1993. Television Host, “You Be the Judge: Bail & Pretrial Release,” WLRN, 1998. National Counsel to Vice President Gore in Presidential Recount Litigation, 2000; General Counsel, South Florida AFL-CIO 2007— Special Counsel: City of Miami Mayor, 1998-2000; Florida Attorney General, 1996-1998. Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Florida Attorney General, 1977-1980. Special Assistant State Attorney, Palm Beach County, 1977-1979; U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, 1976-1977. Member, Board of Trustees, University of Miami, 1994-1997. President, 1991-1992, University of Miami Law Alumni Association (1985 and 1998 Thomas Davison Service Award). National President, 1995-1996, University of Miami Alumni Association. General Counsel, Florida Young Democrats, 1984-1986. Deputy Counsel, Florida Democratic Party, 1988-1992. Leadership Florida, Class VII. Director, Legal Services of Greater Miami, 1992-1998. Board Certified, Criminal Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy. Certified Fraud Examiner, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Fellow: The Florida Bar Foundation.

Born: Merced, California, March 24, 1954

Cases: Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98, 121 S.Ct. 525 (2000); Gore v. Harris, 772 So.2d 1243 (Fla. 2000); Diaz de la Portilla v. FEC, 857 So.2d 913(Fla. 3d DCA 2003); State v. Steadman, 827 So.2d 1022 (Fla.3d DCA 2002); Biovail Corp. Int’l. v. Andrx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 239 F.3d 1297 (Fed. Cir. 2000); United States v. Brown,79 F.3d 1550 (11th Cir. 1996); In the Matter of the Protest of Election Returns,707 So.2d 1170 (Fla. 3d DCA 1998); Godix Export Equipment Corp. v. Caterpillar Inc.,948 F. Supp. 1570 (S.D.Fla. 1986); Mitro v. State,682 So.2d 303 (Fla. 3DCA 1996); State v. Griffith,561 So. 2d 528 (Fla. 1990); United States v. Monsanto,109 S. Ct. 2657 (1989) (amicus brief); In re Duque,134 B.R. 679 (1991).