“This is a unique case. Twenty out of 24 with a credible fear of persecution. That’s extraordinary and getting critical evidence from a letter in a bottle. That is as amazing as anything I have seen in a while,” said Kendall Coffey, one of eight lawyers who represented the Cuban migrants.
The Supreme Court’s decision throwing our the conviction of ex-Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell underscores the difficulties in prosecuting public corruption. Modern era decisions including McNally (1987) that jettisoned then existing prosecutions for “theft of honest services,” McCormick (1991) that imposed a “quid pro quo” requirement on Hobbs Act cases and Skilling (2010) which limited the current version of “honest services fraud,” have reduced the tools for prosecutors. While Congress might someday pass tougher laws, in the meantime, an increasingly broader range of conduct has been legalized even if, as Chief Justice Roberts described it, such conduct is “distasteful” or even “worse than that.”
“If the authorities have evidence beyond reasonable doubt that she did everything knowing what he was going to do, then I think she will face very serious criminal charges,” Kendall Coffey on whether the Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Manteen’s wife will face criminal charges.
“This is a federal building, on federal land, in federal territory,” … “We believe they are entitled to not being repatriated” to Cuba. – Kendall Coffey defending Cuban migrants repatriation case.
U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey spoke to CNNMoney about his thoughts on Apple’s defense about Internet security. Kendall explained that it is unusual for an enormous company to oppose with the FBI. “What’s striking about this scenario is the opposition in the face of a court order,” Coffey said. “It signals it’s going to be a big fight. A lot of companies don’t want to be on the wrong side of the FBI. Their jurisdiction is broad, and it can be akin to tugging on Sup
“While Justice Scalia was best known for conservatism, he was a leading protector of jury trials and he transformed the frequently harsh sentencing guidelines into advisory rather than binding criteria.” – Kendall Coffey on the late Justice Antonin Scalia Photo via Erik Cox Photography / Shutterstock.com
“From being the most badly neglected water conditions in the country, Flint’s water will soon be the most investigated…While some focus on incompetence and insensitivity as causes of the crisis, other investigators will look for falsities.” – Kendall on the Flint Water Crisis Image via Linda Parton / Shutterstock.com
“As the indicted filmmakers in the Planned Parenthood case learned, an undercover operation with false IDs is legally perilous for private operatives.” -Kendall on the Planned Parenthood filmmaker’s indictment Image via Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
Funding for the brutal operations of the so-called Islamic State, also known as ISIS, reportedly includes a million dollars a day from sales of oil taken from captured territories. The U.S. has threatened “powerful and international sanctions” against those who purchase oil from ISIS. Rather than just economic sanctions, though, consideration shall be given to criminally prosecuting the oil buyers under U.S. statutes that outlaw providing material support or resources to designated terrorist organizations such as ISIS. Some U.S. terrorism laws include exterritorial jurisdiction authorizing prosecution for entirely foreign-based conduct if there are certain U.S.-connected results. Violence toward a U.S. citizen – like those who have been cruelly murdered by ISIS – could potentially provide jurisdiction for U.S. prosecution. If individuals can be identified who knowingly made oil purchases funding the terrorist agenda of ISIS, those individuals might be considered for very serious federal crimes, even though there could be complicated issues of arrest and extradition. Past arrests and prosecution have demonstrated to the world that federal prison is no idle threat for terrorists and their financiers. If ISIS buyers can be identified in order to consider economic sanctions, they can be investigated for purposes of criminal prosecution.
“While not every search-and-seizure warrant results in a criminal prosecution, in a very significant number of cases, a search-and-seizure warrant eventually culminates in a prosecution. […] When FBI agents show up to execute a search warrant because probable cause has necessarily been found, there will be some people who are sleeping less at night.” Find the original story here.
“That [A vote challenge by Joe Carollo in the 1998 Miami mayoral election] was one of the few challenges to a major election that has ultimately succeeded in court and may be the last time that a fraud challenge has reversed an election result for the Southern District of Florida,” Kendall Coffey said. Find the article in Attorney At Law here.
Kendall Coffey’s unsolicited advise to law students: Rule Number Two- Be really nice to all your fellow law students. They are a network that is a lifelong network and hugely important. Referrals, even employment may come from former classmates. Someday some will be judges, others will be elected officials, and most will be successful at something that really matters. And sometimes, one former classmate (hopefully not more) could be a future wife or husband. So share your notes and other help if asked- you are already sharing an unforgettable present and a fascinating future.
Kendall Coffey’s Unsolicited advice to law students: Rule Number One- be ethical and resist pressures to be anything else. All you you have is your reputation. And remember, if things get messy, young lawyers get thrown overboard first.
Attorneys in 2015 are tasked with not only defending their clients in front of a judge and jury, but the public as well. As media consultant Elliot Mintz puts it, “We are living in a time when a lawyer is frequently called upon to make his case before the media as well as the jury,” because “public opinion has a longer shelf life than a verdict.” Read more about the contemporary challenges many lawyers face, applying spin to the court of public opinion, and more here. .
“You’ve got testimony that he did it because they wouldn’t talk to them. That doesn’t sound like a sane move. But again, it’s not up to the prosecution to prove. It’s all on the defense to make that case. […] It leave the jury guessing and assuming that not guilty means not guilty. If you told the jury he’s going to spend the rest of his life in a mental institution, or some large number of double-digit years, that might make a difference.” ~ Miami-based attorney Kendall Coffey on the complicated court proceedings in the “American Sniper Trial.” Source: NBC News.
~ Renown Miami Attorney, Kendall Coffey, discussing the shocking charges filed against New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on “The Steve Malzberg Show.” “It’s got to be a stunning thing for New Yorkers. This guy was the second most powerful person in state government after the governor. […] It was a pure, classic shakedown-extortion scheme is what is alleged here. Nothing terribly new — and to the tune of this guy getting $3 million over a period of some years.”
~ Kendall Coffey, on the NYC grand jury’s decision not to bring charges to Officer Daniel Pantaleo for the homicide of Eric Garner. “Sometimes you wonder if ‘probable cause’ is clearly explained. Because it is not the concept of ultimate guilt or innocence […] This video, and some of these circumstances that we know to be undeniable seem to establish probable cause. We know the chokehold, as it was just described, is a banned, prohibited practice. In effect, this officer knowingly used what amounted to prohibited and excessive force at the very time he began. There are also a group of officers, an obviously unarmed man, and then you add to that the component that he was repeatedly saying he can’t breathe, and yet the police action continued. […] But understanding why this grand jury found that there was no probable cause to charge him for anything is difficult to understand.” 2014 MSNCB Politics Nation with Rev. Al Sharpton Interview.
~ Kendall Coffey, on the fairness of the Ferguson grand jury process in the case of Officer Darren Wilson. “I feel pretty clearly that rather than a leaderless grand jury investigation, this was a grand jury that was being led to a conclusion of innocence. […] It’s just the questions a defense lawyer would have asked Officer Wilson – ‘didn’t you feel that your life was in jeopardy?’ Well of course you know what the answer is going to be. ‘Didn’t you feel like, in effect, that the shooting was justified?’ Not only does that tell the witness to say he’s innocent, it tells the grand jury members there in the room that this prosecutor is signaling very clearly that the prosecution thinks that officer Wilson is innocent.” (2014 MSNBC Politics Nation with Rev. Al Sharpton Interview.)
~ Kendall Coffey, on the Supreme Court’s decision to hear an appeal to subsidies as part of Obamacare. “What’s striking is that they don’t seem to want to wait very long with respect to the issue of Obamacare. The Supreme Court isn’t waiting to see what a lot of different circuit courts of appeal around the country will do. This time, they’re moving ahead with the issue – and it’s got to be somewhat ominous for the administration because of the interest the Supreme Court has shown.” 2014 Newsmax Interview .
“That’s the momentum that’s in our midst and it’s going to continue. […] I think the vast majority […] are going to rule in favor of allowing gay marriage.” – Kendall Coffey on the inevitability of marriage equality. 2013 Newsmax Interview http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/jersey-same-sex-marriage/2013/09/27/id/528151/
“…I’m going to put my former prosecutor’s hat back on. Grand jurors swear that when they step into that room that they’re going to maintain grand jury secrecy. That’s the deal going in. There are a lot of law enforcement values for that. So my view is that is what everybody agreed to, that’s the law, that’s the oath the grand juries take and that covenant should not be set aside by a judge.” ~ Kendall Coffey on Spinning the Law with Steve Malzberg
“Many have lost their lives to come here and it’s a reminder of how incredibly lucky we are to live in the United States, because 90% of the rest of the world would give most anything to be here where you and I walk and breathe and enjoy life everyday.” Kendall Coffey on Steve Malzberg.
“This theory of a spoiled rich kid defense is truthfully appalling. It turns everything in our justice system upside down. And if there is a condition such as affluenza, let me tell you what the treatment is. The treatment is full accountability under the criminal justice system. No more, no less accountability that anybody else, including the prison time, if it’s deserved.” Kendall Coffey on the “Affluenza Defense.”
“Why hasn’t the Supreme Court simply selected one of the cases, chosen an opportunity to speak and settle the issue once and for all? Why is this being battled out stat by state? All the more so, when they could have addressed it six months ago when they had two gay marriage cases on their dockets.” Kendall Coffey: Gay Marriage Will Be Decided in a Few Years.
“People who have been shot in the back have been pronounced, nevertheless, Stand Your Ground cases. Drug dealers in a fatal shootout, they’ve been able to invoke Stand Your Ground. What this law needs to get back to is self defense where it is reasonably necessary and where someone has the burden of avoiding killing someone if they possibly can.” Interview with MSNBC News Nation about the Stand Your Ground Law with Kendall Coffey.
“Talk about spin; it [the Gonzales Case] was sort of spun as the rights of the father. We all respect the rights of the father. But we did think that at least the fact that it was a bleak existence in a totalitarian regime where he would be used as a trophy. And as you’ve pointed out; he is being used as a trophy to this day. This was something that somebody, a neutral decision maker should consider.” From “Spinning the Law” with Kendall Coffey on the Steve Malzberg Show on NewsMax.
“Ironically, while thousands of new law graduates fret about the chronic joblessness that awaits them, tens of millions of Americans need attorneys but cannot afford them. And much of the unmet need rests in America’s middle class, which is neither rich enough to pay $250 an hour for lawyers nor poor enough to qualify for legal aid organizations,” wrote former U.S. attorney Kendall Coffey in a Law.com article that addressed the state of the legal field for recent law school graduates.
“The impact on future jurors has been documented by studies confirming that negative publicity contributes to negative results.” Kendall Coffey on the Strauss-Kahn case.
“I would hope that as a community we are learning to ask more questions about meteoric financial rises, yet I’m uncertain if anything has really changed [after Rothstein],” said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney who represented Scott W. Rothstein’s law firm after the Ponzi scheme was uncovered.
“This is not about dueling lawyers; this is about lawyers as problem solvers.” Kendall Coffey on the pending presidential election.
“This is going to be a new territory, a new set of fascinating questions, and it will not be an easy thing for the Obama administration to give bankruptcy judges the power.” Kendall Coffey on new foreclosure proposals.
“…what’s so important about this law is, it applies to torture wherever it takes place in the world if one is perpetrated by a U.S. citizen, which happened to be the case with this defendant, but also, if somebody else steps foot in the United States who has committed torture crimes in a foreign country, that person can also be prosecuted.” Kendall Coffey on the trial of Chuckie Taylor.
“You know so many times the interest of the public sort of drops off after the sentencing. This time, Rick, I think a lot of the victims are going to want to know where he’s staying now that he’s going from the “penthouse”– they want him to be going to the “big house.” Kendall Coffey on Bernie Madoff.
“We have a love-hate relationship with the death penalty. We see these despicable crimes; we want the maximum punishment applied to people who brutally kill children or to terrorists. At the same time we’re very concerned about mistakes being made, both mistakes with respect to selecting who is worthy of dying, if anyone, and mistakes with respect to the actual administration of execution. And these kind of cases, where horrible pains and horrible mistreatment occurs in the course of an execution, are very troubling to Americans and obviously of great concern to the United States Supreme Court.” Kendall Coffey on the death penalty.
“I don’t think any other place in the United States has had such a history of absentee ballot voter fraud,” said Kendall Coffey, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “Miami has a legacy of lawlessness going back to the 1920s.”
“If the defense had been able to go to trial without a body being discovered, hopes for reasonable doubt might have been compelling. If the body proves to be Caylee, then it immediately becomes an uphill case for the defense,” Kendall Coffey on the murder of Caylee Anthony.
“On the one hand, they obviously want to help legislators get a crook out of office, on the other hand, their responsibility is to try to get this guy behind bars, and that means they’re not likely to want to turn over their witnesses, their evidence, to a political process.” Kendall Coffey on the corruption scandal of Governor Blagojevich.
“Well, it’s very troubling and I think a lot of people are going to be more inclined toward conspiracy theory than coincidence theory. You’ve got two high-profile democrats being examined. One of the most distressing and frightening things, frankly, is the idea that confidential federal files can be accessed for snooping on political candidates.” Kendall Coffey on the breach of security at the State Department.
“The shocker here is that a lawyer was charged who is not acting as a criminal accomplice…It’s more than chilling. It’s paralyzing. If they’ll prosecute Ben Kuehne, then anyone can be prosecuted.” Kendall Coffey on charges against Ben Kuehne.
“…what this lawsuit is going to demonstrate is you can certainly globalize for profitability but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to minimize accountability.” Kendall Coffey on the issue of lead paint in toys.
“…if you take words like abuse, if you take words like harass, if you take words like threats, and then you look at what was done to this little girl, I think the court is going to find that the First Amendment doesn’t protect that kind of conduct.” Kendall Coffey on the suicide of Megan Meier.
“Let’s face it. The Nazi war criminals were tried by the allies. They did it directly. The verdict of history has been very positive. Why? Because the shocking dimensions of their criminality for decades was vividly demonstrated and that’s what needs to happen here.” Kendall Coffey on the trial of Saddam Hussein.
“It is mind boggling that Democrats championing the right to make every vote count in 2000 are now hearing that their own party is saying that their own votes aren’t going to count. From thousands of voters and hanging chads, we’ve now gone to literally millions of voters who are being hung out to dry.” Kendall Coffey on fate of Democratic delegates.
“It’s too early to say that the final chapter has been written with respect to the criminal justice system in this case.” Kendall Coffey on a tragic death in a military boot camp.
“If John Couey, given the horrible nature of this crime, doesn’t get the death penalty because of brain scans, then you’re gonna be seeing a lot of brain scans and a whole lot of mental impairment discussions in every capital case from now on.” Kendall Coffey on murder of Jessica Lunsford.
“The crack-cocaine guidelines were put in place because crack was fueling crime waves across the country, in particular with respect to street violence […] And it is clear that crack-cocaine and white powder cocaine had a very different impact in terms of not only the lives of the users but the impact on the community.” Kendall Coffey on the reduction of crack-cociane sentences.
“…I wouldn’t call this case a major defeat for the prosecution. They fought and won an important legal point in establishing that you can use a search warrant in Florida to secure medical records…That’s an important precedent for prosecutors around the state.” Kendall Coffey on Rush Limbaugh drug charges.
“What I think the president has done is picked a jurist who can redefine this Court for decades to come.” Kendall Coffey on selection of Chief Justice Roberts.
“He goes before FBI investigators, doesn‘t recall this critical discussion. Then he gets in front of the grand jury, […] It’s only after, bam, there is a document that‘s going to confirm that he spoke to Matt Cooper on that date that all of a sudden his memory gets a whole lot better and he goes back before the grand jury.” Kendall Coffey on the possible indictment of Karl Rove.
“How do you take these extraordinary circumstances about an extraordinary person and turn it into an ordinary case about an ordinary defendant?” Kendall Coffey on astronaut Lisa Nowak murder charges.
“So if there’s anything that would increase moral litigation, subject us to avalanches and flood tides beyond imagination, it’s opening the door to suing judges whenever we disagree with what they do.” Kendall Coffey on the right to sue judges.
“To say that these realities should be ignored and that you should be blindfolded to what is happening judicially, legally and most importantly what is evolving so dramatically in both counts in other counties, I think, ignores the most basic duty there is, to look at the truth and make a fair decision.” Kendall Coffey on the 2000 Florida voting recount.
“If those prescription drugs got to her in some way that’s illegal and it contributed to her death, somebody is in a lot of trouble and, even if there was no crime committed, whoever was the enabler in this could be facing a big lawsuit for wrongful death at some point down the road.” Kendall Coffey on death of Anna Nicole Smith.
“In Florida, the law on abandoned property if you keep it, that’s a theft. What you got to do is turn it into law enforcement, it’s posted by notice and you wait 90 days. So the next time you see a Rolex watch on the sidewalk don’t put it on your wrist. Give it to the police and maybe 90 days later you’ll have a handsome timepiece.” Kendall Coffey on the discovery of sunken treasure.