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13 posts from January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

The Miami Beach commissioner and the pop star: Michael Grieco offers legal analysis on Justin Bieber case

@Cveiga

Michael Grieco is many things: a criminal defense lawyer with knack for landing high-profile celebrity cases, a media talking head who provides legal analysis of the day’s biggest news, and a newly-minted Miami Beach commissioner.

So when pop star Justin Bieber got cuffed in Miami Beach, Grieco figured: who better to discuss the case than he?

“Justin Bieber Arrest: Miami Beach Commissioner and Criminal Defense Attorney Available for Comment,” read a notice sent out by the lawyer’s media handler.

That raises questions about whether Grieco was using his elected office as a personal selling point.

Nova Southeastern University law professor Bob Jarvis called Grieco’s move “unseemly” but said that he’s probably not in violation of any ethics rules.

"I can't really think of a rule that would prohibit him from factually stating that he is a Miami Beach city commissioner," Jarvis said.

In fact, Jarvis said that the Supreme Court has ruled that lawyers and public officials don’t lose their first amendment rights simply because of their profession or public office.

Grieco, who has also previously worked as a state prosecutor, stressed that he won’t have any direct involvement in the Bieber case -- despite reports to the contrary, and a mistaken email sent by his own media handler (which was promptly corrected.) The commissioner said he’d “pick and choose” which questions to answer when handling media interviews.

“I’ve been a legal analyst for national news sources for a couple of years now. This happened in my backyard, and who better to speak about it than myself -- but only as someone who’s not directly involved,” Grieco said.

Seeking answers from lawyer for fugitive bankers involved in Sen. Menendez inquiry

@MarcACaputo

Give this to Michael Tein: he knows how to duck questions about his clients, Roberto Isaias Dassum and William Isaias Dassum.

A New York TV station reported last night that the Coral Gables brothers are allegedly mixed up in a federal investigation into New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, to whom they have contributed. The oft-investigated Democrat had reportedly intervened on behalf of the pair, who are campaign contributors, as they fought extradition to Ecuador, where a leftist government had seized as much as $400 million in family businesses and convicted them in absentia of embezzlement.

Menendez's office denied any wrongdoing in helping out the brothers, a routine function.

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Charlie Crist's campaign looks like a one-man Oz operation

It's starting to look like there's just one Wizard-of-Oz-like man behind the curtain of Charlie Crist's campaign. Adam C. Smith from the Tampa Bay Times explains:

It may not be readily apparent if you follow the Florida media that constantly notes Charlie Crist's campaign for governor or the Washington pundits who describe Charlie Crist vs. Rick Scott as THE race to watch in 2014. But here's the reality: There is no real Crist campaign for governor.

Sure, he announced a couple days ago that Barack Obama campaign manager Jim Messina is on board, and Obama's digital director, Teddy Goff, has signed on too. Obamaworld has opened up a bunch of Democratic fundraising doors from Hollywood and beyond.

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