“Law has always fascinated me,” said Miami commercial litigation and federal criminal defense attorney Armando Rosquete. “It’s the place where our aspirations and values are embodied into a system of legally enforceable protection and redress. It’s where we discuss and make important decisions about what we perceive as necessary, fair and just.”
As a former assistant U.S. attorney in Miami, Rosquete has spent considerable time trying criminal cases in federal court. “By the time I was 35, I had 14 federal jury trials under my belt and had argued before the 11th Circuit,” he said. “That experience has served me well now that I am back in private practice.”
Currently, Rosquete is with Coffey Burlington, a boutique litigation firm known for its skilled commercial litigation and white-collar practice. Rosquete’s practice focuses on whitecollar and public corruption cases. He also represents clients facing federal grand jury investigation either as a witness, subject or target of that investigation. He has also handled internal investigations for corporations and businesses.
“Our firm is fortunate to have clients with complicated cases that challenge me to constantly think multiple steps ahead and make difficult strategy calls,” he said. “Sometimes that may mean trying to forecast how a decision in one pending matter may affect litigation in a different state or jurisdiction involving the same client. Other times it may mean aggressively pushing the other side toward a quick trial date. The law is constantly in flux and oftentimes ambiguous, which I find professionally rewarding. As Justice Cardozo said, ‘Law never is, but is always about to be.’ I am grateful to work in a profession that provides those daily intellectual challenges to me.”
“I consider myself, first and foremost, a trial lawyer,” he said.
While most of Rosquete’s practice deals with very serious issues, being a trial lawyer does have its lighter, even funny moments. “Once, during my initial months as an assistant U.S. attorney, my more senior colleagues in the office tricked me into believing that I would be handling a case where a man had attempted to smuggle an endangered monkey in his pants at the airport,” he recounted. “They even got a federal agent to play along. I ran around for hours trying to figure out what federal criminal statute would apply to this monkey-related crime. It was a prank and for weeks I had to endure all sorts of monkey jokes.”
For attorneys who would like to follow in his footsteps, Rosquete has the following advice. “Always remember that credibility is the hardest thing to gain and the easiest thing to lose,” he said. “Be curious about the law and always try to understand not just the rule, but why the rule has come about and why it continues to makes sense or not. This maximizes your ability to stay creative and come up with enterprising arguments and strategies. Finally, have the humility and the willingness to learn from others. Whether it’s a younger colleague, a judge or a more seasoned practitioner, you should always have the outlook that opportunities to become a better lawyer can come from anyone at anytime.”
What’s in the future for Rosquete? “Many local businesses have an international component and I’ve been seeing more and more work with an international dimension,” he said. “I want to explore more ways that my practice can take advantage of Miami’s status as an international city with connections to Latin America.”
When Rosquete is not practicing law, he enjoys cooking, bicycling and spending time with his growing family and friends. He also is a big fan of classic muscle cars.
In closing, Rosquete said, “The best thing about my criminal practice is the powerful and rewarding responsibility of having clients trust you to solve their problems and putting their lives in your hands.”