We continue to be in a reflective mood.
When the Justice Building opened, no one wanted to move in.
The reasons: lawyers handling multiple cases downtown could move from court to court and floor to floor to handle their calendar. Most of them had their offices on Flagler and walked to court. Plus there weren't any restaurants within walking distance of the new courthouse and parking was a problem.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
He was 6'5, and startlingly bald, and he cast quite a shadow when he strode into a courtroom. He was a WWII war hero with one good eye. He lost the other eye in a bombing mission over Germany, for which he received a purple heart.
He investigated Watergate when no one else would, and obtained the first conviction. He rallied the local police chiefs in the 1960's to crack down on homosexuality after a national magazine labeled Miami as a city friendly to those with that sexual orientation. He prosecuted the owner of Whelan's Drug store in Miami Beach for selling pornography: Henry Miller's Tropic Of Cancer. He cut a wide swarth through the political and legal history of Miami from the 1950's until his death in 1992. He hired Janet Reno and then picked her as his successor as State Attorney. He was tough, smart, controversial.
We are of course talking about Richard E. Gerstein, the man for whom the building we all work in is named.
Here is a Miami Archives Blog post about Gerstein, courtesy of Bill Cooke at Random Pixels. which may well be South Florida's second most popular daily blog.
There are gaggles of newly minted lawyers headed our way in August. It's important to know who planted those acorns that became the oak trees, in whose shade we all rest beneath.
See you in court.