Judges Larry and Caryn Schwartz wrote:
We are stunned, saddened and in disbelief about this horrific news this morning. We will miss our friend, his warmth, his smile and his incredible sense of humor. this community has lost another special person.
Caryn and Larry Schwartz
Judges David Young and Scott Bernstein wrote:
We have lost not only a colleague but a friend. Henry embodied the yiddish term 'mench'. Our thoughts, prayers and love go out to his family.
Rest in Peace dear Henry
Judge Maxine Cohen Lando wrote:
I will miss our dear colleague, Judge Henry Leyte-Vidal. His untimely passing affects us all. He was a gentleman, sweet natured, a wonderful soul who always had a good word for whomever he encountered. He was comfortable in any courtroom, well versed and well prepared. He was one of the Circuit's finest judges, and his loss is a shock. My prayers are with his family.
Jason Grey wrote:
When I first left the PD's office I rented space from Henry on coral way.He was then, and always a true Gentleman. A Great judge. A friend. One tough guy.Took on cancer without blinking, and was back to work in no time.
Much Too soon to lose you. vaya con Dios
Brian Tannebaum wrote:
I just wanted to add something about a recent 2 week trial in October I had in front of Judge Leyte-Vidal.He was a true vision of the perfect trial judge - he called balls and strikes, and when dicussions were had about "finishing early" one day, or "starting late" another day, his attitude to both sides was "whatever you guys want."At sentencing, he said something I will never forget. As in every case, we asked for much less prison time than the state. As both sides were debating the term of years the defendant was going to get, Judge Leyte-Vidal said: "Look, I think a year in jail is a long time."
It was nice to hear that in a felony courtroom.
The Captain wrote:
Judge Leyte-Vidal received his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami in 1977 and earned his JD at UM in 1980. He was in private practice until August of 1999 when Gov. Bush appointed him to the County Court. Interestingly, he was Gov. Bush's first Dade County Court appointment as Governor. Gov. Bush had taken office in January of 1999, and in April of 1999, he made his first Circuit Court appointment, (the People's Court Judge Marilyn Milian) which opened up a County Court seat ... which Judge Leyte-Vidal was appointed to. In November of 2001, Gov. Bush elevated Judge Leyte-Vidal to a new Circuit Court Seat. He had been in the Criminal Division up until January when he was reassigned to the General Jurisdiction Division of the Circuit Court.On a personal note, he was a wonderful man, kind, personable and warm and he was an excellent judge, fair as the day is long. He will truly be missed.
A (former?) PD wrote:
Leyte-Vidal was a great guy and a great trial judge. Fair to both sides. Level headed. Listened to argument with no negative facialgestures.One quick story, back in the oldPD days, as was custom, we pickedfive or six of our best cases andfiled demands in Leyte-Vidal'sdivision. The judge who did nothave a problem going to trial anyway, proceeded to deny our subsequent motions for continuances on our other non-demand cases.We ended up trying four cases in two weeks on the non-demands cases,and even though we won all four ofthem, that stopped our routinepractice of filing demands on him.In the game of criminal law, he was a truly great player, and hewasn't even a criminal defense attorney.During those two weeks of trial, weall had a blast off the record andI truly came to like this honorableman.
Rest in Peace.
Pepe Herrera wrote:
My sincerest condolences to the family of Judge Henry Leyte-Vidal, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Henry’s passing is a great loss for our entire community, not only the legal community. His humanity was ever present, and spoke volumes of his character. All who appeared before him got true justice - a fair playing field, underscored by his patience and tempered by his benevolence. This community has indeed lost a good man, a true Jurist, and I have lost a friend. - Pepe Herrera
Susan Nesmith , scribe from the Herald is seeking info on Judge Leyte-Vidal:
I'm sorry to use the blog this way, but I'm working on Judge Leyte-Vidal's obituary and I'd like to make it as representative of his life as possible. Does anyone have a way to contact Peter Heller? Can you ask him to call me at 305-772-4380. His service has declined to relay a message. Also, I'm trying to reach Judge Izzy Reyes and any other judges or attorneys who were close to Judge Leyte-Vidal. Again, I'm sorry go about it this way, but I'm still pretty new on the beat and I don't want my still-slim rolodex to mean his obituary is less than his family would want. thanks
Susannah Nesmith-Miami Herald
Bobby Reiff wrote:
Henry was a tremendous guy and a wonderful judge. He was always pleasant and kind and he had that rare quality as a judge to be able to leave all of the participants in the proceedings before him smiling. He'll be missed (and he leaves some big shoes to fill).