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MIAMI DAILY BUSINESS REVIEW - AUGUST 1, 2005
From the Courts: Justice Watch
Little-known U.S. attorney makes the rounds
By: Julie Kay
Who is Alex Acosta?
That’s the question South Florida attorneys are asking about the new acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida.
“No one knows anything about him,” said Brian Tannebaum, president of the Miami chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. “I haven’t met him yet.”
Kathleen Williams, the top federal public defender in South Florida, said, “I have never met the U.S. attorney. He has not practiced in the area, so none of us knows him.”
Even heavyweight Republican lawyers in town aren’t familiar with Acosta.
“I met him once, but I don’t really know him,” said Thomas Spencer, a top GOP lawyer in Miami and chairman of the Miami-Dade County Judicial Nominating Commission.
But what South Florida attorneys do know is causing them some concern — namely that Acosta has never tried a case and has little experience in criminal law.
“The word on the street is that he has no criminal law experience,” Tannebaum said. “I would like a U.S. attorney who has experience in criminal justice … who has some working knowledge of criminal justice.”
Acosta, who came to Miami after heading the Justice Department’s civil rights division, notes there are 235 prosecutors in his office.
He said his job requires management more than courtroom skills, the ability to interact well with law enforcement and community groups, and high-level contacts to help the region.
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