Friday, May 27, 2016

Long-Time Becker & Poliakoff Lawyer Charged With Money Laundering

Glenn Frey - Smuggler's Blues from Ian Gray on Vimeo.

Condo association lawyers, my ass. This guy knows how to party!

Alan Koslow worked at Becker & Poliakoff since 1993.
Koslow accepted $220,000 in cash that he agreed to launder for the undercover FBI agents between December 2012 and August 2013, according to court records. In exchange, he was paid $8,500, investigators wrote.
Man, that's like bargain-basement condo lawyer rates. A mere 4% of the hooch.
He first met with two agents in November 2012 and agreed he and Mohr would help them conceal the source of cash, which Koslow was told came from an illegal gambling business and the sale of cocaine and counterfeit Viagra, prosecutor Neil Karadbil wrote in court records.Defendant Koslow met with the undercover agents, discussed laundering $50,000 a month for the next two years for the undercover agents, and explained how their attorney-client relationship would protect them, Karadbil wrote.

The final meeting was Aug. 22, 2013, when Koslow met with the agents in a hotel room in Fort Lauderdale and accepted $50,000 in cash in a FedEx envelope, investigators wrote.
The whole thing with law firms employing "lobbyists" perplexes me.
Koslow was previously forced to resign from the position of Hollywood city attorney in September 1993, because of controversy about his handling of a $50,000 legal settlement with a city secretary who said she was sexually harassed by another employee. Koslow later acknowledged he and the secretary had a sexual affair that he had not revealed to the city commission.

The Florida Supreme Court later suspended him for 45 days for violating legal ethics and he was placed on probation as a lawyer until he passed an ethics exam.

In a 1997 interview with the Miami Herald, Koslow said he had learned his lesson: "One of the keys to life is to learn from your mistakes, and certainly I've done that. I've worked very hard every day at rebuilding my reputation, professionally and, more important, personally. I have my priorities in order now."
What did Becker & Poliakoff have to say about all this?
As the U.S. Attorney's office made clear in its statement today, the charge pertains to Alan personally, and has no connection to the law firm.
But Becker & Poliakoff might want to rethink its judgment regarding the Firm's hiring practices. Hiring a lawyer when he is fired from a position of pubic trust for ethical violations that lands him in the soup with the Florida Bar to the tune of a suspension and probation, is a dicey proposition.

And I guess the big question not addressed in media coverage is, did these illegal funds get laundered through Becker & Poliakoff's trust accounts?

Thursday, May 26, 2016

3d DCA Watch -- Richer By Far With a Satisfied Mind Edition!

They show me to the door
They say don’t come back no more
’Cause I don’t be like they’d like me to
And I walk out on my own
A thousand miles from home
But I don’t feel alone
’Cause I believe in you

Although often derided and mocked in real time for his sudden turn to evangelical Christianity, Dylan produced a substantial body of music during this period, including a credible gospel album, Saved.

But that restless mind was not satisfied, and the wandering minstrel moved on to his next fascination, carrying the complexities of eternal salvation with him to this day.

Oh, was I supposed to be doing a 3d DCA Watch?

But what about this insane story?

Or, even worse, this one?

Ok, let's bunker people:

This guy had fun at Ultra:
In March 2009, Daher, a Brazilian citizen, visited Miami to attend a music festival and a party at a Miami Beach hotel. Pacha sponsored the hotel party. On the day of the party, Daher had a change of heart and decided to sell his tickets for face value near the hotel. Unbeknownst to him, three alleged employees of Pacha (bouncers or security guards) assumed that he was attempting to sell counterfeit tickets. After a buyer paid for the tickets in cash, one of the employees allegedly grabbed Daher around the neck and placed him in a chokehold. Another employee took the cash and tickets and ripped the tickets apart. The employees then allegedly hit Daher in the face repeatedly, causing severe injuries. He received treatment for his injuries at a local hospital. He then returned to Brazil.
Hope you had a nice visit -- come back again soon!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

BREAKING -- Facially Hairless Spencer Brews Up Cruise Ship Brewery Suits!

Oh I've got a lot of questions -- we follow Spence religiously across all social media (that includes FB, the gram, kik, chat, tweet, chirp, tumblr, tinder and and yet where is the lavishly-produced video of the removal of the goat, the lovingly photographed and heavily filtered image of his shorn beard hair slowly swirling into the bespoke, artisan drain crafted in Italy by real live Roman gypsies, the post-shave raw skin beat down, you know all the usual pomp and circumstance:

UPDATE:  A tipster actually passed along a grainy image of the "post-shave raw skin beat down" (this is not offered as a standard spa service, you have to #hackthemenu):

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Happy Birthday You Cranky Old Socialist Justice-Seeking Jew!

Nope, not that one -- this one:

Oh No Yet Another FL Bar Fraudulent Email Alert -- Boy Are We Dumb!

We've previously covered the daily barrage of annoying emails -- no, not the blatantly obvious phishing, but those scary perfectly legitimate ones coming from the Florida Bar:

The Florida Bar warns its members about a third fraudulent email, this one with the subject "Florida Bar Complaint - Attorney Consumer Assistance Program," that is being distributed. We advise members not to click on any links contained within the email and to delete it immediately. We suspect that this email contains a link to a malicious software known as Ransomware.

The fraudulent email is allegedly signed by William J. Schifino, Jr. and it informs members that a complaint has been filed against their law practice. If you have questions about Bar complaints, please call the Attorney Consumer Assistance Program (ACAP) at 1-866-352-0707.

The Florida Bar's computer system has not been hacked; it appears that deceitful individuals are using members' email addresses for malicious purposes. We ask members to exercise caution and common sense when opening emails from unknown senders. Recently, the American Bar Association Cybersecurity Legal Task Force released a "Cyber Alert" emphasizing education and awareness.


Dear Bar Member:
A complaint has been files against your law practice.
You have 10 days to file a rebuttal if you so desire. Rebuttals should not exceed 25 pages and may refer to any additional documents or exhibits that are available on request.
Please be advised that as an arm of the Supreme Court of Florida, The Florida Bar can investigate allegations of misconduct against attorneys, and where appropriate, request that the attorney be disciplined. The Florida Bar cannot render legal advice nor can The Florida Bar represent individuals or intervene on their behalf in any civil or criminal matter.
Please review the enclosed complaint. [link]
If filing a rebuttal please do so during the specified time frame.

William J Schifino, Jr.
Attorney Consumer Assistance Program
Pretty clever, eh?

Question:  by enclosing a working hyperlink (we disabled it), did you just perpetuate the goals of these "deceitful individuals" (I like the moral judgment embedded in that phrase!)?

Also -- I'm so sick of deceitful tricksters trying to pass themselves off as Willie Schifino!

(Just kidding -- you're a good guy, Bill!)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Let's Give These Fellas a Hand!

It was a long, hard-fought road from spurious allegation to complete vindication, but that only makes the ending more sweet:
The Miccosukee tribe will pay $4 million to its former attorneys after targeting them in a series of failed lawsuits repeatedly rejected by courts as frivolous. 
The settlement is a significant victory for prominent Miami lawyers Guy Lewis and Michael Tein, who have long been mired in legal battles over their former representation of the Indian tribe, whose members live in several reservations in the Everglades.
The money goes toward settling legal costs the two incurred in fighting the lawsuits, which resulted in judges sanctioning the tribe and its former lawyer, Bernardo Roman III. A Florida Bar inquiry into Roman is also pending.
Well done all around, and hats off to the newly-shingled Paul Calli -- you boys take a victory lap, then back to work (it's Monday after all!).

Friday, May 20, 2016

Here We Go Again With Larding Improper Argument Into Notices of Supplemental Authority!

And nobody is better able to get into the weeds and muck around on this issue than Magistrate Judge Goodman:
Three pages of quotations and Plaintiff’s gloss as to the meaning of this case does not constitute an appropriate “Notice.” Because Plaintiffs’ Notice contains legal argument, it is, for all intents and purposes, more akin to an unauthorized surreply. Consequently, because Plaintiffs’ Notice contains a surfeit of legal arguments, this part of the Notice must be stricken.
Why do lawyers do this?

I can possibly see a mild exception where it is necessary to provide context and help explain why the new case supports a point that would not be otherwise obvious to the Court.

But if that's the case maybe the new authority isn't that great, or your point not very persuasive -- it should pretty much stand on its own.

Either way -- resist the temptation.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

3d DCA Watch -- Dinah Stein Dinah Stein Dinah Stein!

One of the finest books never brought to screen is Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, the blood-soaked tale of scalp-hunters traipsing through a violent, vivid, carnival-like Wild West landscape, all led by one of the most original bad-arse, conflicted protagonists ever, "The Judge":
No matter where you look on the call sheet, there are characters any actor would kill to play, but none are more appealing then McCarthy’s most reprehensible character, Judge Holden. A pederast, an intellectual, and the embodiment of evil- the Judge may just be a demon from hell. Holden is a learned man, frequently pontificating on the precepts of law, chemistry, philosophy, and various other intellectual subjects while at the same time committing despicable acts of rape and murder. McCarthy describes him as a massive man standing over seven feet tall. He is extremely strong and carries a howitzer as though it were a rifle. The judge is completely bereft of hair, possibly suffering from alopecia. He also takes great pains in protecting his skin from the sun, as his skin will burn red from exposure. Although many of the characters from BLOOD MERIDIAN are drawn from real people, no one has yet found a source for Judge Holden.
In our own little concrete legal bunker there lives another fearsome protagonist, who just notched another on the belt of victories:
Petitioner Richard Fonseca seeks a writ of certiorari and/or prohibition preventing the trial court from entering an order granting Respondents Taverna Imports, Inc.’s (the “Corporation”) and Mario Taverna’s (“Taverna”) motion for offset. The trial court’s prospective order will have the effect of merging four separate judgments from two independent trial court cases. We grant Fonseca’s petition seeking prohibition because the trial court lacks jurisdiction to modify the adjudications, the appeals of which are currently pending in this Court.
Another one down!

(Plus she's a lot nicer than The Judge!)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hickenlooper Loops on Legalization

Medical marijuana is on the ballot as Amendment 2 once again this year in Florida. Get ready for lots of propaganda and disinformation from its opponents to start flooding our airwaves anytime now.  One of the big criticisms in the 2014 race was that Florida's medical marijuana amendment was de facto legalization.

That might not work so well this time, considering how well actual legalization is going. One of its strongest opponents is now keen on it.
When Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana four years ago, one of the move's chief critics was Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The moderate Democrat said that if he could "wave a magic wand" to reverse the decision, he would. Then he called voters "reckless" for approving it in the first place, a remark he later downgraded to "risky."

“Colorado is known for many great things,” Hickenlooper said. “Marijuana should not be one of them.”

But the governor’s views have softened. During a recent panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, he said that despite opposing the legalization of pot, his job was to “deliver on the will of the people of Colorado.”

“If I had that magic wand now, I don’t know if I would wave it,” he said. “It’s beginning to look like it might work.”
The best way to defeat an enemy is to make them a friend. But Sheldon Adelson still won't get high with me and I've given up pressing the issue.

1tth Circuit Affirms Judge Cohn on Massive Yu-Gi-Oh Trading Card MDL Litigation!

Hah -- got your attention!

In related news, the 11th Circuit did this.

My reaction:  "Saa, hakushu de o mukae kudasai! Honjitsu no shuyaku, yonimo mezurashī futari no me o motsu ryū! Oddoaizu Doragon!"

Stick THAT is your obscure reference file and smoke trade it!