B.S., University of Florida
J.D., University of Miami School of Law
Professor Abbe Rifkin is a Florida transplant, having moved to Miami Beach from Laurelton, New York when she was in high school. Ms. Rifkin received a Bachelor of Science in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Florida in 1978 and her Juris Doctor from the University of Miami School of Law in 1981. She has served as an Assistant State Attorney for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Miami, since her graduation from law school. She is Chief, Sexually Violent Predator Unit (aka Jimmy Ryce Sexual Predator Act) and serves as Senior Trial Counsel in the most complex and high profile cases, almost always homicides (mainly those with multiple victims, complex and novel legal issues, and those cases in which the State is seeking the death penalty). During her tenure with the Office of the State Attorney, Prof. Rifkin has served as Deputy Chief of the Felony Division, Assistant Chief of the Sexual Battery/Child Abuse Unit, and Assistant Chief of the Juvenile Division. She has prosecuted many high profile cases, most notably the road rage case of OJ Simpson, the sexual battery conviction of Jon Wyatt, one the South Miami Police Department’s Officer of the Year, the First Degree Murder conviction of Harrel Braddy (elimination murder of a 5-year-old child by throwing her in Alligator Alley), and the conviction of Jesus Rodriguez, the first entirely circumstantial murder case in Miami-Dade County where no body was ever recovered.
Professor Rifkin has received numerous honors and awards throughout her career.. She has served on the Juvenile Rules Committee as Subcommittee Chair and the past Chair of Florida Bar Grievance Committee 11H. She has been a guest speaker at numerous legal seminars, including the Symposium on Juvenile Sentencing Alternatives and the Judicial College.