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Sunday, June 30, 2013

JUDGE ROBERT DEEHL HAS PASSED AWAY

Sad news reaches us this Sunday evening: Judge Robert Deehl has passed away at age 87. 

The Herald Obit is here

Judge Deehl was a judge for over fifty years in this circuit. He brought to the bench a wonderful blend of common sense and wit. 

One insignificant episode stands out in our minds. We were sitting in county court decades ago when a case was called and a older gentleman approached the bench. He was charged with soliciting an undercover officer posing as a prostitute. 

"Weren't you here last week on the same charge?" Judge Deehl asked. 
"Yes sir, I was" the defendant replied. 
"Well, what do you have to say for yourself?" Judge Deeehl asked. 
"I guess Judge, I just fall in love too quick for my own good" the defendant replied. 

When the laughter in the courtroom, led by Judge Deehl died down, he asked the prosecution to give the defendant a break, which they did. 

The Captain reported that the DBR interviewed Judge Deehl recently:
Deehl was recently interviewed by the DBR and had some things to say about being a judge. He did not like the fact that there are many judges now with no previous trial experience. "You need more trial lawyers, ...., to sit as judges, because they know what's going on".

He also warned judges against taking themselves too seriously. "Everyone tells you how wonderful you are when you're a judge. Some of them believe it. They think they can walk on water".



Judge Deehl was a nice man who served this community with dedication and distinction. He came from a time and a place when the practice of law in this town was a bit slower and more genteel. He has been and will be missed. 

See You In Court. 

14 comments:

CAPTAIN said...


I posted this on the previous comments section.


THE CAPTAIN REPORTS;

JUDGE ROBERT DEEHL ... DEAD AT 87

Judge Robert Deehl died on Friday, two days short of his 88th birthday. Judge Deehl was part of our Greatest Generation.

Deehl graduated from Miami High School in 1942 and immediately joined the Marine Corp and fought in WWII. He returned to get his education on the GI bill and went to law school at UF.

His began practicing law in South Florida in 1949. In 1964 Deehl got appointed to the then Metropolitan Court bench. It later became known as County Court. Deehl would go on to serve 49 years on the bench, (full-time and senior status) finally retiring this past March after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Deehl was perfect for the County Court bench. He never once put in for Circuit Court; he liked what he did on the "people's court" bench. He retired from active service on the bench in 1992 but served as a senior judge for the next 21 years.

Deehl was recently interviewed by the DBR and had some things to say about being a judge. He did not like the fact that there are many judges now with no previous trial experience. "You need more trial lawyers, ...., to sit as judges, because they know what's going on".

He also warned judges against taking themselves too seriously. "Everyone tells you how wonderful you are when you're a judge. Some of them believe it. They think they can walk on water".

God's speed Robert Deehl. Thank you for your 49 years of service on the bench and to your dedication to the residents of our community.

CAPTAIN OUT .....
captain4justice@gmail.com

Scott Saul said...

I remember the first time I tried a case in front of him, I instinctively thought, "who is this little old man and how will he be able to preside over a trial?". Boy was I ignorant for having such a presumption, Robert Deehl was such an excellent trial judge because of his wise judicial capabilties, his wonderful pragmatism and charming disposition. There is so much to learn from a person with much more experience on this planet than yourself. I tried three cases before him and it always a pleasure. He brought so much to the bench rather than just being a bureacrat worrying about popularity and election issues. He'll me missed.

DS said...

A Great Judge and a Even etter Man. He had Common Sense and was a great Gentleman on and off he Bench.
Don't worry Counsel . Once came in late from Bond Hearings and he had already started the in custody cases and said, Don't worry Counsel I didn't hurt your client. CTS.
DS

Anonymous said...

DS: I know this issue has been covered before in the comments section. So take this as friendly advice, not an attack:

Very rarely do you have to capitalize any letter other than the first letter of a sentence. Unless it's someone's name, just err on the side of not capitalizing any other letters, ok? It will make an immediate difference in your writing.

the trialmaster said...

Very sorry to hear of Judge Deehl's passing. He was a true down to earth judge and never got "black robe fever" unlike alot of others. In the 70s in the old Metro court some of the other judges were Koo,Bandel,Davis, Piquette,and Tanksley and others. Judge Deehl was always far and accessible out of court. Of course he was one of our great Gator judges. Our current Judges could gain by following his standards.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about Deehl.

Does anyone know when the "honorable" rebull and brennan are up for election. the dade judiciary is starting to look like broward. fortunately my parents have few bucks and will get the ball rolling. whoever is up first i'll be running against them.

Anonymous said...

As a young County Court lawyer, I had the opportunity to try a few cases in front of Judge Deehl. I benefitted from the fact that he took me and the other lawyers aside and gave us some gentle pointers after trial. He could have rushed off to the golf course or wherever but instead took time out from his schedule to give us a few words of wisdom.

I remember him fondly and send my condolences to his family and friends. He served his country and community with honor and distinction.

Anonymous said...

Deepest sympathy to Judge Deehl's family and friends. It was a privilege to try cases before him. He was fair to both sides, courteous to all, extremely smart, and had a wonderful, droll sense of humor. All judges would do well to follow his example. Rest in great peace, dear judge.

Anonymous said...

I never knew that Judge Deehl was in the USMC during WWII, but it does help explain his calm courtroom demeanor. Nothing like fighting the Japenese on some Pacific Island hellhole to give you some perspective on what is really important in life.

Anonymous said...

I had a jury trial in front of him maybe 5/6 years ago... Sorry to hear of his passing.. The world needs more like him..

Anonymous said...


This is what the Blog is all about. Thank you to Rumpole and the Captain for reminding us about the important things in life.

Judge Deehl was a people's court judge and was what County Court judging was all about. Many of today's judges could learn a thing or two by watching Judge Deehl at work.

Anonymous said...

Judge Deehl was a good guy. He never made the lawyers look bad in front of a client.... contrast that to Victoria Brennan and Jackie Scola.

We will miss him.

Anonymous said...

Gideon's Army. Watch it. It's an excellent documentary.

- Me

Anonymous said...

Sad news, but inevitable. A man from the Greatest Generation. One of the "5th floor judges"...Deehl, Oppenborn, Klein, Klein, Ader, Baxter, Mapp, Sepe. Each unique in their own way and obviously never forgotten.

RIP, Judge.