He was an automatic finalist for the Papa Hemmingway "look-a-like" contest. He presided over what used to be known as the security courtroom on the third floor, where bullet proof glass separated the participants in the courtroom from the spectators. He was considered one of the brightest and hardworking jurists to ever wear a robe in the REGJB. His case load was always the lowest, due in part to his habit of arriving at the courthouse at the break of dawn to review his calendar and read the pending motions. On most mornings he was in trial before 10:00 A.M., having finished his calendar before many of his colleagues had arrived for work.
We are speaking of course of Judge Philip Knight, and we were surprised and gratified to recently receive and read the following comment from a person who had served as juror before Judge Knight and must have recently come across our prior post here on November 9, 2011, which sadly and belatedly announced the death of the judge who passed away on May 5, 2011. You can read his obit here . It's worth a moment to read and learn about this man who was a war hero, and who worked as a letter carrier during law school to support his family.
I am sad to know that Judge Knight passed a way. Back in Jan. 1987, I served as a juror in his room I had just gotten my citizenship, I was so proud of it, I was also proud to serve as a juror and do what I was supposed to do as a citizen of our loved country. I am Gay and I was very impressed with his striking presence, and handsome look. He was very nice to us all and it seems that he liked me, (as a person), I saw him laughing a couple of time at my comments while we were been questioned and picked by the attorney's. At one point I lift up my hand, and asked him if they can adjust the air condition, we were freezing, he said to me very firmly, Mr. Bahna, this is my court room and I like it like that, I suggest to you to come dress accordingly tomorrow, I said, this is Miami, if you will get us valet parking perhaps we could do that. He laugh and ask the attorney to proceed. I still have (framed) a little diploma he gave us, as he thank us for serving as a juror I never forgotten.
A very nice remembrance. And a reminder to judges and lawyers that jurors see and hear and remember many things and that sometimes their brief visit to the world we work in has a lasting impact.
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See you in court.