Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Many of you will remember Syd Smith as a lawyer with the Public Defenders office. He then spent some time in private practice before returning to his home in London, England, to battle leukemia. We received word that Syd lost his courageous battle (three rounds of chemo knocked out the cancer but terminally damaged his kidneys and other organs) and has passed away earlier today. 

A reader has had contact with Syd's brother Pete, who has stated that he has plans for a memorial service in Miami in the fall. 

In the meantime we can remember Syd with comments on the blog. 

It hurts when we lose a really good guy who was not only a colleague but a dear friend to many in Miami. 


Anonymous said...

A great and dedicated lawyer. If I remember correctly he had a run at the PDs where he won like a dozen cases in a row in a few months.

Secret Judge said...

Syd had a stint in my felony division. Always professional, always prepared, with a quiet and understated dignity. Really a shame.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know him personally but worked with him a couple times early on in my career with the PDs when he was handling PCAC cases. He seemed like a great guy and very knowledgeable. He was one of the attorneys I always would listen to when he walked into court during my early days.

Anonymous said...

thats terrible news

Anonymous said...

Very sad news indeed. Thanks for keeping us on this side of the pond advised of his condition.

Anonymous said...

Sydney P Smith
256 Chremma House
14 London Road
Guildford, Surrey,

Admitted: 03/27/1992

The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law

Graduation Year: 1991

Occupation: Retired

Anonymous said...

I hear a veteran prosecutor pled a cop killer out to nothing today. What's the story?

Word of the day said...

Word of the day: "insultful" as used by Judge Sigler against Miami Beach city attorneys for violating her discovery orders in the Raymon Herissse case.

Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Victoria Sigler stopped short of sanctioning the city’s attorneys, but raised her voice and thoroughly scolded them for using excuses to explain away their missteps.

Your behavior, she said, is “darn right insultful to the court,’’ she said, to the amusement of a packed courtroom.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/06/18/3458269/miami-beach-must-pay-attorneys.html

Anonymous said...

Not surprised by the mess before Sigler. The MB city attorney involved is Alex Boksner, an ex-ASA who couldn't locate the truth if he fell over it.

heat fan said...

Well Rump it all comes down to Thursday night. The NBA must be thrilled. They should send Lebron James and Ray Allen on an all expense paid trip to Tahiti when this thing is over. Do you have any idea how much money those two shots are worth to the network, to the sponsors, to the Heat for the extra 20,000 ticket sales, and the merchandise, and the vendors, and the employees that work behind the food courts, the parking lots, etc. etc. etc.

Anyone that complains about the Heat should move to Toronto. We have been in the Finals for three straight years. That will end at some point and we will look back at all of this and we should be thankful for having such an entertaining team. 28 teams are watching from home right now.

As for Game Seven, I have no clue which Heat team will show up. The one that struggled through three quarters and was down by 13 with four minutes left in the third. Or the one that played incredible for the final 17 minutes of Game Six.

All I know is I will be there rooting for my team, right up until the final horn sounds.

Judge Colodny must have had a heart attack last night. I would not want to be up for sentencing before her on Friday if the Heat don't manage to pull this one out.

Go Heat

Heat Fan

Rumpole said...

I will respond in another post. The comments, out of respect, should really be about Syd.

Jennifer Kelley said...

Sydney was a unique individual with such passion and dignity. And he was absolutely hilarious. Such a loss. I miss him.

Anonymous said...

LOL. Don't believe everything you read in the paper. They routinely screw things up. Frankly, I think Sigler's grandstanding was beneath her.

Boksner is a good guy. Spend some time in civil court and you'll see that these types of discovery "battles" happen every day. The whole thing seems like much ado about nothing.


PS---do you really find it hard to believe that this case is anything other than messy? LOL

Stuart Reed said...

Sydney had a rare talent for making friends so easily, and I met so many wonderful people through him.

Alas, I don't have his social skills, so it will likely take a long time and a lot of luck before I fill the emptiness that I now feel from the loss of my dear friend.

He was a great story teller, outdoor adventurer, epicure, gardener, comedic entertainer, host, vagabond and friend to so many smart and thoughtful people. I won't miss his singing (maybe just a little), but I will miss everything else.

Anonymous said...

Boksner is a loud mouth arragant idiot who has no idea about the rules of civil procedure. The Judge should have handed him his head for violating a clear court order.

Anonymous said...

May Sidney rest in peace. He will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear of Sydney passing. May god comfort those who mourn him.

Anonymous said...

Im not sure how many civil practicioners read this blog, but clearly criminal defense lawyers can appreciate that advocating for your client should not warrant being called an "arrogant idiot". Think what you want about the City of Miami Beach Police and their shooting/investigation, but the City's lawyers now are merely zealously fighting for their client in light of the mess they inherited. Judge Sigler is righfully upset for her perception her order was violated, but us lawyers need to understand that in the civil world, even the most minute details matter and will be scrutinized. The CMB lawyers did nothing wrong, they just have a very important client with dangerous charges against them. Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Syd was a great guy and an excellent trial lawyer. What a shame. This has been a bad year for people passing in my life. It makes you think about the important stuff in life.

sysco kid

Anonymous said...

I have practiced before Ana Gardiner and found her to be a highly proficient, likeable and capable Judge. I'm not familiar with Howard Scheinberg. I'm pretty much a bleeding heart liberal defense attorney.

The concept of a Judge fucking the prosecutor and incessantly communicating with him while presiding/prosecuting a death penalty case is sickening. It's the epitome of corrupting a procedure of which Broward County is always at the forefront of. The defendant was reduced to a worthless commodity and the defense attorney was on an unconscionable, unequal playing field quite distinguishable from the usual complaints.

Many of us have to control our libidos yet those two allowed their passions to interfere with their profession and ethics.

Scheinberg deserves disbarment and Gardiner even more.

Anonymous said...

I am just A humble client if Sid,this man face me my life back and took my case to overturn a 1996 conviction he took my case when not even the top lawyers in Miami refused, Sid may the good lord bless and keep you my friend and you would forever be one of my heros, on the outside you were a tough no nonsense guy but on the inside you were a kind and caring human bring and a man fill of integrity,

Anonymous said...

Rest in peace, sweet prince. You are the best attorney I know. Peter M. Vujin, esq.

Anonymous said...

Syd was a great lawyer and a kind human being. I owe my freedom to his skills as a litigator and will always remember and thank him for it. A great loss to the legal community and defendants.