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Spring Board & Committees Meeting
March 13-15, 2014
Doubletree by Hilton Downtown
More info HERE
Summer Board & Committees Meeting
July 18-20, 2014
Denver, CO Crowne Plaza Denver
NDAA 2014 Summer Conference
July 20-23, 2014
Denver, CO Crowne Plaza Denver
Judge Dismisses Civil Complaint Against Miami State Attorney
Scott Burns stated, "This is a victory for all prosecutors and a victory for the Rule of Law."
Read Katherine Fernandez Rundle's statement below.
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
As you already know, effective public corruption cases are among the most difficult criminal cases to bring before a criminal court. Recently, here in Miami-Dade County, my public corruption prosecutors, investigators and I were subjected to a Federal lawsuit by a former criminal defendant, Miami City Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. She accused us of conspiring to wreck her career by investigating and charging her with felony crimes. These frivolous and baseless types of attacks could clearly inhibit prosecutors, particularly public corruption prosecutors, from doing their jobs. Throughout this legal ordeal, I remained confident that my prosecutors and investigators had acted correctly, professionally, and ethically based on the evidence uncovered in our criminal investigation. United States District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks agreed when he dismissed with prejudice the civil complaint. The 64 page order ends with a very powerful conclusion. I was truly blessed to have on my side in this legal battle the international law firm of Holland and Knight, who spent countless hours litigating this lawsuit on my behalf. As I am sure many of you have experienced similar attacks, I thought you would find Judge Middlebrooks words to be enlightening and encouraging. Judge Middlebrooks wrote:
“This case, brought by a disgruntled criminal defendant, lacks merit and vividly demonstrates the reasons underlying prosecutorial immunity. Public corruption is difficult to prosecute. Defendants often have a public following, and charges sometimes have public consequences apart from the individual office holders. Partisan politics can engender charges of favoritism. It is often necessary for a jury to decide whether cronyism, politics-as-usual, and influence peddling have crossed the line between unsavory or ethically challenged behavior and theft or bribery. Victims are loath to step forward when they must regularly seek favor from elected officials. The shifting testimony and motivations of witnesses is frequently problematic.
The decision whether or not to bring charges or, as happened in this case, to dismiss charges when a case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt must be made without regard to personal legal consequences. And the unseemly conduct involved in this case unquestionably deserved the prosecutors' attention. At oral argument, I asked how an elected official could ever think it appropriate to use city staff to solicit contributions to a charity in which she had an interest from those appearing before her on city business. This case, the unavoidable truth is that given her own behavior, Ms. Spence-Jones cannot reasonably claim to have been treated unjustly. Apart from the legal principles that govern disposition of this case, the unavoidable truth is that given her own behavior, Ms. Spence-Jones cannot reasonably claim to have been treated unjustly.”
This important Federal Court case is a victory for everyone who believes that the fight against public corruption is one that involves all of us. I thank you for your support during this difficult experience.
KATHERINE FERNANDEZ RUNDLE
National Criminal Justice Academy
NEW APPLICATION DEADLINES
The National District Attorneys Association, in collaboration with the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, announces that it is accepting applications for trial advocacy courses.
Hands-On Trial Advocacy Training
This is a rare opportunity for you to work with veteran prosecutors trained in NDAA strategic trial advocacy methodology. Using fundamental topics these faculty members will provide cutting-edge trial techniques designed to assist you in meeting current defense challenges, complex case theories and persuasive trial presentation methods. This course is designed for prosecutors with two-three years’ experience.
No Tuition; No Travel Costs, No Lodging Costs
The NDAA National Criminal Justice Academy is funded by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance. The first four courses have officially been approved and scheduled.
Funding includes travel (airfare or roundtrip mileage at the federal mileage rate of 56 cents per mile with odometer reading or MapQuest documentation), lodging (five nights at the host hotel, single rate room and tax) and per diem (federal per diem rate for Salt Lake City which is $45.75 for travel days and $61 for full days) and there is NO tuition charge for this exceptional training.
Apply online for the course of your choice here.
The first four course dates
- March 10-14, 2014
Application Deadline: February 7
- May 12-16, 2014
Application Deadline: March 3
- June 9-13, 2014
Application Deadline: April 4
- July 7-11, 2014
Application Deadline: April 28
Please note: There is limited seating per course. You will be contacted by NDAA to advise you if you have been selected. Additional details regarding travel, lodging and per diem will be provided at that time.
Victims' Rights Amendment Information
At the meeting in Hilton Head, the Board voted unanimously to support the proposed United States Constitutional Amendment to embody Victims’ Rights into the US Constitution. At that time we urged those present to contact their congressional delegation urging them to “sign on” as co-sponsors. We believe that if we can get 100 co-sponsors it will get a vote on the House floor.
The NDAA Victims’ Committee took on the task of getting this information out to you. Short delay, but here it is.
Victims deserve this and I’m proud that NDAA is taking a strong lead in this proposal.
Let me know if you have any questions,