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Thursday, January 08, 2015

JUDGE MORTON PERRY HAS PASSED AWAY

UPDATE: PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL FUNERAL SERVICES FOR JUDGE PERRY ARE PRIVATE AS PER THE REQUEST OF THE FAMILY





Judge Morton Perry May 15, 1924-Janaury 5, 2015. 

Back when the County Court Criminal Bench was almost exclusively white (Calvin Mapp being the only exception we can recall during this time period) and male and non-latin and there were separate divisions for crimes and traffic (lets see, Gerry Klein, Alfred Nesbit, Arthur Winton, Morton Perry in the crimes division)  Judge Morton Perry was the epitome of what one would expect a judge to look like and be. He had a distinguished look about him. He was kind and calm and when we first walked into his courtroom as a young lawyer, he just looked like what Hollywood would cast as a Judge. 

But he was also a fair judge, patient with the multitudes of unrepresented defendants who appeared before him along with the brand new prosecutors and PDs, many of whom knew less about the law than some of the "regulars" who appeared often in county court. 

We once saw Judge Perry handle a solicitation of prostitution case and he recognized the defendant: "Sir, weren't you in my courtroom last week on the same charge?"
Defendant: "Yes Judge, that was me."
Judge Perry: "What do you have to say for yourself?"
Defendant: "I don't know judge, I guess I fall in love quickly." 

It took several minutes for Judge Perry and the rest of the courtroom to stop laughing. 

We remember Judge Morton Perry as a good and kind man and a fair judge who tried his best. He was a credit to the bench in Dade County and he served this community well. 



30 comments:

Anonymous said...


Judge Baxter, Judge Sepe, Judge Mapp, and the fourth one escapes me right now were the four County Court Judges in Criminal Traffic back in the early 80s. Deehl maybe?

Claude Erskine- Browne said...

So very well said.He was a good man, a Fair Judge and a Mench on the bench

Jonathan Blecher said...

Mort Perry was a gentleman and one of a lost breed of judges. That group had life experience before they took the bench that gave them the ability to connect and understand people in a way mostly lost in time and heavy calendars.

No great legal scholars in that group, but that's not what that job required. They did the right thing (most of the time), and people felt they got a fair shake when they left the 5th floor.

RIP Mort.

FORMER JUDGE said...

JUDGE MORTON PERRY was a champ. As soon as I was appointed as a Judge at 31 years old, the Chief Judge assigned me to Judge Perry for orientation at the Justice Building. He immediately made me feel welcome and began to mentor me with his immense knowledge of the justice system. For many years we maintained a very close friendship with great affection, respect and admiration for one another. He was a human being who was always there for his friends -- and anyone who needed assistance. His KINDNESS is what I will always remember. Judge Perry always carefully listened and gave the parties all of the appropriate due process in their matter. Judge Perry always told me "This is the best career ... so please don't tell anyone". He loved his job and served with great distinction. God Bless you my kind friend and teacher. Love and prayers to your family, Jonathan Colby

Shum-dog paradise. said...

Arthur Rothenberg was in crim traffic for a while. And the great Henry Oppenborn. Fred Moreno came later - 87ish?
I always liked to cite Mapp v Ohio to Mapp.

Anonymous said...

I always thought the great Jack Coe was the one who published under "former judge "

Anonymous said...

Perry's been out of the building for a very long time so, most don't know who he was but, I sure remember all of them. I was there back then and it was the wild, wild east. Almost nothing went jury so, the judge you got controlled the chance of conviction. Even DUI's went bench most of the time.
Harvey Baxter was funny but, nuts.(Bench trial results 75% NG)
Cal Mapp was a real gentleman. If you quoted from his book, you won your motion. (Bench 50% NG) He was also one of the first black judges and made all black people look good.
Marshall Ader was the collection agency and looked just like Col. Sanders. Nobody had a collection on rubber stamps quite as big as his. (Bench 25% NG) (One year at Halloween, the entire clerks office dressed up like Marshal. Tux shirt, bow tie, suspenders, black shoes and Col. Sanders face. It was hilarious!
Marv Gillman was always unhappy. (Bench 25% NG)
Fred Nesbitt loved fighting with the prosecutors. (Bench 95% NG)
Gerry Klein was fast Gerry... and I mean fast. Bench 99%NG)
Mort Perry was just a normal guy but, more likely to convict. (Bench 35% NG)
Henry Oppenborn was a military officer and a real good man. He started court with the pledge of allegiance and you should have seen all the non-English speaking people stand, put their hand on their heart and stare. (Bench 30% NG)

Jane Moscowitz said...

Please be advised that the funeral for Judge Perry is family only. the funeral home made the arrangements public by mistake. Send condolences to Pam at pam@dresnicklaw.com

Anonymous said...

Please be aware that Judge Perry's graveside services are for FAMILY ONLY. This is per Pam Perry, the Judge's daughter.

Anonymous said...

Colby was an interesting guy. Only judge or former judge to be a part owner of a women's roller derby team. The Milwaukee Brew-Haha's derby girls. Check them out on facebook. He also does some tv and radio play by play for them.

Anonymous said...

This funeral is PRIVATE FAMILY ONLY

Anonymous said...

I always thought former judge was Judge Tom Scott.

Anonymous said...

9:13 - "Cal Mapp. . .made all black people look good"? You make all (fill in race/ethnicity/gender) look bad.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Colby comment was husyerically funny and a joke until I went on line and googled the team. It's the real deal. Now im dumbfounded.

Anonymous said...

How many people need to post a comment about the funeral being private? Like two is enough. Move on dot org. We get it. Private.

Anonymous said...

1:12 pm. You are confused. The team is a real team. The team has nothing to do with Colby. It was Judge Tom Scott who is the primary financier of that team.

Anonymous said...

Meek Robinette was drunk by 11: 30 am. Another judge would frequently help him to his couch in his office just before noon.

Once a smart ass prosecutor took Robinette's mug of vodka and replaced it with water. You should have seen the look on his face on the first sip.

Anonymous said...

Deehl was the judge who presided over the lovestruck john. Rubiera was the the fourth horseman on the fifth floor.

Anonymous said...

In the 1980's, the state urged Judge Perry to deny prostitutes the right to jury trial because prostitution was no longer a serious crime and had become akin to a traffic ticket. Judge Perry said that he was not prepared to accept that contention and that prostitution was still a malum in se crime for which there was a right to jury trial.

In another case, a woman was charged with criminal mischief for throwing a rock that broke a window of a car belonging to her husband's mistress when both women coincided in a parking lot and got into an argument. The defense attorney argued that criminal miechief requires proof of specific intent to damage property and that the evidence showed that his client had no intent to break the car window but specifically intended to break the mistress' head but she ducked and the rock hit the car window instead. The state argued transfer of intent but Judge Perry agreed with the defense and found her not guilty.

Anonymous said...

946.........Colby also was an excellent judge (regardless of the errors that led to his resignation). In fact, most PDs and prosecutors begged to be assigned to his courtroom. He was smart, had a great demeanor (probably the best I've seen to this day), knew the law as well or better than anyone else, and was fair to both sides. I would've loved to see him on the circuit bench or higher.

BTDT

Secret Judge said...

Mort was always a nice guy. Glad he enjoyed a long life (91).

Anonymous said...

I guess we chose to forget Leo Adderley.

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to post on the page if it not the place to do it and don't mean any disrespect for Judge Perry but, Nancy Wear is now accusing others of misusing the list serve.
Hmmmmmm

RFB said...

I remember how much Winton hated the exclusionary rule. He seethed when you cited Wong Sun and he was the first county court judge to regularly refer to the inevitable discovery doctrine. He didn't approve of police misconduct and illegal searches. Indeed he was a self proclaimed champion of the 4th amendment. He just hated the wong sun decision.

skinny pete said...

Yo Gimme an A to the double D to the E R LEY

Adderley Adderley he da man, judging da people as best as he can.

Anonymous said...


So, let me get this straight 6:24. You know that the post is in honor of the memory of Judge Perry. Nearly every other post has been about Judge Perry and his brethren on the County Court.

You recognize that this is not the place to post what you posted. And , you posted about something on the list serv, that has absolutely nothing to do with this blog.

Yet, you still felt compelled to send in your comment.

I read the same email about list serv or listserve that NW wrote. I deleted it as a waste of my time and moved on to more important things.

You sir, are a loser. Remind me, when you pass, and it is time to write your Obit, I can send in a tidbit about your life of wasting other people's time posting comments like that one.

Anonymous said...


Ahem. Judge Leah Simms was a black female judge in Dade in the early 80s as well. In fact, with a population of over ten million in Florida, she was the only black female judge in the state. She was appointed by Governor "Bob". Aka Bob Graham.

Anonymous said...

Rump,
Is there somue way you can add a "like" "dislike" widget. I want to "like" 8:32 pm. Bully!

Anonymous said...

According to some really old oldtimers, W. F. Blanton was "THE county judge" back when they had County Judge's Court.

Claude Erskine -Browne said...

Bill Altfield and Ellen Leesfield gave wonderful reminiscings of Judge Perry at his funeral