Media

Listed below are various newspaper articles which describe cases that Curt Obront was involved in.

 

Please Note: Some of these articles may require a fee to view the full article.


Miami New Times

  • Best Defense – 2000
    Last fall criminal defense attorney Curt Obront argued before a federal jury that his client, who had been arrested for smuggling cocaine into the Port of Miami, was innocent because federal agents didn’t actually catch him with the offending kilo of cocaine. Rather the agents found it on the ground near where his client was walking. Obront argued that finding kilos of cocaine on the ground at the Port of Miami wasn’t so unusual — after all, this was Miami. And this being Miami, the jury agreed and found Obront’s client not guilty. View Article

Miami Herald

  • CRANE FIRM FOUND NEGLIGENT IN PORT DEATH
    Miami Herald – April 10, 2008 -
    A Miami-Dade Circuit Court jury decided Thursday the distributor of a container crane that ran over a Port of Miami female longshoreman in 2005 should pay her children $1.5 million. The six children of Audrey “Cookie” McCollum, who was 50 when she was crushed to death by a 400-ton crane while sitting under it during a dinner break, had asked the jury to find crane distributor Liebherr America had sold a defective crane and to award them $60… View Article
  • FEDS: EX-PLAYBOY MODEL TOOK PART IN COCAINE DEAL
    Miami Herald – January 31, 2001 – 3B Local
    A former Playboy playmate is in big trouble. Maria Luisa Gil, 23, of Miami, who appeared in her birthday suit in the magazine’s June 1998 issue, is being held at the Miami Federal Detention Center, accused of taking part in her husband’s cocaine trafficking business, according to a federal affidavit. Her husband, Pedro Pajes, 45, is charged along with his wife with trying to buy 11 kilograms of cocaine from an undercover federal agent. The asking price was… View Article
  • CITY TO PAY FAMILY OF TOURIST RUN OVER ON BEACH
    The Miami Herald – February 8, 2004 – 6MB Neighbors BC
    The Miami Beach City Commission agreed Wednesday to pay $1.5 million to the family of a French tourist who was crushed to death by a police SUV last year. “This is a fair resolution to this case, and we want to extend our condolences to the family for a tragic situation,” said Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer. Stephanié Tunc, 27, was sunbathing Feb. 22, 2003, with her 26-year-old sister Sandrine near the 14th Street lifeguard tower when Miami Beach police… View Article
  • FRENCH SISTERS CAME TO SOBE TO ESCAPE THE LONDON WINTER
    The Miami Herald – February 25, 2003 – 2B Local
    Stéphanie and Sandrine Tunc, who were run over by a Miami Beach police officer on Saturday, were closer than most sisters. Born in France a year apart, relatives said the two – Stéphanie, 27, and Sandrine, 26 – were more like twins. They lived together and vacationed together. About two years ago, they left the small French town of Forges-les-Eaux, 70 miles northwest of Paris and where their parents still live. They resettled together in north London, sharing a flat in Islington, a… View Article
  • FAMILY OF GIRL KILLED ON BEACH FILES SUIT
    The Miami Herald – September 21, 2003 – 3MB Neighbors BC
    Sandrine Tunc, the French tourist who was run over by a Miami Beach police SUV while sunbathing in February, filed a lawsuit along with her parents Thursday against the city of Miami Beach. The family is seeking unspecified damages for the death of Sandrine’s sister Stephanie Tunc, who was killed by the accident, and for the injuries and mental anguish inflicted on Sandrine. On Feb. 22, Officer George Varon was pursuing a robbery suspect when he ran over the sisters with… View Article
  • FORMER FIREMAN CONVICTED IN KEYS
    Miami Herald – April 25, 2002 – 1B Local
    A 10-year veteran of the Key West Fire Department was convicted Wednesday of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, perjury before a grand jury, and obstruction of justice. Joseph Grassi, 32, a former Key West firefighter, could face up to 40 years in prison. Curt Obront, a Miami attorney who represents Grassi, said he plans to appeal. “The case was a tragedy: He was a Key West High School most valuable football player and a fireman for over 10 years,’… View Article
  • WITNESS: JUROR GOT DRUG CASH, NOT BRIBE
    Miami Herald – January 16, 1999 – 1B Local
    A cousin of accused jury fixer Miguel Moya flirted with more felony charges of his own Friday when he swore Moya’s sudden wealth was not from a defendants’ bribe but instead from a massive 1980s drug smuggling conspiracy. Ramon de Jesus Perez – a former Miami police officer convicted of drug smuggling in 1989 – testified Friday that he paid Moya and his father, Jose, about $500,000 to transport illegal cash and store cocaine in the 1980s. The detailed… View Article
  • DEFENSE: JUROR WHO ALLEGEDLY TOOK BRIBE DID A DIFFERENT CRIME
    Miami Herald – January 7, 1999 – 1A Front
    In a stunning strategy designed to explain the sudden lavish spending habits of accused jury fixer Miguel Moya, his defense team opened his trial Wednesday by accusing Moya of a completely different crime. Moya and his parents didn’t launder hundreds of thousands of dollars from a jury fixing bribe in the notorious 1996 Sal Magluta-Willie Falcon drug racketeering case, defense lawyers declared. No, they laundered the cash from a massive illegal drug conspiracy involving… View Article
  • MAKING FEDERAL CASE OF TOURIST ATTACKS FAILS
    Miami Herald – April 29, 1998 – 1A Front
    The biggest effort to fight street crime in South Florida with federal laws fizzled into failure Tuesday, as a jury ended a four-month trial — and two months of deliberations — without a single guilty verdict for racketeering for 12 accused tourist robbers. A trial that began with outbursts and attacks on U.S. marshals and guards in mid-October ended with gasps from a packed Central Courtroom, exasperation on the faces of prosecutors and smiling defendants hugging their attorneys and… View Article
  • STATE SUPREME COURT ORDERS NEW TRIAL FOR GROCER’S MURDER
    Miami Herald – November 15, 1997 – 5B Local
    One of Miami-Dade County’s most shattering murder stories is coming back to life — the 1989 killing of Lee Arthur Lawrence, a Perrine storekeeper who had stood up to neighborhood crack pushers. The Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial Thursday for Bobbie Lee Robinson, who was sentenced to death for the crime. Two principal reasons were cited: During Robinson’s trial in 1991, the judge was under investigation in the judicial corruption case called… View Article
  • GROCER’S MURDER HEADS BACK TO TRIAL
    Miami Herald – November 14, 1997 – 1B Local
    One of Dade’s most shattering murder stories is coming back to life: the 1989 killing of Lee Arthur Lawrence, a Perrine storekeeper who had stood up to neighborhood crack pushers. The Florida Supreme Court ordered a new trial Thursday for Bobbie Lee Robinson, who was sentenced to death for the crime. Two principal reasons were cited: During Robinson’s trial in 1991, the judge was under investigation in the judicial corruption case called Operation Court… View Article
  • FORMER HOME OPERATOR CHARGED WITH THEFT, FRAUD
    Miami Herald – December 29, 1994 – 8B LOCAL
    A woman who formerly operated group homes for disabled people has been charged with grand theft and organized fraud for allegedly continuing to collect food stamps for clients who were no longer in her charge. Marjorie Baxter operated Baxter Group Homes in Miami until last March, when the state removed her 39 clients, citing neglect and possible misuse of state funds and clients’ money. No criminal charges were filed at the time, but the state Department of Health and… View Article
  • RESIDENTS AT HOME FOR DISABLED REMOVED
    Miami Herald – March 12, 1994 – 1B LOCAL
    The state welfare agency abruptly pulled 36 mentally and physically disabled clients from a chain of Northeast Dade group homes Friday after allegations of abuse, neglect and misuse of state funds and clients’ money. Residents were moved to the Landmark Learning Center while the state investigates Baxter Group Homes. The company’s five homes have been cited in the past for poor care and living conditions that left clients at risk. Friday… View Article
  • THE FAMILY OF STEPHANIE TUNC IS STILL TRYING TO COLLECT MONEY AWARDED TO THEM FOR HER ACCIDENTAL DEATH
    Miami Herald – January 8, 2006 – 1B Metro & State
    Sandrine Tunc hasn’t set foot on a beach in nearly three years. Surf, sun and sand remind her only of death. The accident that haunts her goes back to her 2003 vacation in South Beach. As the bikini-clad Sandrine and her older sister Stéphanie lay on the sand on a Saturday morning, Miami Beach Officer George Varon blindly powered his police SUV onto the beach and over the French sisters lying parallel to the ocean along 14th Street. Stéphanie, 27, a postal… View Article
  • `I WANT JUSTICE FOR MY SISTER’
    The Miami Herald – March 8, 2003 – 1B Local
    Sandrine Tunc heard her sister’s screams, piercing screams over the crowded beach, then felt an excruciating pain throughout her own body. “When I felt the shock on my body, I said, `Is this a dream, or is this real?’ ” said the 26-year-old French tourist, who spoke publicly Friday for the first time about the accident on the beach that left her critically injured and killed her sister. The women were lying in the sand, face up,… View Article
  • POLICE BEACH POLICY TO GET REVIEW
    The Miami Herald – February 27, 2003 – 1B Local
    After a Miami Beach lifeguard ran over a pregnant woman with a Ford Bronco nearly four years ago, the head of the city’s Beach Patrol quickly banned his staff from driving on all soft-sand areas with cars or trucks. The police department never adopted those strict rules. But another accident last weekend has prompted demands for a change. City officials plan to take up the issue following a tragic accident Saturday. A police sport utility vehicle ran over two sunbathing… View Article

Wsvn 7 News

  • MOTHER SUING AFTER HER BABY IS BURNED AT DAYCARE
    Dec 9, 2008… A South Florida mother thought she was leaving her baby in good hands, but she’s now taking legal action after what happened inside a child care center. View Article

Tampa Tribune

 

  • Companies found negligent in strangling death

    In the plaintiff’s closing statements Wednesday, attorney CurtObront asked that jurors award Makowski’s parents, Cathy and Wayne Makowski, between $3 million and $5 million each in damages. Profit over safety, that’s what this case is about, Obront said in his closing statement.

    Tampa Bay Online – Jun 26, 2009

  • COMPANIES NEGLIGENT, JURY SAYS

    In the plaintiff’s closing statements Wednesday, attorney CurtObront asked that jurors award Makowski’s parents, Cathy and Wayne Makowski, between $3 million and $5 million each in damages. Profit over safety, that’s what this case is about, Obront said in his closing statement.

    Tampa Bay Online – Jun 25, 2009

  • Jury awards parents in McDonald’s brawl civil suit

    In the plaintiff’s closing statements today, attorney CurtObront asked that jurors award Makowski’s parents, Cathy and Wayne Makowski, between $3 million and $5 million each in damages. Profit over safety, that’s what this case is about, Obront said in his closing statement.

    The Tampa Tribune The Tampa Tribune – Jun 24, 2009

  • Motions filed for new trial

    Plaintiffs’ attorneys Paul McKenna and Curt Obront argued that the parking lot outside the McDonald’s had become a haven for crime and a late-night weekend hangout.

    Tampa Bay Online – Jul 10, 2009

  • Expensive fallout from jury’s award

    Curiously missing from the verdict form – score another victory for Miami-based lawyer Curt Obront – was then-25-year-old Martin Robles-Taylor, who dispatched Makowski with a prolonged chokehold after a parking lot confrontation with the larger, younger man. Having reviewed the video evidence and interviewed witnesses, authorities declined to prosecute Robles-Taylor; Obront plainly didn’t want him sharing liability either. Complicated business Although jurors failed to award the kind of money ($…

    Tampa Bay Online – Jun 28, 2009

  • Civil trial begins in Land O’ Lakes chokehold death

    In his opening statement, plaintiffs’ attorney Curt Obront said the failure of the companies to hire security guards shows their placement of profit above customer safety. As our expert will tell you, Obront said, it wasn’t a question of if something like this would happen, but when.

    The Tampa Tribune – Jun 17, 2009

  • Climb steep, but you never know

    This is not to prejudge the evidence attorneys Paul McKenna and Curt Obront intend to present on the Makowski’s behalf, but only to say the complaint contains sufficient validity that Circuit Judge Susan Gardner chose to make its resolution a question for a jury.

    Tampa Bay Online – Jun 17, 2009

  • Parents continue fight for justice

    But attorneys for the Makowskis, Paul McKenna and Curt Obront, said the video, which they had enhanced by an expert, shows just the opposite: that Robles-Taylor started the rumble.

    Tampa Bay Online – Jun 13, 2009

Las Vegas Sun

  • Woman’s death threats cited in civil rights trial testimony
    Feb 10, 1999… Metro Officer Steve Leyba likened Brenda Nadell to a “ball of fire” who hurled death threats at him and two other officers the July night in 1994 during which the woman contends police violated her civil rights.Leyba also countered attempts by Nadell’s attorney, Curt Obront, on Monday during the federal trial’s first day of testimony to imply that police provoked the hostile situation four years ago. The young woman contends police bruised…
  • Jury begins deliberating in lawsuit against police
    Feb 26, 1999… An attorney for a Las Vegas woman suing three Metro Police officers over alleged civil-rights violations called the officers “thugs who beat up a woman — like a wife beater.”An attorney representing the police said the woman, Brenda Nadell, concocted a memory of the incident that occurred nearly five years ago because she was too intoxicated at the time to have any memory at all of the events.The seven-person jury in the civil case in federal court began…

Las Vegas Review-Journal

  • Jury deliberates in lawsuit against police department
    Las Vegas Review-Journal (NV) – February 26, 1999
    By Carri Geer Review-Journal A federal jury began deliberations Thursday after hearing nearly three weeks of testimony regarding the 1994 arrest of a Las Vegas woman who has accused police of violating her civil rights.’None of us are above the law,’ attorney Curt Obront told the jury during closing arguments. ‘That’s why we have the Constitution. That’s why you’re here.’ The… View Article

Star-News (Wilmington, NC)

  • Moore trial continued by judge
    Mar 9, 2005… UPDATE THE ISSUE: In 2003, Wilmington City Councilwoman Katherine Bell Moore filed a federal lawsuit claiming her rights were violated during a traffic stop and driving-while-impaired arrest in 2002.WHAT’S NEW: The trial, scheduled to begin April 4, was continued as both sides await a judge’s order on whether a trial will be necessary.WHAT’S NEXT: Chief U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan will rule on defendants’…

Vero Beach Press Journal (from newslibrary.com)

  • DEFENSE: NO BRIBE, JUST GIFT FROM COUSIN
    Vero Beach Press Journal (FL) – January 7, 1999
    MIAMI – A jury foreman being tried on charges he accepted a bribe estimated at $500,000 in a 1996 cocaine smuggling case got money to fund his lavish lifestyle from a cousin convicted of drug trafficking, his attorney said Wednesday.The money Miguel Moya used to buy a home in the Florida Keys and a Hawaiian vacation did not come, as alleged, from an associate of the two men acquitted of pocketing $2 billion in profits from smuggling Colombian cocaine into the United States, defense attorney… Article available at Newslibrary.com, search Curt Obront.

Associated Press Archive (from newslibrary.com)

  • DEFENSE: JURY FOREMAN DIDN’T TAKE BRIBE, GOT MONEY FROM RELATIVE
    Associated Press Archive – January 7, 1999
    A jury foreman accused of accepting a $500,000 bribe in a 1996 cocaine smuggling trial got money to fund his lavish lifestyle from a relative convicted of drug trafficking, his attorney said Wednesday. Prosecutors contend Miguel Moya was able to buy a home in the Florida Keys, a Hawaiian vacation, a sports car and a boat after being paid to acquit two men who were charged with making $2 billion off of Colombian cocaine.Defense attorney Curt Obront said in his opening… Article available at Newslibrary.com, search Curt Obront.
  • JUDGE DECLARES MISTRIAL IN JURY TAMPERING CASE; JURORS HOPELESSLY SPLIT
    Associated Press Archive – January 29, 1999
    A judge declared a mistrial Friday in the case of a jury foreman charged with selling his vote in a major cocaine-smuggling case after jurors said they were “at each other’s throats.” U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King dismissed the jury in the trial of Miguel “Mike” Moya, who was accused of taking a nearly $500,000 bribe to sell his vote in a 1996 verdict.Jurors sent a note to King on Thursday, after four… Article available at Newslibrary.com, search Curt Obront.
  • SURVIVING SUNBATHER HIT BY POLICE VEHICLE ON BEACH SAYS BAN NEEDED
    Associated Press Archive – March 8, 2003
    A French tourist whose sister was killed when a police vehicle ran them over as they sunbathed said Friday that such vehicles should be banned from beaches. “Too many people have been injured. Too many people have died. And too many people have suffered. This must never happen again,” said Sandrine Tunc, 26, who was critically injured in the accident.Dressed in black with her hair pulled back tightly and walking with the aid of a cane, Tunc spoke… Article available at Newslibrary.com, search Sandrine Tunc.

The Berkshire Eagle (MA)

  • BROKER SEEKS HOUSE ARREST
    Berkshire Eagle, The (Pittsfield, MA) – April 22, 2005
    BOSTON — A Williamstown insurance broker who is awaiting sentencing on a conviction of fraud has asked a federal judge to limit his sentence to house arrest and probation, and not send him to prison.David M. Leja’s attorney recently submitted a sentencing memorandum to Judge Michael A. Ponsor saying that because Leja is a first-time offender, and supports his wife and three children, his sentence should not include incarceration.Leja’s sentencing hearing… View Article

The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution

  • NATION IN BRIEF ACCUSED JUROR SAYS MONEY WAS FROM DAD
    The Atlanta Journal and The Atlanta Constitution – January 7, 1999
    A jury foreman in Miami accused of accepting a $500,000 bribe in a 1996 cocaine smuggling trial got money to fund his lavish lifestyle from a relative convicted of drug trafficking, his attorney said Wednesday. Prosecutors say Miguel Moya was able to buy a home in the Florida Keys, a Hawaiian vacation, a sports car and a boat after being paid to acquit two men who were charged with making $2 billion off of Colombian cocaine. Defense attorney Curt Obront said in his opening statement that Moya… View Article

The Palm Beach Post

  • IN COURT
    The Palm Beach Post – October 13, 1999
    A man accused of participating in a drug-smuggling conspiracy pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana. Federal prosecutors say Robin Smith, 31, along with former Coast Guard Petty Officer Michael Miller and two other men, tried to smuggle 700 pounds of marijuana and 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of cocaine through a Bahamian drug dealer. Smith and Miller were caught loading drugs into a van at Inlet State Park in Fort Pierce, prosecutors said. There, they crashed… View Article

McClatchy-Tribune Regional News (from newslibrary.com)

  • FORMER FIREFIGHTER FACES PRISON: LOCAL BIGWIGS ASK THE JUDGE TO BE LENIENT
    McClatchy-Tribune Regional News (USA) – December 8, 2007
    Dec. 8 A Key West who’s-who is going to bat for a former Key West firefighter who faces possible prison time for violating probation on a federal drug charge.Joseph Grassi served close to three years in prison for possessing an eighth of an ounce of cocaine in 2001.Wednesday, he will face a federal judge for violating his probation.His sentencing is at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 1 of the federal building at 301 Simonton St. before U.S. District Judge James Lawrence… Article available at Newslibrary.com, search Curt Obront.

Chicago Sun-Times

  • TOURIST FIGHTS FOR LIFE AFTER COP RUNS HER OVER, FRENCH SUNBATHER’S SISTER WAS KILLED IN FLORIDA ACCIDENT
    Chicago Sun-Times – February 24, 2003
    MIAMI BEACH, Fla.–A French tourist remained in critical condition Sunday, a day after a police vehicle ran over the woman and her sister while whey were sunbathing on a beach. The sister died of her injuries. Sandrine Tunc, 26, and her sister Stephanie, 27, were struck by the sport-utility vehicle as they were sunbathing on a crowded beach Saturday, authorities said. Officer George Varon apparently didn’t see the two as he searched for robbery… View Article

St. Petersburg Times

  • LAWYER LINKS MCDONALD’S AND MAYHEM (from newslibrary.com)
    St. Petersburg Times (FL) – June 18, 2009
    Four years ago, Anthony Makowski died in a violent altercation with another man in the parking lot of the only 24-hour fast food restaurant in the Land O’Lakes area.The McDonald’s on U.S. 41 attracted the night owls. Attorney Curt Obront offered a description Wednesday in a Pasco County courtroom: “This parking lot on weekends became basically like a bar on wheels.”Obront is representing Cathy and Wayne Makowski, who sued… Article available at Newslibrary.com, search Curt Obront.