Update: The Herald's obit on Judge Klein.
Judge Gerald Klein, known as "Fast Gerry" passed away Sunday at the age of 90.
Judge Klein was a gem. A man from another time and place when Miami was a small southern town. Judge Klein served as a county court Judge from 1959-1990 and as a senior Judge from 1991-2007.
There's one great story (among hundreds) that we love about Judge Klein. The Judge was known as Fast Gerry because at a time when the traffic and crimes sections of county court were separate, Judge Klein would clear his courtroom calendar in the crimes division and hit the golf links on Miami Beach by 11 am or so most days of the week.
One day Judge Klein and his partners were robbed in the clubhouse and the news was duly reported probably by the old Miami News at the time. A day or so later a trouble making Herald reporter called Judge Klein to find out what a county court Judge was doing on the golf course at 11 am during a work day when court was in session. "Every now and then court finishes early" Judge Klein was quoted (or words to that effect) "and we can get out on the golf course."
Every now and then was usually about four days a week. But this is not to say that Judge Klein wasn't a good judge. He was a great county court judge during a time when almost nobody went to jail and the county court was a place where most people represented themselves in small disputes. Judge Klein never hurt a soul as a Judge and most people left his coatroom believing they had been given a fair (albeit quick) hearing.
This is sad news. But at age 90, Judge Klein lived a full life. He loved his job and he was loved by those at his job. What more could you ask for?
Rest in peace old friend.