WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

RICHARD SHARPSTEIN HAS DIED.

UPDATE: A reader submitted a poem, not written for Richard, but very applicable: 



UPDATE: We're warning you now, this is a hard video to watch if you considered yourself a friend of Sharpy's. 

UPDATE: Richard's funeral will take place at Temple Beth Shalom in Miami Beach. The address is 4144 Chase Avenue.

His friends called him "Sharpie" and did any criminal defense attorney have a better nick name? 

He was the best amongst us. The brightest. He could hold you spell bound with an argument. He was at the top of his game and had been for many years. When he was in trial, word spread throughout the courthouse and lawyers, young and old, prosecutors and defense attorneys alike, would crowd into the courtroom to watch him. Voir dire, opening, cross and closing. You wanted to watch him, a master at his craft, perform. And perform he did. He once gave a closing in federal court wearing an old raincoat, doing a Columbo impersonation. 

One of the best things about Sharpie was that he always had time for a friend, and once you were introduced to him, you were a friend. We chatted with him last week at the REGJB, and as always, we came away from the talk feeling better about our profession and ourselves. 

Sharpie was one of a kind. His like won't be seen again along this way. 

He made our City better.
He made our profession better. 
He made me a better lawyer.
He was truly a giant in his field and a legend. 

His death is cruel and untimely and reminds each of us to cherish our life, cherish our days, respect our work, love our family, and treat all that we meet the way Sharpie did- with a smile, a pat on the back, a joke that brought a smile to your face, a few kind words or a tip on how to handle a tough case. 

We've lost two giants in the Miami Legal community this week. 
David O Markus's father- Stuart Markus, died on Sunday. DOM's blog has a link to a scholarship set up at UM law school in his name.  And as DOM just wrote on his blog,  Stuart Markus and Sharpie are in heaven, trading war stories, cracking each other up with jokes. 

Rest In Peace. 


74 comments:

Anonymous said...

I sit here at my computer with shock in my heart and tears in my eyes. "Sharpy" (emphasis with a South Boston lilt) was the best, a guy you just loved to share legal, and illegal, stories with. We are all much poorer without him here as an esteemed member of our legal community.

Love you, man.

BR

CAPTAIN JUSTICE said...


Truly shocking news. Always enjoyed my conversations with Richard. He was always good for a Great War story. He was always willing to provide guidance and support whenever I asked.

He will be truly missed as one of the giants of our criminal defense bar.

My sincerest condolences to his family.

Cap

Anonymous said...

My friend.

My buddy.

Always helpful to everyone.

Left us way too soon.

I will truly miss you, Richard. It was a pleasure knowing you.

MC

Anonymous said...

Met Sharpie when I was in high school. My mom was his travel agent for thirty years. Neat, neat guy and always looked up to him.

Secret Judge said...

This is hard to comprehend. We talked together in the food joint just a few weeks ago. 'Sharp' looked great, as always, and was his usual vital self. It just doesn't seem possible he could be gone. He was as classy a guy as I have ever known in the field. And always he displayed that wonderful sense of humor. He never let his success go to his head. His passing leaves a void that will never be filled. Truly one of the greats. May your soul rest easy 'Sharp'. I miss you already.

Anonymous said...

I have so much respect for the man however, I'm not worthy to comment about such a fine human being. Who am I?

Anonymous said...

I saw Richard give a closing representing a lawyer who was charged with theft when he went to Bloomingdales and tried to return a wedding gift at the bridal registry. His client was a male and had just gotten confused over the process. And as Richard painted this picture of a poor, hapless man, in the bridal area of Bloomies, he paused, looked at the jury with half a smile and said "He was truly a stranger in a strange land!"

NG of course.

Jonathan T. Colby said...

I am so sad. I loved Richard Sharpstein. He was what we call a "class act". What an honor it was for me as a young Judge to have Richard as the defense lawyer. I, along with the jury ... and the prosecutor, were mesmerized by his unique ability to be a "real trial lawyer". Richard was fearless. Richard was a Warrior. He cared so much for his clients and fought for them as if they were his brother or sister unfairly charged. I am a better person for knowing you Richard. My heart hurts, but I value our friendship over so many years. God bless you and I will say my prayers for your family and your other close colleagues and friends ....

Anonymous said...

I met Sharpy when I was a know nothing ASA. He was trying to bully me around and I immediately thought he was a pompous jerk. I couldn't stand him.

But after getting to know him a bit and sitting down in the hallway of the REG bldg, I found him to be a great guy. Had a co-defendant case with him a few years later and and he couldn't be more of a professional and a gentlemen.

Great lawyer and a great guy. He will be missed.

Calli said...

Over 20 years ago, as a certified legal intern when Bennett's office was located in the MJB I'd walk the halls and search out Richard in trial or hearings. He was larger than life. He owned the court room. He knew it, he relished it and he was never "off." He was always the best. His cross examinations were art. I wanted to be "that guy." He said the bar and he set the hook for so many lawyers to love trying cases. He hated taking pleas. He believed in trial. He told the best stories, had the best wit and sly smile, and always had time for others. I remember seeing him in trial maybe 10 years ago and can't recall the judge. Richard was crossing the government's criminal partner - its star witness. The criminal spoke only spanish and everytime Richard would approach to show him a document or photograph he would mumble under his breath "rat face" in spanish. I thought the criminal would leap out of the witness stand. The criminal was shaking, he was so mad. Finally telling the judge through the interprester "HE'S CALLING ME A RAT FACE!" "A what?" "A RAT FACE!" Pause. "I didn't hear that. Mr. Sharpstein, please don't call the witness a rat face, if you did." Giggles from the jury box.

I miss the sound of your voice and your comaraderie already. Rest in Peace.

Anonymous said...

Richard was a wonderful man and great lawyer. He will be missed.

Stephen Talpins

theodore g. mastos said...

I am in shock with everyone else about the death of Richard Sharpstein. Those of us who have been around since the 70's will recall that Richard was the only ASA who got more laughs than REG himself. I was on the committee that hired Richard. He had such wit and charm that he was an instant success.

Richard remained the same humble man throughout all of the years that I knew him. His God given talent coupled with his humility allowed him to soar with the eagles.

We always had time for a few old Gerstein war stories every time he came into the building. He was never too busy to stop and chat.

Richard, I will miss you. The old Gerstein gang has lost another champion.

Renier Diaz de la Portilla said...

I heard it here first and am stunned by the passing of my personal friend Richard. As one of the posters said, it is hard to believe such a vibrant person could be dead. I am very saddened by this news and I want to thank this blog for informing the legal community, regardless of how unpleasant it has been. Just yesterday his name came up in one of my conversations! I wish I could talk to him one more time. What a master he was. RIP Sharpy.

Renier Diaz de la Portilla said...

I heard it here first and was shocked because he was a personal friend. I spoke to him on a monthly basis and he was excited about retiring and enjoying his well-deserved break. Truly shocking, sad and unexpected. Thak you for letting us know Rumpole. RIP Sharpy.

Anonymous said...

Sharpie was a great guy and one hell of a lawyer. I had the pleasure of handling cases against him as a young prosecutor. He always treated us with respect.........even as he kicked our asses.

BTDT

Juan Gonzalez said...

This is a terrible loss for all of us. He was great lawyer and a better friend. Richard helped me out a number of times. I wonder if he knew how much his colleagues loved and appreciated him.



Jonathan Blecher said...

While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil. ~John Taylor

I will miss Richard, one of the most real people in this thing of ours. He's with more than a few great ones now. RIP.

Glenn Hodges said...

I met him in the late 70s when he was assigned an Asst. State Attorney. As was stated earlier, when you met him he became your friend forever. Throughout my years in Law Enforcement it was always a pleasure to see him.
It is a sad loss for our community.

Anonymous said...

Richard's FB page listed three movies as favorites...The Godfather, Easy Rider and The Graduate. Fitting that each was a rich portrayal of people, as we was himself.

Abe Laeser said...

It has been so many years since Sharpy would come up to my office to rescue him - once again - from the clutches of Judge Alan Schwartz. They fought daily - and usually to a draw - over who would command the courtroom. The contempt hearings were classic battles of wit.

I was the DC, and Sharpy was the 'C'. But he was always more than that - he was a life who brought life to all who met him. He tried to carry out the duty of his faith: to heal the world [Tikkun Olem}.

I will miss him terribly. I grieve for Janice and his entire family. Peace be with you, my comrade.

Rumpole said...

These are great comments- Judge Colby, Ted Mastos, Abe Laeser- wonderful memories all.

Anonymous said...

Sharpy was one of the best attorneys ever to set foot in the REGJB. That being said, his great accomplishments as a trial lawyer pale in comparison to the great person he was. Always had time for anyone, treated everyone with courtesy and respect, loved making people laugh. He never let his talent and success go to his head. RIP my friend.

Anonymous said...

I wish to express my condolences. This is very sad news.

I want to share a story about Mr. Sharpstein. I only saw Mr. Sharpstein once in the courtroom but the experience was a memorable one and has remained vivid in my mind these past 20 years. I was a certified legal intern with the State Attorney's office in Miami in the early 90's. Mr. Sharpstein had a client who was charged with DUI. What I remember most vividly was that Mr Sharpstein had a unique and powerful ability to connect with potential jurors during voir dire. Specifically, I remember that he had the incredible ability to memorize the names of each and every person in the jury box. We used to have to write the name of every potential juror on a piece of paper with boxes representing where the potential juror was sitting. We had to glance down at the paper and look at the box to remember what the juror's names were. Incredibly, Mr. Sharpstein, having just met all the people In the jury box, memorized all their names and never looked down at any piece of paper. It was an incredible thing to see as Mr Sharpstein addressed potential jurors as if he already knew them. It was truly a "wow" moment that I have never forgotten to this day. The legal profession has lost one of the top criminal defense attorneys not just in Miami but I would say in the entire country.

Bob Gilmartin, Dateline NBC said...

Having covered many of Richard's high profile cases in the Miami of the 1980's, it was always a pleasure seeing him at the Metro Justice Building or federal court. This continued for years after I left Miami to work in N.Y. Invariably, when I returned to Miami and the scene of many the crime at M.J.B., there was Richard, always holding court. And that was the case just a week ago, when I was in Miami to cover a story for Dateline NBC. I ran into him and attorney Doug Hartman outside the state attorney's office. I said to them, "what is this an 80's reunion?" But Richard would never be defined by any decade for his practice of law. He stayed in the news, doing high profile cases throughout the years, and winning many of them. As usual when I saw him last week, Richard was looking, shall we say, "sharp." Always the impeccable, stylish dresser, as was my habit, I ran my fingers over his suit lapel, admiring the material, my way of always complimenting him on his sartorial style. Class, Class, Class all the way. The lady, Blind Justice, has tears underneath that blindfold tonight as does the whole of the Miami legal community. So does this former Miami reporter in N.Y. A giant is gone, one who made South Florida's legal community, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, so much better, not just for his legal skills, but also his professionalism, courtesy and sense of style. Good luck in the highest court, Richard.

Bob Gilmartin, Dateline NBC said...

Having covered many of Richard's high profile cases in the Miami of the 1980's, it was always a pleasure seeing him at the Metro Justice Building or federal court. This continued for years after I left Miami to work in N.Y. Invariably, when I returned to Miami and the scene of many the crime at M.J.B., there was Richard, always holding court. And that was the case just a week ago, when I was in Miami to cover a story for Dateline NBC. I ran into him and attorney Doug Hartman outside the state attorney's office. I said to them, "what is this an 80's reunion?" But Richard would never be defined by any decade for his practice of law. He stayed in the news, doing high profile cases throughout the years, and winning many of them. As usual when I saw him last week, Richard was looking, shall we say, "sharp." Always the impeccable, stylish dresser, as was my habit, I ran my fingers over his suit lapel, admiring the material, my way of always complimenting him on his sartorial style. Class, Class, Class all the way. The lady, Blind Justice, has tears underneath that blindfold tonight as does the whole of the Miami legal community. So does this former Miami reporter in N.Y. A giant is gone, one who made South Florida's legal community, both prosecutors and defense attorneys, so much better, not just for his legal skills, but also his professionalism, courtesy and sense of style. Good luck in the highest court, Richard.

Anonymous said...

*** The latest article on Richard.


http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/12/10/3810058_p2/prominent-miami-lawyer-richard.html

Anonymous said...

Kenny W. was with Richard last night at Epicure having coffee. How could this have been a suicide? It just does not make any sense?

Richard is the last person who ever looked in despair.

Kenny, can you share with us any of your thoughts about Richard from last night? We all love Richard and it might shed some light on this tragedy and maybe help others who may be silently suffering?

Anonymous said...

It's been awhile since I've been here, but I immediately thought of this community when I heard. Richard was such a gem, a lawyer who reveled in his profession and truly enjoyed the simple fact that he could do his job exceptionally well. A lot of lawyers love winning; Richard loved how he won, how he came up with a smarter argument or a better show for the jury. He was smarter than most attorneys and he knew it. He ran circles around prosecutors and relished in doing that. It's not surprising to me that younger attorneys flocked to watch him. He was a marvel to watch. I covered several of his most high profile recent trials and never saw him lose, though I saw him defend people who were clearly guilty. Like another legend, Sy Gaer, Richard could find a hole in every argument and expand it until you forgot all the other evidence.
He was also a wonderful person to be around, and one of the first who reached out to see if I needed help when I was laid off at the Herald.
If I believed, I'd suspect he was up there somewhere with Sy, having a drink and laughing about it all. I'd love to be at the bar with them.
Susannah Nesmith
(still reporting)

Anonymous said...

When Sharpy was kid at the West End House Camp, he excelled in water sports and story telling. "Watermellon Baby" was a scary mutant fictional bedtime character Sharpy created. As a counselor at camp, his kids loved him and his creative stories. Nice to hear from his peers that he remained the same person he always was.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite counselor s at the west end house boys camp. 1970 and 1971. Met him and Immediately looked up to him because he was the nicest. Reconnected after 40 years, didn't know he was a lawyer! Just knew him when he was 20, I was 10. He was the waterfront director, I was a fish trying to do a 50 mile swim over 8 weeks. He spent every morning watching me swim and making sure I was ok. He was the best and oh so caring. I cry with these tears of sadness for the loss of this awesome human being. He seemed so happy last August I don't buy the suicide story. It all seems too weird. Hopefully that's not what happened, but it doesn't matter cause no matter what, he's still gone. What a shame. I don't get it. Only the good die young. Sharpy will always be one of the boys. He will be missed by many, especially me, bobby eggert. Well sharpy heres one more cheer from the mess hall tables, fists pounding, tables and floors shaking, so loud you can hear it the ball fields!!! Rip rip rip, rap rap rap sharpy sharpy we will miss you, yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!! Thanks again for being part of my life, you were truly one of the best I have ever met!

Anonymous said...

Many can not understand the depths of despair that wells within others when your whole life is turned upside down and all seems lost.

Yes Richard had a wealth of acquaintances and people who liked being around him, but how many actually took the time to look beyond the facade. Do any of us know how much he suffered losing Janice and living alone. How much did the dismantling of his life effect his sense of self.

Many years ago I felt that, and it was only through the random act of kindness and a few loving words from a friend at just the right moment, that kept me from going home and doing much as Richard MAY have done.

Feel his pain. Forgive his act and remember him as the man we all thought we knew, not just the man we now see. Richard felt.

Anonymous said...

TODAY THE WORLD LOST, A TRUE FINE HUMAN BEING, LAWYER AND FRIEND. YOU SEE I HAD THE HONOR OF BEING REPRESENTED BY RICHARD HE NOT ONLY PROVED MY INNOCENTS BUT HE TAUGHT ME THE MEANING OF LIFE. THIS WAS A MAN WHO AFFECTED EVERYONE WHO MET HIM ,HE COULD SEE THE GOOD IN ALL .. AND ALL WERE BLESSED TO KNOW HIM. THE WORLD WAS A BETTER PLACE BECAUSE RICHARD WAS IN IT. A GREAT LOSS WAS HAD BY ALL TODAY. MY PRAYERS AND BLESSING GO OUT TO RICHARDS FAMILY FRIENDS AND THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED THIS GREAT LOSS. I KNOW THERE IS A SPECIAL PLACE IN HEAVEN FOR RICHARD FOR THE BOOK OF LIFE OVERFLOWS WITH HIS FINE WORKS. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS MY DEAR FRIEND RICHARD.

Anonymous said...

825..............I'm sure Sharpy's family and friends really appreciate your stupid joke. Rumpole, please take that stupid comment down.

Rumpole said...

Folks, there's no official cause of death for Richard. Yes there are rumors. But the facts are that for the last weeks and months and days before his death he was acting very normally. I saw him last week and had a long and fun conversation with him.
On the morning of his death he sent a text at 7am. He called work to say he didn't feel well. And then he was found dead. It is entirely reasonable to believe he had a cardiac event and died. I am hoping there will be an autopsy and we will get an official cause of death.

And please remember, no matter how he died, we cannot judge his life by one moment. Look at the comments- from camp counselor for goodness sakes in 1970- to super lawyer- he touched so many of us. Lets hold off the hysteria for a while please.

Anonymous said...

I can still hear Judge Schwartz yelling "SHARPSTEIN!!!!!!!!!" and it always brings a smile to my lips

PhiBetaBlonde said...

Richard's commanding grace and class extended beyond the courtroom. I can still see him spinning Chris Hartman, nee Coile, to disco tunes at one of many Alibi Lounge happy hours during the late-1970s. He owned the dance floor as much as ever owned the courtroom. Yet another facet of his vibrant, engaged, purposeful life,

RIP, Sharpy!

Carlos Sires said...

I am a civil litigator and only met Richard when we were working a client had parallel criminal and civil cases pending in the early 1990's. My interaction with him sporadic and did not last long. Yet, every time I ran into him over the last 20-odd years, he remembered me and came over to talk as if I was an old friend. I think that's amongst the best compliments a person can be paid: that he treated all as a friend. Aside from his awesome legal talent, Richard's humanity and humor will be missed. I am stunned at his passing. It is our loss. May he rest in peace.

Calli said...

JAY WEAVER IS A DISGUSTING AND VINDICTIVE PERSON.

From Julie Kay's article in the DBR:

"We are not investigating for suicide," said Miami Beach police spokesman Bobby Hernandez. "This is a death investigation. We are waiting for toxicology to come back, talking to family members, before drawing any conclusions."

Besides, that speculation is not news.


Anonymous said...

We are lucky to have a lot of excellent criminal defense attorneys down here, but Richard Sharpstein was truly one of the giants, as can be seen from all of these sad and sincere comments. His death is a great loss to the Bar and to the community at large.

Fred Moreno said...

Everyone properly and accurately describes Richard as a great criminal defense attorney and I can attest to that having presided over many proceedings with him. But some of us old timers also remember what a great prosecutor he was. As an intern for Sharpie and Doug Hartman, I learned not only how to be a trial lawyer but the lost art of actually enjoying the practice of law. He never lost that joy. We also shared stories about our children and his recent personal family situation.What an example Richard has been to all of us about family, friends and fun. Fred Moreno

Anonymous said...

The coolest guy ever.

Anonymous said...

Love that comment by The Chief, all all the comments and shared memories.

Richard - we love you. A lot.

We will miss you every day.

-GB

Lenny Cooperman said...

I am saddened to learn of Richard's death. He was a pleasure to work with and be around, and my prayers and thoughts are with his family.


Rest in peace.

Lenny Cooperman

Lenny Cooperman said...

Richard was a nice guy and a great lawyer, an example to the rest of us.

My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Rest in peace.

Lenny Cooperman

Anonymous said...

I am hearing from sources close to the situation that Richard died from a heart attack. May he RIP.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole. Please post funeral information if you have it.

HEY 5:38am name caller .... said...

8:25pm was NOT a joke about KENNY W.

*** take a look at former judge DAVID YOUNG's Facebook from yesterday and there is a statement on his own post saying that:

What a shock! I just saw him last night, shooting the bull with Kenneth Weisman at the coffee bar at Epicure. He will be missed.
17 hours ago · Like · 1

JONATHAN COLBY said...

Richard's Funeral, according to his law partner Jason Kairalla, will take place this Sunday at Temple Beth Shalom in Miami Beach at 1:30 pm. The address is 4144 Chase Avenue.

We miss you Richard ....

Anonymous said...

Services for renowned Miami criminal lawyer Richard Sharpstein will be held Sunday on Miami Beach. The funeral will take place at Temple Beth Sholom, 4144 Chase Ave., at 1:30 p.m.

Sharpstein, a larger-than-life courtroom figure beloved in the South Florida legal community, died Tuesday at age 63. The gravel-voiced attorney was known for his courtroom theatrics, witty quotes and engaging personality.

Sharpstein was found dead in the bathtub of his Miami Beach condominium Tuesday morning. After an autopsy, his death has been ruled a suicide by drowning, according to Miami Beach police.

“This decision was based on evidence on the scene as well as statements made by those that were close to him,” police Sgt. Robert Hernandez said on Wednesday.

Investigators suspect Sharpstein sedated himself, and are awaiting toxicology reports. According to a police report, a note on a yellow legal pad also was found in the bedroom. It addressed loved ones.

His law firm, Akerman Senterfitt, announced the creation of a donation bank in his honor, the Foundation for Criminal Justice. To access the bank, visit http://nacdl.us/richardsharpstein

Kafka said...

Richard was a good friend and great lawyer. Here is a video that I found of him giving food to the homeless on Christmas day. For those of us that knew him you will love the sound of his laugh while he is in his car. Classic Richard!

Carl Kafka

http://www.frequency.com/video/in-loving-memory-of-richard-sharpstein/136933037/-/5-308

Anonymous said...

A TRIBUTE TO SHARPY...

http://youtu.be/AffVG1PCNzc

Anonymous said...

The worst part was that he was so much the part he played that even a day before this horrible event, he was cheerful and active, asking Tom Cobitz for an endorsement card, and waxing eloquent with stories and barbs about the life of a lawyer.
It hurts not to have been able to see there was a problem and either help or alert someone who could help. He was the best of the best. He was bright; he was witty, and he could see good where others could not. He appeared to have the world at his feet.
He deserves the best in the next life because he gave so many a second life here. His family should surround themselves and glow with the stories of what a great man he was and the legacy he leaves. We should all strive to be as good a lawyer and as good a person as Richard was and be very content to achieve a runner-up slot.
Not being able to talk to him and see him will be hard. Being proud of what he was will be easy. Joe Klock

Rumpole said...

Folks, lets keep this on who Richard was, and not how he left us. It really doesn't matter one bit.

Anonymous said...

I fondly referred to him as Uncle Richard. He was a man I grew up admiring both for his innate ability to brighten anyone’s day and his ability to command and wow a courtroom.

At some point in my life, I had the whimsical idea I would become an actress. My dad and Uncle Richard then told me about how once Richard had the same idea (but to be a comedian) and the deal his father made with him. He said son how about you go to law school and try that out and if you don’t like it I promise I’ll pay for you to go to New York and become a comedian. Once he stepped foot in a courtroom, I don’t think he ever thought about becoming a comedian again. The courtroom was a place where he could perform and fight for justice simultaneously. With this in mind, I went to law school. I am graduating soon and devastated that he won’t be there.

He is truly one of the greatest people I have ever known and happy to know most people feel the same.

Anonymous said...

The video only shows more of what those of us who knew him already knew: he was a great lawyer and an even better human being. He will be missed.

B.R.

DS said...

Richard was a nice guy and a great lawyer. He was a GOOD man.
RIP

Anonymous said...

The best part about Richard was how he treated the little people. I had the honor of trying a case with him in Leon county once. Everyone there loved him as much as in Miami, I later learned why. There was not a day that Sharpie did not arrive at the courthouse with either cigars for the DOC officers or pastries for the court staff. He treated every single human being like they were special. And, THAT is what we should remember about Richard. His humanity.

Anonymous said...

Incomprehensible. Super human, best friend, loving father and husband, generous with his time...there was no better than Richard. He will be missed by all.

Anonymous said...

He was a legend and worshiped by generations of lawyers. A genius of his craft with the ability to intertwine humor into compelling argument. He was the only one among us who could have switched from being a star litigator to a movie star. You have inspired me to help the less fortunate and to be a better person.

Cysco Kid

Anonymous said...

He was a gem.

Anonymous said...

divorce laws need to be changed!!!!!!

horrible

Rumpole said...

No, I am not going there in getting in the dispute over who is responsible for the coverage- some incorrect- over his death. I'm not publishing comments blaming individuals. Let everyone mourn in peace. sorry, but while I understand your feelings, and while you are correct, I am not opening that can of worms on this blog, on this post.

Anonymous said...

I was a law partner of Sharpie’s for 10 or so years. It was a pleasure and an honor to have known Richard. My office was just down the hall from his. What fun! Being a corporate type, life could be a bit dry at times—but not with Sharpie around. He had a brilliant mind, unbelievably quick wit, and a zest for life that joyously infected everyone fortunate enough to be in his orbit. So I will confess to being somewhat of a groupie of Sharpie. If he was telling a story, which was often, I wanted to be near to hear it. If he was returning from a big court date, I wanted to hear what happened. If Sharpie got a new client, I wanted to be around to see what kind of character would be walking through the door, as it was frequently someone as colorful as Sharpie. And it was always an event when Sharpie went to court on a big case. Associates, staff and partners all would try to arrange their schedules so as to be in the court room when Sharpie took to his stage. Sharpie was truly bigger than life. But it was not just being a superb lawyer and storyteller that set him apart. His outsized personality was matched by his thoughtfulness and generosity toward others. Whether it was remembering a birthday, welcoming your first born, feeding the homeless, or just singling you out to say hello—acts of kindness big and small—Sharpie somehow found time for it all. I read this blog with profound sadness and, at the same time, utter amazement. It is doubtful that I have ever met many of you, if any of you. And, yet, through Sharpie’s wonderful storytelling, it’s as though we have. I used to think that perhaps Sharpie’s storytelling was given to a bit of embellishment. But after reading all the wonderful testaments to his life, I now suspect that perhaps his “tellings” were actually a bit understated. I was Richard’s friend, but truth be told, life being what it is, it would probably be a stretch to say we were close friends. So why does it hurt so much to hear of Richard’s passing? Perhaps it is because Richard treated everyone as though he were a best friend. I can think of no higher measure of the man. Love, baby, love. Sharpie had it in spades. Rest in peace, my friend. EZ

Anonymous said...

I was a law partner of Sharpie’s for 10 or so years. It was a pleasure and an honor to have known Richard. My office was just down the hall from his. What fun! Being a corporate type, life could be a bit dry at times—but not with Sharpie around. He had a brilliant mind, unbelievably quick wit, and a zest for life that joyously infected everyone fortunate enough to be in his orbit. So I will confess to being somewhat of a groupie of Sharpie. If he was telling a story, which was often, I wanted to be near to hear it. If he was returning from a big court date, I wanted to hear what happened. If Sharpie got a new client, I wanted to be around to see what kind of character would be walking through the door, as it was frequently someone as colorful as Sharpie. And it was always an event when Sharpie went to court on a big case. Associates, staff and partners all would try to arrange their schedules so as to be in the court room when Sharpie took to his stage. Sharpie was truly bigger than life. But it was not just being a superb lawyer and storyteller that set him apart. His outsized personality was matched by his thoughtfulness and generosity toward others. Whether it was remembering a birthday, welcoming your first born, feeding the homeless, or just singling you out to say hello—acts of kindness big and small—Sharpie somehow found time for it all. I read this blog with profound sadness and, at the same time, utter amazement. It is doubtful that I have ever met many of you, if any of you. And, yet, through Sharpie’s wonderful storytelling, it’s as though we have. I used to think that perhaps Sharpie’s storytelling was given to a bit of embellishment. But after reading all the wonderful testaments to his life, I now suspect that perhaps his “tellings” were actually a bit understated. I was Richard’s friend, but truth be told, life being what it is, it would probably be a stretch to say we were close friends. So why does it hurt so much to hear of Richard’s passing? Perhaps it is because Richard treated everyone as though he were a best friend. I can think of no higher measure of the man. Love, baby, love. Sharpie had it in spades. Rest in peace, my friend. EZ

Anonymous said...

Fuck.

Anonymous said...

I am currently going through a divorce myself. To say it is hell is an understatement. There have been days I have had to force myself out of bed; on a few, I have been unable to. Often I have to put a fa├žade of happiness on while I am hurting inside. While I do not know the circumstances of Richard's divorce, the fact is most divorces just suck.

I have found many outright lies and false accusations thrown at me, not to mention BS arguments, etc. That is what hurts the most. As a lawyer, I strive to practice in not just an ethical, but professional, manner. Like most, I don't always succeed. If you want to do so, Richard was the perfect role model. Nobody here will dispute that he was a fierce advocate for his clients, but he always did so in a professional manner and with strong, sound legal arguments. He would never lie. Why do you think he enjoyed such high esteem amongst the defense bar, prosecutors and the bench?

Richard would have gladly turned in his bar card before lying, presenting false testimony, making a meritless argument, etc. He was a great lawyer but, more importantly, an even better person. If he found himself the target of false, personal attacks, how do you think he felt? He never would have done the same in either his personal or professional life.

Whatever the circumstances, RIP.

Anonymous said...

I never met Mr. Sharpstein, but, after reading these comments, I wish I had. My sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and all those who mourn his loss. It sounds like he was an incredible guy.

Anonymous said...

7:32 Do not despair. What you have to understand is what goes on over in 175 is not the law. Few of those lawyers know the law and few of the judges follow the rules of evidence. If they did, they would miss the "juiciest parts." It is a crap court. You just have to endure, and three years after it is done, you will feel just fine, although you probably will never have any respect for the "matrimonial bar."

Anonymous said...

my favorite part of the blog rumpole are the wonderful and kind tributes paid to our fallen warriors.

we are all one big family -- whether one is a prosecutor, a defense lawyer, a clerk, a bailiff or a judge. one is no better than the other. we have a mission: to provide a fair and trustworthy and reliable venue to dole out true justice according to the blueprint set by the laws of the government and the constitution.

we all make errors in our professional and our personal life. we are humans. no one is perfect. we should be kind to one another and forgive, tend to the less fortunate with generosity, maintain our integrity at all costs, love our family and friends, be loyal ... and always strive to do the right thing.

we have said good bye and paid homage to many great justice building warriors in the past few years. they were the greats and legends. they served there time here hopefully making an imprint on us and setting the kind of example for us to one day be written about with such honors, kudos and sadness about our death.

always remember richard's kind smile....

god bless you all...

Anonymous said...

A true 'Gladiator in suit.'

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that since this tragedy everyone at the courthjouse seems kinder and more friendly? Life is way too short. Spend time to show love & concern to all. That is all that is really important. RIP to all the dear & great ones we have lost along the way.

Bill Dean said...

Sharpie was a great man, an outstanding lawyer, a legendary Boston guy, a fierce opponent, an even better mentor, and,of course, a friend. I will miss you Sharpie.

Anonymous said...

I love 1:26's comment.

BTDT

Anonymous said...

He left You his choice....