In a case of first impression, a federal appellate court ruled Monday in the prosecution of prominent Miami attorney Ben Kuehne that criminal defense lawyers can’t be charged with taking ill-gotten proceeds from defendants as legal fees.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision by U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke, who dismissed a money-laundering conspiracy count against the attorney for vetting money that went to Miami celebrity attorney Roy Black to defend Colombian drug kingpin Fabio Ochoa.