Best Local Boy Gone Good Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2005 - Dan Catalfumo
Accused of abusing his fiancée, Dan Catalfumo followed the textbook defense taken by many a rich man before him. Catalfumo, who heads a $100 million construction empire, faced an aggravated battery charge for a November 2003 fight with girlfriend Heather Hill that could've landed him in state prison for 15 years. So he hired a high-priced legal team headed by Richard Lubin, brought in a cadre of friends to discredit his accuser, and then paraded a superstar list of expert witnesses to pick apart her story. Instead of being an indictment of Catalfumo, it became a three-week, 45-witness trial of Hill's credibility. Instead of choking and beating her, the story became that Hill was a messy drunk who fell into a glass picture frame on her own (don't you hate when that happens?). She caused the 53 stitches, not Catalfumo. And that ex-girlfriend who claimed Catalfumo had beaten her? She was deftly recast as a liar and backstabber who's nothing more than an ex-stripper. By the end, Catalfumo followed in the footsteps of O.J. and walked. A jury acquitted him March 1 on all charges. It was a victory for the justice sys... uh, no, a victory for rich men everywhere who have been accused of abusing their women. And in a court system in which everybody knows it's a waste of time to charge the rich with a crime, isn't Catalfumo the real victim here?