About Douglas L. Williams

Over the years, I've been gratified to be asked to defend some of the most complex, "high-profile" cases in this part of the world and others. Have I won them all? No, of course not! There's no trial attorney of any real degree of visibility or reputation who can say he or she has won every case-- none, anywhere. The trial of a complex criminal case is so full of variables, so constantly changing, the notion of being able to maintain control of destiny is nonsense, especially in the federal courts. Still, starting with the older ones, and moving forward, here are some (although by no means all) of the cases viewed as being the notables, which I've investigated and then tried and (sometimes) argued on appeal:



Bungled implantation of police listening device in grandfather clock; asserted connection to the Wilson/Terpil defection from C.I.A.; all evidence ultimately suppressed.


Juan Cid

Charged with global marijuana smuggling while running his personally-funded anti-Castro intelligence apparatus, furnishing the information to the American intelligence community.


The Everglades City cases (two)

"The River Cops"

United States v. Acetturo

Ordered by a federal judge in New Jersey to defend a man I'd never met who'd been represented by a former partner; held in contempt when I refused on Constitutional grounds; contempt citation immediately reversed by The United States Court of Appeals for The Third Circuit, where I argued it myself.


United States v. Tabraue

Multi-defendant, exotic-animal and birds as covers for supposed drug and money-laundering conspiracy, resulting in revelation of C.I.A. connection on my client's part; case against my client dismissed after government's court-ordered disclosures.


United States v. Guillermo Ortiz Gaitan

Defending what began as a South Florida asset forfeiture case, but quickly turned into a multi-national, intercontinental drug and money-laundering investigation which, according to some, contributed to a change in the political regime of The Republic of Colombia; American government released all frozen properties and paid several hundred thousand dollars to reimburse for "losses". Demonstrated that government's lead agent paid two informants more than six million in cash, and then exported their money through his "undercover account" to assist them in evading the payment of taxes.


United States v. $242,484.00

Asset forfeiture case resulting in three different, successive favorable opinions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, followed by en banc argument. Client declined to petition The Supreme Court for further review. Of course, there have been literally hundreds of others, some less "high profile" but no less intense and no less important: every case in which I defend someone is important. And, there are others now in the courts, which are not appropriate subjects for comment. If you'd like to know others, ask around - or ask me.

I've also been flattered in another way, rarely experienced by trial attorneys, I am told: I have been recognized in public, written documents by a former Chief United States District Judge ("...among the top five criminal lawyers that have practiced before me ..."); and a former Chief Justice of a State Supreme Court (" the very top of the criminal defense bar."). These cases come, and these comments are made, because I come from "the old school" of lawyers: rather than viewing my license to practice as a license to take money and run or scramble for plea deals and get out quickly (unless I'm told that is what a client wants), I care about, and do my best to take good care of, my people.






©2005 Douglas L. Williams. All Rights Reserved.