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Thursday, July 24, 2008

ABE LAESER REMEMBERS KURT LYLE MARMAR

A few weeks ago there was a passing comment on the blog about a lawyer named Kurt Marmar. Mr. Marmar passed away in the 1980's. Mr. Abe Laeser responded with a comment about a Moot Court  award at the U of M Law School given in Mr. Marmar's name. We asked him to write a few words about Kurt Marmar and he responded with this:

Kurt Lyle Marmar

Rare is the person who does not fade from memory after their death. Kurt Marmar, who died in his mid-30’s in 1985, remains as a beacon – an example – of qualities seldom seen; therefore easily remembered.

Kurt graduated from law school in 1974, and unfortunately died a mere decade later. He loved the law in the way that the most histrionic law professor might want every pupil to love it. Short, stocky, muscular – not someone you might see as an intellectual; but it was the ability to do battle for a cause drove him. Kurt was the consummate champion – a warrior among lawyers.

It was not the ‘side’ that he was on that mattered. He saw the law in a very idealized way – a battle between right and wrong – which could be fought by any lawyer, in any position. Kurt carried the dual edged sword of all great lawyers into battle. He had the legal skills to study the law until he understood even its most hidden nuances; then he applied his natural common sense to deciding which course to follow in his attacks. Surprisingly, he was collegial in the extreme, and had very close friends (and those who learned under his tutelage) on both sides of the aisle.

What proof do I have of his unique traits? He had been in private appellate practice for only a few years before his death. Before that, he achieved a milestone that would be unthinkable today. Within only a few years of his graduation, he was the Chief of the Appellate Unit for the Office of the Public Defender. He then, rather amazingly, left that office and became the Chief of the Legal Unit for the Office of the State Attorney. He kept personal work hours that astounded others, and even rented an apartment at the Cedars of Lebanon complex (before they were medical offices) so that he could walk to work at any time. Professional differences in both offices caused him to ultimately leave government service. In private practice, many of his finest arguments were at the highest Federal levels. .

Personally, he was a friend with very few peers. He hated social events, yet showed up with a Chateau Lafitte Rothschild 1961 for the host’s ‘collection’. He loved food and drink, and to travel. We once took a week-long food holiday with other friends, and literally went from city to city in Florida to taste their best dining fare.

Unfortunately, he had some phobias. We once mistakenly convinced him to try the log flume ride at Busch Gardens. It had an initial short drop, which bothered him. My next recollection, as we chugged up to the booth toward the longer drop, was of Kurt opening his wallet and offering all of the cash – and he always carried a huge amount of money - if the attendant would stop the ride. He survived, never said a word as he went back to his room – and was so upset by the events that he flew back to Miami alone that night.

After his untimely death, his many friends created the Kurt Marmar Moot Court Award at the University of Miami School of Law. It is a most unusual annual award, as the school and the faculty have no say in the selection of the winner; which makes it especially coveted. The fellow members of the Moot Court competition decide upon the choice. The criterion is simple; it is given to the person who: In the opinion of his or her peers has demonstrated a spirit of cooperation and fairness. That is a standard that Kurt would have always wanted for those who would compete for an award in his name.

I miss my friend, and his kind
heart, and his fiery intellect. I will always remember Kurt.

20 comments:

Paul Rashkind said...

A Learned Hand mind in a short Mike Holmgren body. Kurt loved the best of life: fine food and wine, Montlanc fountain pens (before they became fashionable), classical music (he took music breaks while sitting at his office desk), and, most of all, good friends. I too miss Kurt and think of him often.

Anonymous said...

5:42. Does it really matter how he died? He's remembered foremost for how he lived, enriching the lives and memories of others.

One more thing: Bennett was the elected PD when Kurt was his chief of appeals (1977 until he left for private practice).

Rumpole said...

I removed a comment because this is not an expose. We are celebrating and remembering a life, not a death.

The Devil's Advocate said...

First, Kurt was a fine person and a great lawyer. He is fondly remembered.

Second, the many of the comments yesterday on the Cohen-Cuellar judicial race were extremely distressing. The degree of hostility, animosity, and hatred displayed on this blog -which I fear is a microcosm of our community at large - has gotten out of hand and should be a matter of great concern to us all. Should we vote (and encourage our friends, family members, and neighbors) to vote, for our ethnic brethren/sisters, or should we educate ourselves and vote in each race for an individual because s/he is MORE qualified than the opponent for the judicial seat at issue? Reason should prevail. This vile hatred should be rethought and then set aside for the good of our profession, our community, our justice system, and our lawyers who appear before these judges.

divide it equally said...

Rumpole, what matters in life is not how you lived, or what kind of person you are. All that truly matters is your racial background.

Anonymous said...

5:42 apparently was deleted, but I can only imagine what he said. Why is it that some jerk always feels the need to trash anyone who is praised or even mentioned on this site? For God's sake...........I never met Kurt, but he's been dead 20 years! Do we really need to drag his name through the mud? Some of ya'll really need to get over your anger issues.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

I once saw a man plead guilty because Abe was in the same State.

Anonymous said...

Abe:

Well done! I did not know Kurt but your words made me wish I had.

Anonymous said...

whaT JUDGES ARE leaving a the end of the year?

Anonymous said...

Best case in south Florida this year......
Broward County. 15 year old boy kills 14 year old girl after taking his virginity from him and teasing him he was a virgin because he would not pay her $50 for sex.

Definitely not an enforceable contract....and i did not know there were 14 year old prostitutes who collected their own fees.

Anonymous said...

Gables city manager charged in meals case, will plead to a civil infraction?!

Without any inside information in the case its inappropriate to criticize the State's Public Corruption Unit, but this proposed result strikes me as lacking bite. Does anyone know if this story is accurate? If the Herald did manage to accidentally get a story right, why is this case being disposed of without the manager facing at least a felony conviction? These corrupt officials build their careers milking the public coffers, and its not like we are ever going to place them in repeat offender court. Rather we will usually only get one bite at the rotten apples. If the facts warrant it would be encouraging to have one of these characters, i.e. Miami City Attorney Fernandez (who plead out to misdemeanor with fines and conditions of sentence), get a felony conviction and do some time for all their years of hard work of undermining the public's confidence in its servants. The corrupt public official is a threat to the very concept of self government and should be handled not as a first time offender but instead as a lifelong criminal whose greed and graft was finally exposed.

See the Herald's link for further information:http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami-dade/story/618545.html

Anonymous said...

i am pleased to blog that the case against bill barzee has been dismissed. thanks to david marcus and his crack investigator,,,

benson, without doubt, you are the biggest jerk off that i have ever been met. you remind me an erratic, angry homeless person.

Anonymous said...

Way to go White, Fleischer, Shearn, Lurvey-defeat the evil one!

Anonymous said...

Dear, Mr. Captain and Mr. Rumpole, I have a question.

Q. In 2006, how many judicial candidates endorsed by the Miami Herald actually won?

If you have the answer please post. Just curious if the Herald support is crucial to a victory.

Anonymous said...

Herald endorses Stacy Glick.

fake Hector L said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Herald endorsement only gives about 2-3% advantage to the endorsed one. Overall, not so significant....unless they trash you in their article like they did Lesperance and Corona.

Anonymous said...

DID FLEISCHER ACTUALLY WIN A CASE? iF HE DID IT WAS RIDING THE COATTAILS OF OTHERS...BET ON IT.

Anonymous said...

6-6 vote on penalty phase of Bruce's capital trial. Hardly a 'win' for a client who will spend every last minute of his life in prison.

Anonymous said...

Why the Fleischer bashing? Bruce is an excellent attorney.