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Tacked to a message board on the wall of Curtis Miner’s small office at the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office is a photo of him and his brother finishing an Ironman triathlon in Canada last summer. That was a 2.4-mile swim, followed by 112 miles on a bike, and a 26.2-mile run — all without a scheduled break. “The reason I keep the picture up is to remember that no matter how exhausted I get in trial, it could be worse,” says Miner, who finished the race in about 13.5 hours. “Your knees don’t buckle in trial.” Such competition also affects his prosecutorial style, says Miner, who says he’s “not quick, but patient.” Even dressed in a polo shirt, Miner looks more bookish than athletic. Still, Ironman competition is not new to him. He’s competed in them since his undergraduate days at Yale University. The endurance served Miner well recently, during the biggest trial of his relatively short career — the city-rattling prosecution of 11 Miami policemen on charges of conspiring to plant guns to cover up unjustified police shootings. The case, with senior litigation counsel Allan Kaiser sitting first chair, took three months and involved more than 100 witnesses. Miner made opening arguments, Kaiser took the closing. In between, they divided the witnesses. (Four cops were convicted, three were acquitted, and the jury deadlocked on four others.) Raised in a bucolic Cleveland suburb, Miner is the son of a hospital executive and a retired high school teacher. He was on the law review at Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1994. He clerked a year in Portland, Ore., for Judge Diarmuid O’Scannlain of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Then he joined Lankler Siffert & Wohl, a small litigation firm in Manhattan. In early 1998 Miner was hired by famed litigator David Boies to work in the Armonk, N.Y., office of the then fledgling Boies & Schiller. Miner worked for partner Andrew Hayes, who remembers Miner as “one of those people you can talk with about an issue, then turn around the next day and get back the whole case broken down into file folders with tabs.” Hayes adds that the firm wanted Miner to join for good: “We begged him to stay and become a partner, but his wife got a dream job in Miami as counsel to HBO Latin America.” Miner’s wife is Tania Dominguez, a Cuban-American who was raised in Miami. (They met in law school.) Today she works for another Latin American conglomerate, The Cisneros Group of Companies. The couple, married four years, has a 1-year-old son, and they say they love Miami. But, he concedes, “about once a month one of us still asks, ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to be back in New York?’” In less than four years, Miner has ridden a series of successful prosecutions, most of which he first-chaired, to become a star of Miami’s 265-lawyer U.S. Attorney’s Office. Those cases have featured an offbeat mix — even for exotic Miami — of homegrown criminality and international intrigue. Take Operation Peru. That’s the undercover corruption case Miner and AUSA Allyson Fritz worked on in 2001 that led to the recovery of $20 million in laundered cash and the fugitive arrest of former president Alberto Fujimori’s intelligence chief. Likewise, Miner won a conviction in the trial of more than two dozen smugglers who brought Cubans to Florida by boat, killing some in the process. And with lead prosecutor Karen Rochlin in 2000, he convicted four South Florida businessmen on charges of conspiring to smuggle nearly 70,000 doses of Viagra to Russia. (Hold the jokes about stiff sentences, please. Miner says he’s heard ‘em all.) “This has got to be the brightest, most capable young assistant I have ever met,” says senior litigation counsel Richard Gregorie. Adds Michael “Pat” Sullivan, another respected senior prosecutor in Miami: “That’s why he’s liked so much. All us old codgers want a great second chair.” Dan Christensen is a staff writer at the Broward Daily Business Review.

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