News: Top Miami Lawyer To Seek Elian's Return
One of Florida's top criminal defense and constitutional attorneys has
joined the legal team working to free Elian and return him to his Miami
family, NewsMax.com has learned.
April 25, 2000 12:53 PM EST
Miami attorney, Richard Sharpstein, a former Assistant State Attorney
and Major Crimes Prosecutor who worked under then Dade State Attorney
Janet Reno, joined the team yesterday to help prepare the next major legal
Sharpstein has been critical of Reno's actions and the seizure of the
boy last Saturday.
Sharpstein, successful and nationally known for his representation in
high-profile criminal cases, is law partner with his lawyer wife Janice
Burton Sharpstein, who is an expert in immigration law matters.
Sharpstein has said that Elian Gonzalez was taken pursuant to an
illegal and thus void "search warrant," (this same analysis was
made at NewsMax days ago) which may provide only one of a number of bases
to convince the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to return the boy either to
the Miami relatives or to a third party, a guardian ad litem, to serve as
the boy's legal guardian during the pendency of the asylum litigation.
Such a guardian ad litem approach, points out Sharpstein, would allow
both the boy's father and the Miami relatives to see and spend time with
This arrangement allowing joint visitation by both sets of relatives
was the one worked out by Aaron Podhurst, "central mediator,"
which agreement was followed by the pre-dawn raid.
Sharpstein, in the immediate aftermath of the raid upon Elian's Miami
refuge, said, "You have to give Janet Reno credit. At least she
learned not to burn the house down."
Sharpstein describes himself as a staunch opponent of government's
ongoing efforts to shred civil liberties, with "Elian's seizure being
the latest sorry episode."