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Daniel Aaronson graduated from the University of Florida in 1976 with a degree in advertising from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. After graduating, Mr. Aaronson took a year off from school and worked as the Advertising Director for Frankart Furniture based out of New Roschell, New York.
In 1977 Mr. Aaronson enrolled at the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. During his time at Cumberland School of Law, Daniel Aaronson was selected to be one of the initial members of the “American Journal of Trial Advocacy”, a law review form of association specifically tailored to trial practice. Mr. Aaronson was also elected to be on the school’s Honor Court as one of the justices. In addition, Mr. Aaronson was on the staff of the law school newspaper “Pro Confesso” as a contributing writer and eventually the newspaper’s Advertising Director.
In December of 1979, Daniel Aaronson completed his courses at Cumberland School of Law, having done the three year program in two and one half years. Upon graduation, Mr. Aaronson sat for and on first try, passed the New Jersey, Georgia and Florida Bar exams. In 1980, Mr. Aaronson was admitted to practice law in the States of Georgia and New Jersey and in early 1981 in the State of Florida. Mr. Aaronson is still licensed to practice law in all three states including the various Federal Courts.SELECT FOR MORE BIO
Upon being admitted to the Florida Bar, Mr. Aaronson was hired as an Assistant Public Defender for the Public Defender’s Office in Dade County, Florida. Immediately, Mr. Aaronson was assigned to the juvenile division representing those under the age of 18 charged with all types of law violations. Quickly thereafter, Mr. Aaronson was transferred to the Public Defender’s Felony Division.
During his nearly four years as an attorney with the Public Defender’s Office in Dade County, Daniel Aaronson represented thousands of clients with over a hundred of the cases going to trial by either Judge or jury. As a felony trial attorney, Mr. Aaronosn represented clients charged with any type of felony from possession of drugs to grand theft to robbery to sexual battery and even second degree murder.
Upon leaving the Public Defenders Office after nearly four years, Daniel Aaronson and James Benjamin formed the law firm of Benjamin & Aaronson. Mr. Aaronson has continued to represent criminal defendants along with branching out into the area of First Amendment freedoms and adult entertainment law. While in private practice, Daniel Aaronson again has represented defendants in criminal cases charged with all sorts of law violations including first degree murder. In fact, Mr. Aaronson has been successful in achieving two not guilty as charged on two separate first degree murder cases during the time in private practice.
Most attorneys consider it a victory in a first degree murder case to save the client from the death penalty. Others consider it an even greater victory to have the charges dropped from first degree murder down to second degree murder. However, in Mr. Aaronson’s two first degree murder cases that went to trial, both clients were found not guilty and were free to walk out of the courtroom.
As the law firm of Benjamin & Aaronson began to be more involved in the adult entertainment arena, Daniel Aaronson took it upon himself to try to nullify and hold unconstitutional the State’s criminal lewdness laws. To this end, he was successful in having lewdness to be declared not part of the State’s racketeering law in the case of State v. Kessler. In the case of Silvers and Hall v. State he was able to establish that for the crime of lewdness to be occurring one or more persons present must be offended and it cannot be a police officer. This decision had such import, that the State’s legislature was forced to amend the State lewdness laws in reaction to this decision. James Benjamin, the other partner in the law firm of Benjamin & Aaronson, in conjunction with Mr. Aaronson, was also successful in establishing what evidence cannot and can be seized by government agencies using a search warrant involving the misdemeanor crime of lewdness.
Benjamin & Aaronson, P.A. found their way into the First Amendment adult entertainment arena when all of the adult bookstores in Broward County had all of their inventory seized by a conjunction of various law enforcement departments within Broward County. After nearly a three year battle, Benjamin & Aaronson was successful in getting all of the materials returned to the stores. This event, spearheaded Benjamin & Aaronson’s endeavors into adult entertainment and First Amendment rights.
During the course of representation of adult clients, Mr. Aaronson has been responsible, either individually or with other attorneys, for having the Martin County Adult Entertainment Ordinance; Dade County Adult Zoning Ordinance; the City of Lauderhill Adult Ordinances; the City of West Palm Beach Adult Zoning Code and others to be declared unconstitutional in violation of First Amendment rights and freedoms. In the case of Daytona Grand v. City of Daytona Beach, Daniel Aaronson may have been the first attorney in the nation to win at trial in Federal Court under the Alameda Books three prong test. The case involved at the trial level of having Daytona Beach’s Adult Entertainment Nudity and Adult Entertainment Alcohol and Nudity Ordinances declared unconstitutional.
Although the law firm of Benjamin & Aaronson is based in South Florida, due to their successes the firm has gotten a national reputation both in the criminal defense arena and in the First Amendment adult entertainment arena. In fact, Mr. Aaronson personally has represented defendants charged with criminal cases in states as far away as Texas and Alabama. As to the First Amendment arena, Mr. Aaronson’s practice takes him to all parts of the country, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia and Nevada..
Mr. Aaronson’s expertise has not only been recognized in the courtroom, but in other forums. He has on several occasions lectured before members of the Florida Bar on issues ranging from jury selection and opening statements to the limitations on government in suppressing speech. Mr. Aaronson’s lectures provided those in attendance with continuing legal education credits necessary to keep up their Bar requirements.
Mr. Aaronson also has been consistently asked to speak at various trade show seminars. He has given presentations at The Gentlemen’s Club Exposition and at the Nightclub and Bar Convention both held in Las Vegas. Again, at these conventions he has spoken about First Amendment freedoms and the curtailing of government interference into those freedoms.
In addition to being a lecturer and speaker, Mr. Aaronson has, along with James Benjamin, his partner, authored countless articles involving First Amendment freedoms and adult entertainment; political analysis; and social commentary. Benjamin & Aaronson for over the last decade has provided legal commentary on a monthly basis to Xcitment Magazine out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and distributed nationwide. In addition, they have also written numerous articles for various swingers and lifestyle magazines, generally involving peoples’ rights and freedoms. Because of his work in the area of lewdness, adult freedoms and adult entertainment freedoms along with First Amendment rights, he has also spoken numerous times at “Visions” inOrlando and “Lifestyles” at their conventions in San Diego and Las Vegas. Mr. Aaronson received a Lifetime Achievement Award from “Visions” in 1996 and in 2001 an Award of Appreciation from “Lifestyles” for his work in adult freedoms.
On the criminal side, Mr. Aaronson’s victories are too numerous to catelog and chronical. Along with his partner, James Benjamin, he has represented several high profile clients. When Fort Lauderdale City Commissioner Cary Cass Keno was charged with extortion in an alleged attempt to force a candidate out of the race, he called on the law firm of Benjamin & Aaronson. Mr. Keno’s trust in Daniel Aaronson and James Benjamin was not misplaced as after a several day trial, Commissioner Keno was found not guilty of all charges. When candidate for Davie City Councilman, Wayne Arnold ran for office it was alleged that he did not live in the district where he was running from, he called on Daniel Aaronson to represent him. Again, in that matter Mr. Aaronson was successful and the court ruled that Mr. Arnold could in fact run for office. When the City of Davie Mayor Harry Venis was investigated by law enforcement, he also turned to the law firm of Benjamin & Aaronson, who successfully defended Mr. Venis proving that no charges deserved to be filed.
Benjamin & Aaronson have always believed that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that everyone has the right to have a quality attorney. To this end, Benjamin & Aaronson has found themselves at times representing clients that in all candor they did not agree with and in fact did not like. When a Nazi rally was held in Hollywood, Florida and the police arrested the marchers, Benjamin & Aaronson was called upon to protect their rights. Although totally disagreeing and disliking the Nazi marchers, Benjamin & Aaronson saw it more as “if we do not protect these peoples’ rights and freedoms then our rights and freedoms will never be protected”.
When convicted mass murderer Danny Rolling was sued by the State of Florida to prevent him from getting any proceeds that he received from telling his story, from his artwork or music, he called upon Daniel Aaronson to protect his First Amendment rights. Although not a fan of a convicted mass murderer, Mr. Aaronson saw the assignment as not of one as protecting or aiding a mass murderer but rather as an assignment to aid and protect the First Amendment. Mr. Aaronson was successful in front of the First District Court of Appeal of Florida in winning Mr. Rolling’s right to disseminate his material, songs and artwork. To Mr. Aaronson’s credit, he never made a penny representing Mr. Rolling as he did not represent Mr. Rolling for the money or because he liked Mr. Rolling, but rather because the legal principle needed to be established.
In essence, Mr. Aaronosn is available to fight for your rights whether it is your criminal rights and freedoms or your First Amendment and adult entertainment rights and freedoms. He is willing and able to take on any fight and no government agency puts a fear in him. Whether it is a white collar crime, a crime of violence or even a victimless crime, Mr. Aaronson is there to fight for you. Whether it is a zoning dispute, licensing fight or even an obscenity prosecution, Mr. Aaronson is there for you to defend and protect your freedoms.
- Legal Columnist of Adult Publications
St. V. Kessler, 626 So.2d 251 (Fla 4th DCA 1993)
Bordo v. Board of County Commissioner Broward, 647 So. 2d 873 (Fla 4th DCA 1994)
Bordo v. Broward, 627 So. 2d 561 (Fla 4th DCA 1993)
International Eateries v. Broward County, 838 F. Supp 580 (So. D. Fla. 1993)
David Vincent v. Broward County, 200 F. 3d 1325 (11th Circuit Ct. App. 2000)
Morales v. Fla, 669 So.2d 348 (Fla 3rd DCA 1996)
Danny Rolling v. Fla, 655 So.2d 230 (Fla 5th DCA 1995)
Danny Rolling v. Fla, 630 So.2d 635 (Fla 1st DCA 1994)
St. v. Comforti, 688 So.2d 350 (Fla 4th DCA 1997)
St. V. Ackerman, 785 So.2d 1229 (Fla 4th DCA 2001)
Fricke v. Fla, 561 So.2d 597 (Fla, 3rd DCA 1990)
St. v. Munguix, 625 So.2d 1218 (Fla 4th DCA 1993)
Daytona Grand et al v City of Daytona Beach, 410 F.Supp.2d 1173 (M.D. Fla. 2006)
Professional Associations and Memberships:
The Florida Bar
Broward County Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
Florida Association of Criminal Defense LawyersMember
First Amendment Lawyers Association
Public Defender, 1981 – 1984