His legacy as a giant among the Miami legal community will last decades beyond the dates on his opinions. He could be brutal in oral argument, scoffing at arguments he disagreed with, asking questions that made attorneys tremble at the podium, and occasionally turning his back when he had enough of the tom-foolery. Love him or hate him (and many attorneys over the course of a career felt both feelings, often intensely) Alan Schwartz leaves a legacy as one of the great appellate judges of our time.
Here is the 3rd DCA's announcement of Judge Schwartz's retirement:
Judge Schwartz has served ably and with great distinction on this Court for more than thirty-five years, twenty-three of them as the Chief Judge of this Court. During his tenure on the court, he has authored more than 2000 opinions.
After his retirement as an active judge in 2004, Judge Schwartz continued to serve as a senior judge, both at the Third District Court of Appeal and on the Circuit Court of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in Miami-Dade County. He has served as a visiting judge in every District Court of Appeal in Florida. Judge Schwartz’ devotion to this Court, to the rule of law, and to the highest principles of the judicial branch, cannot be questioned.
The Judges at the Third District Court of Appeal will dearly miss the daily guidance, advice and humor of our friend and colleague. He has taught us much and his lasting legacy on this Court will never be forgotten.
Personally, after a very rough start before Judge Schwartz decades ago, we ended up with a winning record in the cases we had before him. But beyond that, we ended up, we think, with a measure of respect, which we would sometimes see in the glint of his eyes, as he recognized us either at the 3rd DCA or when he would handle a calendar at the REGJB. And to think that at one moment our advocacy on a point of law had earned the respect of Judge Schwartz, was as big an honor that we as a litigator could receive from the bench.
Godspeed Judge Schwartz.
JUDGE THOMAS (continued)
Senator Rubio stomped on Judge Will Thomas's reputation recently. Herald columnist Fred Grimm stomped on Senator Rubio right back, picking up the mantle and defending Judge Will Thomas. Grimm's column is here.
The NY Times reports on the contretemps here.
Here's a thought that keeps occurring to us. When Judges Thornton and Bloom had their applications to the District Court forwarded to the White House, no one said that "white, straight, jewish judges" made the cut from the JNC. (FYI- We have no idea of Judge Thornton's religion. He could be a Druid for all we know, and that's the point.) They were just two judges. Shouldn't Will Thomas get the same respect? Vote him up or down because he works lawyers hard, is opinionated, has courage, and is sometimes a bit of a loud mouth. But his race and his private sexual choices really don't matter at all. Or aren't we as evolved in 2013 that we thought we were?
See You In Court.