Since 1982, Attorney Robert G. Amsel has dedicated his entire practice to handling criminal defense matters in State and Federal Courts in the State of Florida, and throughout the United States. Mr. Amsel is board certified as a specialist in criminal trial law by the Florida Bar. According to Bar President Scott Hawkins, “Florida Bar board certification is synonymous with the terms ‘specialist’ and ‘expert’ because of its very high standards for professional excellence. The Florida Bar’s board certification program is one of the finest in the country, and helps the public identify lawyers who have been evaluated by their peers for experience, competence and integrity.” In addition, Mr. Amsel is certified as a specialist in criminal law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy and has been named as one of the top 100 trial lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers Association.
Since 1990, Mr. Amsel has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Miami School of Law, teaching criminal trial law in the Litigation Skills Department. In addition, Mr. Amsel has acted as a guest lecturer at various local and national seminars. He is past chairman of the Criminal Law Section of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, a former board member of the Miami Division of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and a long standing member member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL). Mr. Amsel is also the recipient of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers President’s Commendation Award. Mr. Amsel, has been awarded an AV rating by the Martindale-Hubbell’s legal rating service. The AV rating is the highest accolade in Martindale-Hubbell’s rating system and is awarded as a result of an extensive, confidential review conducted among legal professionals in Mr. Amsel’s community. This rating signifies that Mr. Amsel meets the very highest standards of his profession and that his professional ethics are unquestioned.
Mr. Amsel was named one of South Florida’s top lawyers by the Miami Metro Magazine. The list of top lawyers was compiled with a mailing to approximately five thousand lawyers in South Florida asking who they would recommend as the top five lawyers in various fields of practice. In 2014, Mr. Amsel was once again named a top attorney in the criminal law field by The South Florida Legal Guide (sflegalguide.com) and Super Lawyers magazine (superlawyers.com), a distinction he has enjoyed every year since these organizations began surveying and listing top lawyers in their respective fields. In 2014, Mr. Amsel was voted into the “Best of the Best’ category of the top 100 lawyers in Miami by receiving the highest point totals in the Florida nomination, research and blue ribbon review process by Super Lawyer Magazine. In 2014, Mr. Amsel was also recognized in the Wall Street Journal/Miami Herald list of “Best Lawyers”.
Mr. Amsel has a very extensive white collar federal practice, locally, nationally and internationally, including representation of individuals and entities in cases involving Medicare/Medicaid fraud, health care fraud, securities fraud, Ponzi schemes, money laundering, computer/internet fraud and IRS whistleblower actions. In a recent IRS whistleblower suit he tried in United States Tax Court in Washington DC, Mr. Amsel successfully obtained a very significant monetary award for his clients who cooperated with federal authorities resulting in the first Swiss bank ever to have been indicted and convicted of aiding and abetting tax evasion. A total of $74 million has been seized to date as a result of that conviction. Mr. Amsel’s practice also includes defense of SEC complaints and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases.
Throughout the years, Mr. Amsel has obtained numerous acquittals and positive resolutions to some of the most serious and complex criminal cases. In May of 2014, in the case of State v. J.B., Mr. Amsel represented a young man charged with 2nd degree murder who was facing a minimum mandatory 25 years to life in prison. After a week long jury trial, Mr. Amsel’s client was acquitted of all charges. In October 2014, in State v VL, Mr. Amsel successfully defended a businessman charged with sending a written communication to do bodily harm to a business associate, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in state prison. The jury took only a half-hour to acquit Mr. Amsel’s client. In the case of United States vs. J.R., a complex money laundering conspiracy case tried in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, Mr. Amsel’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted of all charges. Similarly, in United States vs. J.V. et al., a cocaine trafficking trial tried in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in Miami, Florida, Mr. Amsel’s client,, and his co-defendant, who was represented by Mr. Amsel’s partner, Frederick Robbins, were the only two defendant’s in that multi-defendant case to be acquitted of all charges.
In the highly publicized murder prosecution, State of Florida vs. Joyce Cohen, Mr. Amsel was responsible for convincing the jury to spare the life of Mrs. Cohen who was convicted of the 1st degree murder of her husband. Mr. Amsel’s performance in this case was chronicled in a book written about the case; Life in the Fast Lane by Carol Cope (Simon & Schuster, 1993). He also represented a defendant in the infamous Miami River Cops case in which uniformed City of Miami Police Officers engaged in various drug rip offs of cocaine traffickers. In United States v. SS, a money laundering prosecution in The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia), Mr. Amsel’s client, who was facing a guideline sentence of several years in prison, was sentenced to two years of probation.
In a wide ranging cocaine trafficking conspiracy trial held in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan tried in Bay City Michigan, Mr. Amsel’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted of all charges. A similar result was obtained by Mr. Amsel in representing A.L., in a cocaine trafficking case tried in Federal Court in Miami, Florida where once again Mr. Amsel’s client was the only defendant to be acquitted of all charges. In United States vs. A.O., the defendant was charged with harboring her husband, who was a federal fugitive. After a jury trial held in Federal Court in West Palm Beach, Florida, the defendant was acquitted of all charges. Several cases which Mr. Amsel has tried have been featured on national TV including ABC’s Dateline.
In addition to trying all degrees of criminal cases in State and Federal Courts throughout the United States, Mr. Amsel has extensive experience in representing individuals and entities in criminal forfeiture cases. Mr. Amsel has obtained numerous significant settlements in various forfeiture cases. Amongst those cases was one brought in United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in which the Government seized approximately 1.2 million dollars and Mr. Amsel was able to obtain a settlement whereby the Government returned approximately Eight Hundred Thousand dollars ($800,000.00) to the clients.
Mr. Amsel graduated from the University of Florida with Honors in 1978 and the University of Miami Law School in 1982. Mr. Amsel was admitted to the Supreme Court of Florida in 1982 and the United States Supreme Court in 1985. He is a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Eleventh Circuits and the United States Tax Court. He is a member of the Trial Bar of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Year Joined Organization:
Areas of Practice:
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation of criminal and forfeiture matters in state and federal courts, locally and nationally.
Criminal Trial Law, The Florida Bar
Criminal Law, National Board of Trial Advocacy
The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
Best Lawyers® Florida 2016
U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida Trial Bar, 1985
U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
United States Tax Court
University of Miami School of Law, Coral Gables, Florida, 1982
J.D., Doctor of Jurisprudence
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1978
B.A., Bachelor of Arts
Honors: Cum Laude
Honors: With Honor
In re Witness-Attorney Before Grand Jury No. 83-1, 613 F.Supp. 394 (S.D.Fla. 1984)
United States vs. Jose Renteria, ( United States District Court , District of New Jersey )
United States vs. Jose Domingo Velez et al., (United States District Court, Southern District of Florida )
United States vs. Amado Leon, ( United States District Court, Southern District of Florida )
United States vs. Adesuwa Omoruyi, (United States District Court, Southern District of Florida )
State of Florida vs. Joyce Cohen, (Miami Dade County Circuit Court)
State of Florida v. Jupson Bernardine ( Miami Dade County Circuit Court)
State of Florida v. Victor Lerner (Miami Dade County Circuit Court)
Faculty, University of Miami School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law, Litigation Skills Department, Criminal Law, 1990-present
Honors and Awards:
AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell
One of South Florida’s Top Lawyers, Miami Metro Magazine
Recipient, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Presidents Commendation Award
Florida Super Lawyers 2007-present
The National Trial Lawyers, Top 100 Trial Lawyers
South Florida Legal Guide
Professional Associations and Memberships:
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1982 – Present
American Bar Association, 1982 – Present
Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 1982 – Present
Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers, Criminal Division, 1983 – 1985
Florida Ass’n of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Miami Division, 1982 – Present
Academy of the Florida Trial Lawyers, Criminal Law section Past Chairman
Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, past Miami Division Board Member
2250 Southwest Third Avenue,
Miami, Florida 33129
Dade County: (305) 858-9550
Broward County: (954) 522-6244
Toll Free: (800) 226-9550
Fax: (305) 858-7491