J.D., University of Miami School of Law
Known as the “Iron Lawyer” both for his successes and accomplishments in complex, protracted trials and appeals, as well as for his achievements as an Ironman athlete (140.6 miles of swim, bike, and run), Benedict P. Kuehne has made his formidable career in trial and appellate courtrooms throughout the State of Florida and across the nation. While he is best known for his significant representations as a white collar criminal defense and civil trial 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 and appellate cocounsel in the 2000 election recount trial and all 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. Ben is often referred to as a “go to” lawyer for public officials and professionals involved in investigations and inquiries, disciplinary and ethics proceedings, and criminal litigation.
In a nationally watched and precedent-setting case, 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 favorable decision of first impression, the Eleventh Circuit unanimously declared that legal fees paid for criminal defense representation were exempt from money laundering enforcement. The Department of Justice dropped all charges, resulting in Ben’s immediate vindication the day before Thanksgiving 2009. Ben’s case stands as one of the most important precedents confirming the fundamental role of the Sixth Amendment right to effective representation.
His significant trial and appellate advocacy on behalf of public officials include local, state, and federal elected officials, officers, and employees of every political affiliation in ethics, regulatory, criminal, civil, and administrative matters. Ben is a lawyer-activist whose campaign compliance representation includes highly valued pre-campaign education, and his public policy litigation has resulted in meaningful advancements in citizen access to local, state, and federal governments and officials.
Ben 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 and the Third District Historical Society. 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 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 (Life Member) and a Certified Legacy Advisor.