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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Saturday, May 28, 2016

ED CARHART HAS PASSED AWAY

Update#2 : A wonderful comment from Judge Fernandez:

A few months ago, I had the almost pleasure of presiding over a trial where Mr. Carhart was lead counsel. Like everyone else, I was in awe of Mr. Carhart since I first came to the building almost 30 years ago. Needless to say, I was nervous as hell. All I prayed for was to not do anything too stupid in his presence. Because of Mr. Carhart's special needs in communicating, everything was taking a little longer than usual. I didn't care. I could have sat there for weeks. After every pre-trial argument I almost wanted to ask him if I'd ruled correctly, even when I ruled against him. His client plead after my portion of voir dire but Mr. Carhart paid me the two greatest compliments that I've received as a judge. They are brag-worthy but I'll keep them to myself. What an honor to have witnessed him in action. A great loss.

Joe Fernandez


Update: This comment says it all:



I met Ed while working with James McGuirk. I will not repeat 
all the great things everyone has said here but will add that as a
 lawyer he was even better than the praise above. He was hands 
down the best trial lawyer any of us have or will ever see. 
Moreover, he would never sit and tell "war stories." One had to
 pry them out of him over conversation and he always told them 
with a the goal of the listener learning something about how to 
be a better lawyer. He rarely, if ever, made it about himself.
 In our profession that alone should have made him a saint. 
He knew how to read people better than most of us read ourself. 
As great as he was as an attorney, he was as great of a person. 
If all of us could conduct ourselves in the manner Ed did our 
lives and our practices would be better for it. I for one will try 
to keep in mind in all my activities: what would Ed do? 
Great person ....great loss. Jonathan Drucker 


This one hurts. We have a lot to say about Mr. Carhart. We will let those who knew him best speak for us by reprinting their comments on FACDL, Suffice to say that there are a few generations of lawyers who never knew that Ed was the best; the best prepared, the best cross examiner, the best criminal defense attorney that there was in our profession. Period. A legend in the SAO. A legend in Miami. A real gentleman. A lawyer's lawyer. We lost the best this weekend folks, and we will start the comments with his close friend, Jim Woodard: 



We have lost one of the finest lawyers of our time.  Ed Carhart, former Chief Assistant to Richard Gerstein and long-time member of the criminal defense bar, diedFriday.  His knowledge of the law was unsurpassed and his skill with juries legendary.  More importantly, his ability to deal with adversity reminded all that knew him that regardless of how bad things may seem at the moment, he had it much worse.  He continued to practice with a smile when he could not stand, turn a page by himself or speak much above a whisper.  Through it all, his intellect was undiminished.  Those who knew Ed will miss him terribly.  Those that didn't, will never know what they missed.  No services are planned at this time.
James Woodard

From: "Shohat, Edward" 
My heart is broken at this news Jim. Not only was Ed among the best lawyers I ever knew but one of the best people too. I know how close you were to him for what seems like forever now and that there are many like you, both friends and family,  who will feel the loss of Ed with particular pain. To all of you who also happen to be our brothers and sisters at the Bar, Maria and I send our heartfelt condolences.





jackblumenfeld 





Rumpole, sadly we lost one of the greats last night with the passing of Ed Carhart. I think the word great is overused and, thus, reduced in these times. In referring to Ed, it's an understatement.  Those of us who knew him and worked with him in Gerstein's SAO can mitigate the loss (if possible) with the knowledge that we are better people for having known him. To those young-and not so young- lawyers who never saw him practice, you missed the greatest. May he rest in peace.


Rae Shearn 





Edward was always 10 steps ahead of everyone else. He was my friend, personal confidant, and my legal mentor. One of our last legal rock stars, Edward was a newspaper man with a broad over view based upon core fact details. A good man. A great friend. An extraordinary gifted attorney


From: C. Michael Cornely 


I worked with Ed when I was a young prosecutor, knew him as a member of the bar and I thought he was one of the Best Trial lawyers in Miami. He was a humble and gracious man who never not let his handicap hold him back. I am much better to have known him. God bless his soul.

Samuel Rabin 





Ed was a brilliant lawyer who was among the most thoroughly prepared when he entered any courtroom.  He was generous with his time when approached for help by all, but he truly enjoyed mentoring young lawyers.  He always remained upbeat even when dealing with great adversity in his personal life.  There is a special place in heaven for him.  Rest in Peace Ed.


Frank Quintero 




Dido Sam. I had the honor and privilege of working one of my first cases with Ed as one of several co-counsel. He always had time to mentor me and always had words of encouragement when as a young lawyer i was learning and making mistakes and trying to learn the profession. His leadership and professionalism as well as his legal intellect and integrity will be sorely missed. A true lawyer's lawyer.
RIP old friend.


Jose Quiñon 




Ed was a brilliant lawyer. Blessed with uncommon intelligence, he efficiently and consistently destroyed the government's case. His cross-examinations were a thing of beauty.

And to boot, Ed was a wonderful, tender, and honorable individual. May he rest in peace.

6 comments:

melanie marks said...

When I met Sir Edward Carhart, I knew immediately that he would be a very meaningful mentor and friend...and that I was immensely fortunate to enjoy that privilege. ..I told him he was my self appointed Father...Sir Carhart exemplified the most noble of human qualities....pure of heart, jaw droppingly brilliant, altruistic, empathetic and a possessed of a sensitivity and reflexive willingness to help the downtrodden and simply do what is right regardless of daunting opposition....Sir Carhart, I shall miss you terribly but shall try to make you proud and carry on your mission of justice...

the trialmaster said...

As a young lawyer in public service in the 70s I was honored to watch Ed in trial prosecuting some cops who had raped a prostitute under a bridge. Dispite his physical challenges he captivated the jury and all who watched his outstanding performance on a difficult case. Over the years he and I became friends and he always went out of his way to talk to me when we met in the courthouses either in dade or broward over the years. He was the ultimate trial lawyer and a true "lawyer's lawyer and consummate gentleman and mentor to all who followed in his giant foot steps. He was an amazing lawyer and person and will be missed by all who knew him. He was truly one of a kind, and overcame severe physical issues to become perhaps the best trial lawyer of our time.

Phil R said...

I didn't know who Ed Carhart was until, as a young prosecutor, I watched him defend Dieter Reichman in a notorious murder case that occurred in Miami Beach. I believe Judge Solomon appointed him and Kevin DiGregory, who doesn't get his due as one of the top trial prosecutors of his time, was the prosecutor on the case. I would sit in the courtroom spellbound as these two consummate trial lawyers went at it. Both were gentleman and true lawyers and officers of the court. And yet both left it all on the battlefield. Every day I would go back to the office and lurk nearby as Kevin issued orders to his staff and kept repeating this mantra "Ed is such a good lawyer" although there would be some choice four letter adjectives thrown in for good measure. It was then I realized just how good Ed was. In the future I went to some CLE classes he taught, including one on cross examination that I felt truly lucky to have attended.

I never got to know Ed as many of the others who have commented on FACDL, and that is my loss. But I got to watch him in action, and there really aren't superlatives that I could say that would justify just how he handled a case.

And it goes without saying that he fought harder battles with more personal adversity than most of us will ever know. Judging by the comments about him, the saying that the lord never gives you more than you can handle comes to mind.

Anonymous said...

I met Ed while working with James McGuirk. I will not repeat all the great things everyone has said here but will add that as a lawyer he was even better than the praise above. He was hands down the best trial lawyer any of us have or will ever see. Moreover, he would never sit and tell "war stories." One had to pry them out of him over conversation and he always told them with a the goal of the listener learning something about how to be a better lawyer. He rarely, if ever, made it about himself. In our profession that alone should have made him a saint. He knew how to read people better than most of us read ourself. As great as he was as an attorney, he was as great of a person. If all of us could conduct ourselves in the manner Ed did our lives and our practices would be better for it. I for one will try to keep in mind in all my activities: what would Ed do? Great person ....great loss. Jonathan Drucker

Anonymous said...

A few months ago, I had the almost pleasure of presiding over a trial where Mr. Carhart was lead counsel. Like everyone else, I was in awe of Mr. Carhart since I first came to the building almost 30 years ago. Needless to say, I was nervous as hell. All I prayed for was to not do anything too stupid in his presence. Because of Mr. Carhart's special needs in communicating, everything was taking a little longer than usual. I didn't care. I could have sat there for weeks. After every pre-trial argument I almost wanted to ask him if I'd ruled correctly, even when I ruled against him. His client plead after my portion of void dire but Mr. Carhart paid me the two greatest compliments that I've received as a judge. They are brag-worthy but I'll keep them to myself. What an honor to have witnessed him in action. A great loss.

Joe Fernandez

Anonymous said...

There is a lesson to be learned here;

The peak of Ed Carhart's mastery occurred a bit before my time (or I was such a novice lawyer that I wasn't aware of his accomplishments). As I evolved as an attorney, it was inevitable to become very aware of his grand reputation.

It is sad that such a prominent lawyer received so few posted tributes. However, the reality is that "time moves on" and history may not be that important among the always emerging members of the Bar. How ironic that we necessitate "precedence" yet history is rendered much less significant?

As a criminal defense attorney, you rent out your body; the more cases you take, the more encompassing the profession becomes. It is not hard to get caught up in the eternal rat race.

The relegation of this gentleman's death to such few posts demonstrates that any lawyer that unduly sacrifices their life, family, and relationships would be a fool since no matter how prominent and effective you may be, once you are gone you are a fading memory.

It' great to be a lawyer but it's better to live life.